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Kidding Around
9/24/2009
Put the family in your next family history vacation with these 10 tips for taking the kids along.

It took 15 years, off and on, of researching my family history before I finally hit pay dirt. Then, during the summer of 2001, the missing puzzle piece fell neatly into place: Internet research suggested a link between my maternal grandmother's line and the Scots-Irish settlers of Virginia's beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Suddenly, my inexplicable interest in that place — a spot I'd always longed to visit — made sense. I decided to return to the valley where my immigrant ancestors staked their claim in the New World 10 generations ago.

Taking my two sons, Matt, 12, and Andy, 10, on a family history adventure was not my original plan. But when Matt got caught up in the excitement of my research, I realized the trip would be a wonderful legacy for the three of us to share. Both boys call history their favorite subject, and both particularly enjoyed learning about Colonial America, so we decided to tack visits to Colonial Williamsburg and Washington, DC, onto our 10-day trip.

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