1 Read and watch history.
2 Dine and dash.
One of the best things about traveling is getting to sample the local cuisine. You’d never visit Maine without eating fresh-caught lobster, and it’d be a crime to go to Crimea without trying the borscht. Likewise, a trip to your forebears’ world would be incomplete without sampling their recipes.
Then turn on your computer. “The internet is a fabulous resource,” says Haynes, editor of <www.heritagerecipes.com>. “A Google search for heritage recipes returns 1.5 million hits. I find so many old recipes just by doing a Google search.” Try searching by ethnicity, culture or religious heritage. Start with terms such as old German family recipes or traditional Swedish recipes.
3 Step into the past.
If you live in an area where many members of your heritage group settled, you might find a local living history interpretation that offers a window to the Old World. For example, look for Scandinavian sites in Minnesota, German farms in Pennsylvania and Spanish missions in California. The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums maintains an online directory of living history sites across the United States and abroad at <www.alhfam.org>, as does American Heritage Sites <www.heritagesites.com>. Consult regional travel guides or tourism bureaus for more information.
Another way to make the most of your “staycation” this summer is by inviting your ancestors to your home. Locate and request copies of their records through a time-honored method: letter-writing.
n Seven steps to study ancestral places
n Searching library catalogs <familytreemagazine.com/article/
n Access NARA from home <familytreemagazine.com/article/
n 14 genealogy tasks to do on your lunch break
n State Research Guides
n Family Tree Legacies
n Passport to Europe CD
From the August 2010 Family Tree Magazine