If you’re just beginning your journey with genealogy, it could be a surprise to you how global your family history is. This is true for the majority of people, particularly those living in the modern world of North America, particularly in the United States and Canada, where immigrants have historically travelled.
Although learning about your family tree is enjoyable, there are times when you’re looking to get down to the roots, which means travelling. If you’re heading to a different continent, such as Europe, you will discover many other people who are also interested in genealogy – tracing down their family history in some of the most popular European travel destination countries, such as Italy, France, and Spain, onwards to Austria, Germany, and Poland, or to more remote corners of the continent, in regions like the Baltic states and Scandinavia.
If you’re based in the United States, visit the Omaha World Herald Obits to find out everything you need to know about your ancestors.
What Is Genealogy?
In the first place, it’s essential to comprehend what genealogy means. There are two methods to think about it. One method involves tracking the descendants of a particular person. This is a method that is widely employed by biographers, historian’s researchers, heir hunters, and those writing research-based genealogy books.
The second method is the most common one family historians employ. It involves researching your personal family’s history, starting at the beginning with yourself and then going back to all of your ancestors as you can. It is possible to explore as far back to the past with your genealogy as you are able to find documents.
Some individuals are only about to discover a couple of generations back, while others can go deep into the bowels of recorded human history, and this is especially straightforward when you are connected to a noble line or royal lineage. Such is the case with some people being able to trace their lineage back to the days when the Russian Empire reigned over Eastern Europe, or as far back as when the Roman Empire ruled most of Europe and North Africa.
The Reason For Genealogy?
There are many reasons why you might be drawn to genealogy. People may be interested in learning more about their background, including stories of deceased relatives. This is all relative to who you are today, and most importantly, why you are where you are today, geographically speaking.
If you’re one of them are one of them, then look at the basic genealogy websites like Ancestry.com, or you can look for specific websites based on ethnicity, like BlackPast, as well as FindMyPast, which specializes in British, Irish, and Australian genealogy.
It is also possible to look through family records to discover more about the medical illnesses from which you could be susceptible to suffering or to resolve financial and legal matters, for instance, finding out the real meaning of a lost will or factual deed.
1. Have Your DNA Tested
A DNA test is an excellent way to begin in the field of genealogy, as it can provide you with a wealth of information about your origins and the people you’re related to, even people who are alive and may want to establish a connection with you.
If you’re looking to get your DNA checked, there are several companies that can assist you. For example, Ancestry provides a DNA test at $99 and requires just the submission of a saliva sample. There is no fancy blood test and no trip into the laboratory, but simply an easy kit that you get via mail and then send back.
2. Research Your Family Tree Online
Once you’ve got an idea of your ancestors and current family members, as well as where you’re located around the world, it’s simpler to study your family’s background on the internet.
The above websites provide resources to help you; however, in the event that you do not wish to shell out money for testing or are looking for other sources, you’ll surely discover them.
One of these sites is FamilySearch. The site helps you find families by filling in information that you already have, with the platform’s system aiding you by filling the gaps of information about your relatives or ancestors you’d like to learn more about.
In addition, you can upload images and documents that will help to illuminate the family tree you have. Since FamilySearch has been offering this service for nearly 100 years, they’re considered an extremely reliable option.
3. Create A Genealogy Plan
After you’ve discovered more details about your family history, including who you could be related to and where you’d like to travel to in Europe, it’s time to create a more specific plan. The majority of people are “from” various areas, so you’ll have to choose an area from which you’ll begin.
Furthermore, as both archives research and travelling to various towns (and perhaps visiting relatives) are both very time-consuming activities, you must be cautious not to over-plan your trip. If you’re in an area such as Ireland or France, you’ll need to be patient and get to know what the region is like.
4. Select A Trip Way
It’s now time to decide on the best route for your journey. Based on The Wall Street Journal, travelling to different nations to uncover historical roots is becoming more popular, and there are a variety of possibilities for you to do this.
What do you want to do when you arrive in a country that your ancestors came from? Do you just like to explore a location and feel the place? Many people simply enjoy taking in the surroundings and contemplating what life would have been like back in the day.
Would you like to design an individual itinerary that takes you to the various places you’d like to go? A lot of people love to visit sites that are significant to their lives, like an ancestral farm belonging to a family member or the ancestral home and the place where their grandparents were married.
5. Select The Place You’ll Stay
In certain situations, you might be fortunate enough to stay with family members and friends in the cities you’re visiting. Sometimes, however, it’s unlikely that you will be this fortunate. If you don’t have relatives or friends living in the region or haven’t yet discovered or seen them in person, it will be best to check-in to an Airbnb rental, be it a villa or apartment, depending on where you may be visiting in Europe.
If you’d prefer to explore museums, archives, or tourist hot spots such as Berlin, Paris, London, or Barcelona, luxury hotels and resorts to stay at are plentiful. Make sure that you’re in close proximity to the places you not only need to visit for the sake of uncovering family records, but would also like to visit as a tourist, as moving through most cities in Europe can take up a significant amount of time when using public transit trains and busses. Ridesharing options like Uber are not readily available in every European country.
6. Keep Track Of Your Trip
You don’t want to get lost in what you see while on your journey, do you? We thought so. Make sure to carry a variety of tools so you can keep important data which will aid you in future search results. Some of the most important tools are:
- Be it the Notes app on your iPhone or an old-fashioned journal, you need to record your family tree.
- Right down to the exact number of people who produced you. You can find various types of family trees on the internet. Print them out, and keep the records with you.
- Bags can get lost, and it’s a heartbreaking experience to lose a family tree that you have been working on for months or even years. Thus, we recommend using a family tree software program, be it an iOS app or application installed on your MacBook.
- Keep track of important names, dates, and locations of each person in your family tree. In addition to an extensive family tree of names, it’s important to record the most important information regarding each relative. This way, when the time comes to look up a specific person in your family, you’ll have the basic information and won’t be required to waste a lot of time trying to find them.
- You’ll need to have important documents in your possession to assist when searching. This includes birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, county records, deeds, wills, medical data, and more. Store them all in an easily accessible accordion folder to allow you access quickly. Most importantly, scan every document with your iPad and save it in your iCloud with the files downloaded on your iPhone for fast accessibility.
7. Becoming A Dual Citizenship & Getting A Second Passport
Lastly, when it’s all said and done, you could become a citizen of the European Union, which gives you access to live and work in 27 Member State countries. Whether you’re born in Canada or the United States, based on your genetic family heritage, you could become a dual citizen of Hungary in the EU, for example, and then choose to live the Mediterranean luxury lifestyle in areas next to Monaco, like Nice, Cannes, or Saint-Tropez in the French Riveria. Maybe you have Italian grandparents, by which case you could become an Italian citizen and declare residence in Florence or Milan, two fashion capitals in the world. The entire EU becomes your oasis; whether it’s Rome, Paris, Vienna, Ibiza, Mykonos, Dubrovnik, or Amsterdam, having a European passport unlocks many possibilities for you to live the lavish luxury life you have always dreamed of.