Ancestry Tourism

Carl Tiedt standing in front of the home his great-grandparents owned in Bergen, Germany, before they emigrated to America in 1883. He doesn’t know why they left.
Carl Tiedt standing in front of the home his great-grandparents owned in Bergen, Germany, before they emigrated to America in 1883. He doesn’t know why they left.

The following excerpt is from an article posted in the July 29, 2016 edition of the New York Times. Written by Amy Zipkin, the article delves into the experiences of those of us who are motivated to travel in search of our ancestor’s residences. It’s a great read.

In April, Sheila Albert, 78, a retired psychotherapist from Santa Rosa, Calif., and her niece, Terry Pew, who is 60, found themselves standing in front of the ruins of a stone house in Ireland where Ms. Albert believes her great-great-grandmother once lived.

“I felt like I came home,” she said.

Ms. Albert, whose ancestors emigrated to the United States during the potato famine of the late 1840s, found the house with the help of a genealogy and touring company called My Ireland Family Heritage, which arranged a two-day tour. It was not the first time the two women had pursued their roots: In 2014, they took a weeklong car trip through Minnesota and Wisconsin, where they toured cemeteries researching their family tree.

America is a nation of immigrants, and as many people age they grow interested in tracing their family heritage and group traditions back to their origins.

Read the full article.

Family Roots Publishing Partners With Heritage Journeys

Patty and I have been involved with genealogy tourism since 1985, having sponsored the annual the Salt Lake Christmas Tour since that time. We have often considered sponsoring other tours, both inside and outside of the the United States. However, we’ve always been too busy to add anything else to our plate.

One of the key professional genealogists who works with us at the Christmas Tour is Stan Lindaas. The man is a fantastic genealogist, and I always enjoy working with him. Well – this last year Stan put together a program called Heritage Journeys. He is now leading small groups to their ancestral homeland. The tours are specifically designed to allow genealogists to visit the very places where their ancestors lived, worked, and played.

Click on the illustration below. Take a look at the video by clicking on the right-arrow, and get all excited. Make this the year that you go home. Contact Heritage Journeys today!


Ellis Island Still Closed After Suffering 59 Million $ in Damage Due to Hurricane Sandy

The following excerpt is from an article by Seth Berkman published in the January 2, 2012 Jewish Daily Forward.

Ellis Island, the historic point of arrival in the United States for more than 12 million European immigrants, has been closed since Hurricane Sandy hit New York Harbor on October 29, and the damage to its museum and other landmark structures will cost millions in repair expenses and lost income.

The National Park Service, which manages the Statue of Liberty National Monument, of which Ellis Island is a part, estimates that the damage to Ellis and Liberty Islands from Sandy will cost $59 million to repair.
Meanwhile, the Islands lose income with each day they are closed.

“We’re missing major revenue streams,” said Peg Zitko, vice president of public relations for the The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a private not-for-profit group that helps support the national monument.

Read the full article.

30 Free Search Credits Available for ScotlandsPeaple Available with Free Newsletter Signup

AncestralScotland, the Scottish Government and ScotlandsPeople, Scotland’s official online source of genealogical information, are offering 30 FREE search credits at ScotlandsPeople, worth approximately £7GBP (over $11), to folks who sign up for the Ancestral Scotland Newsletter. It’s a tourism promotion, with hopes that if you get their promotional newsletters – and do ancestral research online, that you’ll pack up and go to your ancestral homeland.

I signed up, as I have Scots ancestry, and haven’t ever taken the time to use the website, ScotlandsPeople. The offer gave me an incentive to do so. As far as I can tell, this offer is good through July 15, 2011 – but that’s not obvious on the webpage set up for the offer. I found that information at Now – keep in mind that AncestralScotland has an offer of 10 Credits, worth about £2GBP – that seems to be an ongoing thing to try to get folks onboard for the newsletter. I like the 30 Credit offer better. (grin}

As the website reminds us, researching your Scottish ancestors can be very rewarding, but nothing compares to experiencing first-hand the places they lived and worked. I certainly can’t argue with that. I also know that, the official source of genealogical data for Scotland, is where I can search Scottish Census Records, Births, Deaths, Marriages, Old Parish Records and Wills & Testaments. So I’m looking forward to spending time on the site.

If you are already a registered member of ScotlandsPeople, the offer isn’t available to you. But for everyone else, just click here to register and get your 30 FREE search credits at