Visiting Your Ancestral Town

TravelGenee goes to Cornwall for the First Time

To get the  most out of visiting your ancestral town requires pre-trip planning. For our visit to Cornwall, compared to London visits, required the hiring of a car. In the larger cites we frequently use public transport. With a hired car we were able to cover a number of locations more easily. As I was visiting with Mr TG, my objective was to simply visit the places my ancestors had lived. Then to stand in the streets they probably walked. If lucky, some houses might still be standing. Next to walk around the local area, followed by driving about the wider locality, stopping as we found places of interest. I was not planning any library time as we had a number of kilometres to cover in the time allocated. Visiting your ancestral town puts structure around the understanding of an ancestors life.

Visiting Your Ancestral Town

Obviously you should locate the actual addresses of the places you wish to visit before you leave for your visit. Do some research including collecting together the information from your family history records. Use mapping sites like a Google Maps to check out the locality of the addresses of places you plan to visit. Census data and addresses on vital records are the main sources I used for the addresses on this particular trip to Cornwall. I suggest the list contains extras so if time or weather forces you to change your plans, you have alternatives.

Visiting your ancestral town - Falmouth, Cornwal

Driving to Falmouth where my great grand father a Francis KITTO once lived

Mr TG has driven me around a number of sites in Cornwall to see the places my great great father and his family came from before he journeyed to New Zealand in 1875. It is an amazing feeling standing on the ground he and his brothers and sisters walked on so many years ago.

Visiting your ancestral town - Falmouth, Cornwall.

About 200 metres from my great grand fathers home in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Typically I will not take photos of houses if they have been rebuilt as this building is not related to my ancestors lives.

We walked around a local cemetery in Falmouth that was very close to the location of my great grandfathers home.  I had not located in my pre trip research any persons I might find buried there. Unfortunately the office was shut so we were unable to get them to check the records. I had not planned to look at cemeteries so I had little information on burial places for my ancestors with me. However I do find it useful to have a walk around cemeteries close to ancestors residences as I have found other graves that have lead me to consider other paths of research.

Since this trip to Cornwall I have adapted my record keeping to include records in Evernote so I now have access to more of my family history information, when travelling, that traditionally was only kept in folders and on desktop computers.

Research Tip: If you are not travelling you can still find information about graves online. More people are sharing grave photos so if you are unable to travel you still might be able to find a photo using sites like the Find a Grave search page.

Does your family walk the cemeteries with you?