|Subject: Re: Traveling for Family History|
Back in 1983, I took my mother, then nearly 70, on a trip to England. We visited Witnesham, a small town in East Anglia where our family had originated in the twelfth century and where some family members still maintain the old manor house.
We were walking about the grounds trying to get a peep at the house, a wonderful Jacobean mansion, when one of the residents saw us and came out to see whether she could be of help. When we told her of our family connection to the place, she invited us inside and gave us quite a "grand tour" of the house, complete with tales of the resident ghost. Needless to say, my mother was thrilled, and I was pretty excited myself.
As we left, we mentioned that we had tried to get into the parish church to see the graves of our ancestors (the Meador family) there. Our hostess told us that the church was locked because there was currently no minister, but that she had the key if we wanted to go inside. She gave us the key, left us to explore as we liked, and merely asked us to return to return the key before leaving the village.
We have had similarly delightful experiences at family sites in the US, including a woman in Emlenton, PA, who spent many hours locating graves of ancestors for us, photographing them, and sending us the pictures along with detailed instructions on how to find the cemeteries and the specific graves. When we went to PA to see the graves, we stopped for a visit with the woman, who was over 80 years old. Our small gift to her was meager repayment for all the time and effort she had put into helping us.
All this just shows that people with an interest in family history and genealogy are generally a helpful group eager to meet others with similar interests and to assist them in their research.
Good luck with your own efforts,
Ron Audet Fredericksburg, VA