Tag Archives: Travel

Been Travelin’ … and it’s not over!

The months of April, May and June have been the busiest I have had as far as travel is concerned. I have been on the road more than I’ve been home! A short recap of my April adventures include:

  • The Ohio Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference in Columbus where I got extremely soaked with my friend Beth Benko trying to get back to the car during a storm, and had excellent Thai food with Beth, Judy Russell and Jay Fonkert. (Great suggestion Jay!) And while on the way to Ohio, had the opportunity to meet up with my friend Mark Lowe for dinner! (Great seeing you Mark!)
    Dinner with Mark Lowe at Cracker Barrel in Whitehouse, TN
    Dinner with Mark Lowe at Cracker Barrel in Whitehouse, TN

    My name badge from OGS, my FIRST to use the post-nominals!
    My name badge from OGS, my FIRST to use the post-nominals!
  • A very brief trip to visit some family in NW Ohio since I was “in the area” for the OGS conference where I visited the grave of my War of 1812 ancestor and his wife and daughter, found a one-line sentence in a newspaper article that would have been great to have included in my BCG portfolio, and got DNA from my 89 year old grandma.

    William R. H. Avery, War of 1812 soldier, on the right
    William R. H. Avery, War of 1812 soldier, on the right
  • What has been named the “Quilting Bee” which is really a family reunion between the cousins of the Taplin and Ricard families at a lovely little farmhouse near Waterville, Kansas where I slept in very close quarters with family members I barely knew (but know a lot better now!), met some really fantastic cousins (on my husband’s side), heard a million stories about his side of the family (but they were flying by so fast there’s no way I could capture them all and so next year I am making sure he attends this event himself), ate a delicious “milk can dinner” prepared by my father-in-law, George, and learned a lot about quilting.

    The men pouring out the food prepared in a milk can. Delicious!
    The men pouring out the food prepared in a milk can. Delicious!

These travels have been very fun, educational, and exhausting. I was able to meet up with old and new friends, listen to some great lectures, eat some yummy food, and see some beautiful scenery on my drives. Since moving to Texas, all of my road trips now take different paths and go through different states than I am used to. (I never knew Arkansas was so beautiful!)

The travel is only just beginning, however. Next week I’m at the National Genealogical Society, after that, 2 family trips, GRIP, Seattle, and Salt Lake City! (You can see the full details of my plans in the previous post.) My point in mentioning this is that my blog posts are going to be a little more sparse. I’d like to say I’m going to blog at least once at each event, but I know myself. I’m too busy socializing and then struggling to get enough sleep that I never manage to find the time. (I really need that 8 hours if I’m going to function properly!)

I hope you have some exciting travel plans visiting with family and friends with some genealogical research and conference attending mixed in!

Preparing for a Research Trip – Research Plans

2013-09-26 09.09.24 amOnce you have identified your research goals, you will need to make a plan to reach those goals. It is not enough to have a goal, a goal needs an action plan. This plan might consist of a list of steps, an inventory of sources, a map and itinerary of repositories to visit, and so forth. When planning a research trip, a research plan is vital to staying focused, being efficient and getting the most out of your time.

Your plan should cover these elements:

  • where you plan to visit
  • what records you plan to look at
  • what/who you expect to find in those records
  • brief biographical information on the ancestor to help you id the right person or other information such as a cemetery section to help you locate what you’re looking for

A plan can be expanded to also become your research log (see the next post for more details on the research log).

When traveling, I tend to drive if I have the time. I like being able to go to cemeteries, local libraries, history museums and courthouses that are on the way (or only slightly out of the way). I enjoy seeing the areas where my ancestors lived, walking on land they used to own, and seeing the documents they wrote with their own hands. You can’t really get a good idea of what our great country is like if you are in a plane 30,000 feet up. I do love a good road trip.

When planning your trip, use your genealogy software and locate target areas along the way. Seek out which cemeteries you could reasonably visit. Print out maps and directions to get you there. Planning ahead with a map is easy using tools like Google Maps. In 2011, I was on a very short trip visiting my relatives in Ohio. I planned a day’s tour through 4 cemeteries using Google Maps “My Places” feature. You can view the map here: Google Map of Cemetery Tour. Using this feature, I can locate the cemeteries, see the quickest route between them, make notes of the graves I am looking for – this was my research plan for that trip. [Tip: You can print these out in case there is a poor cell signal on your journey. There’s nothing worse than getting to a remote cemetery and not being able to access your research plan, trust me!]

The process of planning ahead can be fun, will give you the opportunity to be more efficient and will allow you to do some research you might have missed if you hadn’t planned ahead.