With the popularity of sites like 23 And Me and Ancestry.ca, it makes sense that genealogy-focused travel is now quickly rising in popularity. More and more people are developing an appetite for visiting the places where their ancestors once lived, especially now that much of this information is so easily accessible. If you’re looking for a unique travel experience, here are a few ideas to get you started on the journey to find your roots.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Journey of Genealogy
The Cunard Queen Mary 2 Journey of Genealogy in August of 2020, marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage. On this sailing associated with Ancestry.ca, guests will be able to take part in a reverse pilgrimage that many of their relatives undertook. According to Cunard website, the company welcomes back Ancestry.ca for a second crossing to assist in the journey.

“Events on board will commemorate the significance of this iconic journey. Ancestry experts will host talks themed around the historic Mayflower voyage and the stories of the passengers on board, take a look back at the descendants of our founder Sir Samuel Cunard, and offer the opportunity to trace your family tree through the centuries and find out how your DNA connects you to the world.”

Heritage Tours
There are many companies in Europe that provide genealogy focused tours and events. These companies can tailor tours to your specific requests and provide services such as:

  • Scouting ancestral towns to see what there is to experience
  • Making contact with pastors, archivists and local historians,
  • Provide guides who travel with you and assist you with understanding local customs and traditions.

Genealogy Butlers
Because of the mass migrations from certain countries such as Ireland, Scotland, England and Germany, hotels in those countries are now providing the services of a Genealogy Butler to assist guests in finding their ancestors. Guests fill out an assessment form prior to arrival, and the butlers develop personalized assessment reports of ancestral information, along with research enabling you to commence your search.

Tips for Genealogical Travel

  • Many experts say that the most important step in beginning a journey such as this is to do some of the upfront research. That is, finding records on Ancestory.ca or submitting a DNA profile through 23 And Me. “The more information the traveler has about where their family actually lived the better, we can often get travelers right there, and it makes it that much more personalized and meaningful.” says Ashley Ganz a genealogical travel expert.
  • Having a DNA profile done can provide some surprising results and reveal long lost connections to countries and people you didn’t know were in your family’s history. It may also bring forth people who have had the same DNA done. There in lies opportunities to meet up with family and figure out how you are related.
  • Because of the family nature of the trip they should be designed to maximize bonding activities such as festivals, cooking classes, or picnics.
  • It’s important to utilize the services of local guides who know the area’s history. They know precise details and can share stories about what happened in specific neighborhoods and buildings.
  • If you cannot access the information on your family history or if it simply does not exist, consider a heritage tour instead. Heritage tours give the broad strokes of an area’s historic family ties and offer outings that can put you in the area where your family came from. From there you can taste the food, see the sights and connect with locals without having to delve too deeply.

Ready to make a pilgrimage to find your roots? Get in touch with us or a preferred experience specialist and we can craft a customized genealogy package for you!


Sean Mitchell

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