Friday, February 18, 2011

WDYTYA - And Heritage Travel

WDYTYA (Who Do You Think You Are for those not in the know) is a hit, at least with the genealogy world. The blogosphere and Blog Radio and message boards are ablaze with opinions and comments about recent shows. Seems to me these shows are as analyzed as Sunday football games, not that this is a bad thing. We genealogists have been waiting a long time for someone to notice our little hobby.

What I find interesting is that the main comment being made is how simple the TV production makes genealogy look. All you have to do is show up and someone places generations of family records in your hands. We all know that in real life that rarely happens. Of course with the advancement of things on the internet you sometimes will find a family tree online that has generations of your family and this will point you in the right direction but as with most things on the internet you should always do your own sourcing of this information.

The other comment made often is, I wish I could pick up and go to my ancestral towns like they do. I think most people think this is something you must be a celebrity to do also, which is definitely not the case. Finding that overseas hometown for most genealogists is the jackpot and being able to visit that place is the icing on the cake. Just as things have become easier to find with the internet, planning and going on a heritage trip is easier too. It really is the culmination of all the time spent on researching your family lines when you get to walk the village streets your gr-gr-grandfather did. I’ll be doing another post soon on the 10 steps to a Successful Heritage trip or you can get the booklet from my website .

After having my own incredible experiences visiting hometowns in France and Germany, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of helping other people have that experience also. Family Tree Tours has taken many people to visit their ancestral hometowns in Germany and as one tour member commented, “All you have to do is show up”, much like the experience of the celebrities on WDYTYA, we take care of all the details for you. You show up and will we get you to your hometown and will have someone there to meet you, who speaks English, and who will show you around the town, church and perhaps your ancestor’s home. In some cases tour members have been handed generations of their families documents that helped fill in all their missing pieces. Add lectures by local historians who paint the picture of their life and the opportunity to see living history museums with examples of how they lived you come away with the whole story. Best part is you don’t need to be a celebrity, this trip of a lifetime is there for all.

For more information about our Heritage Tours see the website or email me at

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