24/04/2017
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Step away from your family tree!

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Rachel Bellerby encourages us to get out and about on a family history adventure. There are so many different ways to discover your ancestors, so take a break and refresh your mind.

Today, I’d like to encourage each and every one of us to step away from our family tree. Maybe not the standard advice you’d expect to read on a family history website, but bear with me…

No matter how much you love tracing your ancestors, there can come a point when you get a little bogged down in your research. It can happen to any of us. Maybe you’ve hit a brick wall, come to the end of solving a complicated genealogical puzzle, or just spent too many winter evenings at your PC, scrolling through search results and indexes.

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So why not give yourself a break, literally, and plan a family history road trip? It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, just a day out or maybe a mini break, during which you can continue your family tree research, but from a new angle.

Plan your family history road trip

What sort of trip appeals to you? Perhaps you’d like to see the place where your ancestor lived? A trip to their home village could give you the opportunity to see the sights once familiar to them, such as the local church, pub and maybe even the family home.

Or would you prefer something a little different? How about bringing history to life? The UK is home to dozens of living history museums, with everything from a working coal mine to a reconstructed Victorian village. Check some great options here.

Whatever you choose, you can get family and friends involved, and make a day of it, enjoying the past with your favourite people from the present.

Invigorate your research

If you prefer something more traditionally paper-based, why not think about a research trip to a town connected with your ancestors? You could see the sights, visit local museums and take advantage of the resources on offer at the town library and museum. Discover what archive material’s held where on the National Archives Discovery catalogue, which covers over 2,500 archives around the UK.

Another way to take a break from your own research is to immerse yourself into someone else’s work. Check out the upcoming talks being held at your nearest family history society and find out whether your local museums have any talks or events planned for the summer months.

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to return to your ancestry quest with new ideas, inspiration and the impetus to continue your family history journey anew.

Discover some great ideas for taking your family history out and about in the May issue of Family Tree, which includes an article on how to plan a family tree trip with a difference. Order or download your copy today and find everything you need for the hobby you love.

(Image copyright Jolly Janner)

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