I recently read this article that was published earlier in The Age:Summon up your gene genie.
It brought back memories of some of the best holidays my husband anad I have shared. On our first trip to Cobar, NSW we were able to visit family graves (and discover people we didn't know about) and take photos of my mother's childhood homes. We found a photo of Great Aunt, Gertie Pusell, a turn of the century roller skater in the local museum.
Another trip to Bathurst,Burraga, Canowindra, Cowra, Carcoar, Dubbo and Denisontown netted more information from cemeteries and libraries and gave us an insight into the lives of ancestors who were early settlers in these areas. A visit to Melbourne and the State Library gave us clues on the Elms/Nelson branch and pointed us to their former residences and final resting places.
For our first overseas 'family history' trip we planned a few days in London to visit St. Catherine's House and The National Archives at Kew. We got a map of the UK and marked on it the places from which our ancestors had come, we simply joined the dots on this map and it became the itinerary we followed in our rental car. It is difficult to identify a highlight from this trip. Was it standing in Paisley Abbey where ancestors had been baptised, married and farewelled? Was it reading entries about my convict ancestor, Patrick Curry, in the Hooghley surgeon's journal in the National Archives? Was it walking on crunchy white snow in Hawick to find ancestors graves in the Wellogate Cemetery? Was it drinking Irish whisky in the Ballyfoyle farmhouse in which my Kealy gggrandfather lived while sitting with some distant cousins at a table he had built?
On a trip to Scotland we journeyed to Islay off the west coast from where my husband's Gillespie cousins originated. My husband had a real affinity with this isolated isle and had a tear in his eye as our ferry left after a four day stay. On another trip to England we visited a distant cousin who has the Gowans family bible and a clock made by ancestor, James Gowans.
We have been fortunate to travel to a number of stunning regions around the world but the trips we have made to ancestral haunts have a special place in our heart; these family connections give our travel a purpose. I heartily recommend family history jaunts.