Friday, September 6, 2013

What's a Traveler to Do?

I'm home from my genealogy trip to Illinois and Indiana and finally getting back to normal. I had to replace a broken phone and a weary car in the past week, too. Four days of research followed by three days of conference left me overwhelmed with papers and information. Where to start? Day one, I suppose.

A last-minute itinerary change added three research days to the start of the trip, but the first one was Sunday. That got me thinking about how to benefit from field research on a Sunday during a genealogy trip. The courthouse is closed. Many libraries, archives and genealogy societies are also closed on Sunday.

So here are some other ideas:
  • Find an ancestral home or farm
  • Find an ancestral neighborhood
  • Visit a church your ancestors attended
  • Eat where the locals eat and start a conversation
  • Buy and read the local newspaper
  • Visit ancestral cemeteries
  • Look in the phone book for relatives and call them
  • Check nearby cities for open libraries

Some indirect choices:
  • Make Sunday a travel day
  • Take care of yourself -- massage, laundry, extra sleep, exercise
  • Review and organize files, whether paper or on the computer
  • Research on the internet, focusing on the local area
  • Be a genealogy angel and take cemetery photos for websites such as FindAGrave

My Sunday turned into a lucky day. I discovered that the St. Louis County Library genealogy department houses the book collection of the National Genealogical Society. Since my new itinerary had me flying into that city on Saturday evening, I delayed my travel to Illinois and spent four hours Sunday afternoon in the library, doing Kentucky research. After closing time, a two-hour drive took me to the next stop in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Oh, yes, I also slept in, went shopping, had Starbucks, organized thoughts, and even did a little laundry. It was a pleasant Sunday, indeed.

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