Planning Your Vacation, Genealogy Style

by Amy Johnson Crow

Posted on February 1, 2013


Winter has an icy grip on much of the United States right now. If you're dreaming of breaking away, why not combine a vacation with your genealogy? A little sun, some warm breezes, and family history -- what could be better? There are all sorts of ways you can have a genealogy vacation. Now is the time to start planning.

Perhaps you'd like to learn more about doing genealogy. A trip to a major genealogy conference might be just the vacation you're looking for. RootsTech will be in Salt Lake City, 21-24 March 2013. Learn all about genealogy, technology, and how to combine the two! The National Genealogical Society's annual conference will be in Las Vegas (yes, that Las Vegas!) 8-11 May 2013. If you have a non-genealogist going on vacation with you, this could be an ideal destination! The Federation of Genealogical Societies' annual conference will be in Fort Wayne, Indiana 21-24 August 2013. Learn about genealogy during the day and apply what you've learned while researching in the acclaimed Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center during extended hours!

If you're looking to combine on-site research with your vacation, planning will be essential to good times and good records. Choose what family you want to work on and have some specific questions in mind. Harold Henderson's recent Expert Series article "The Paradox of Research Planning" has great suggestions for building a research plan.

Along with setting your research plan, do your homework to find where the records are. Assuming that they are all at the courthouse could lead to disappointment if they've been moved to a distant archives. Contact local government offices and genealogical societies before you hit the road; they will be able to help you locate the records you want to use. Lisa Alzo has other practical tips for planning a fantastic family history trip.

Whether your genealogy vacation revolves around lots of classes or digging through lots of records, now is the perfect time to start planning it. Not only will your vacation be more successful, you'll also get your mind off of sub-zero wind chills and shoveling the driveway!

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