Sunday, 18 February 2018

When Is An Ancestral Tour NOT An Ancestral Tour?



Everyone seems to be jumping on the Ancestral Tour train these days. For the most part, I think that’s great. The more countries we can provide access to to connect people to their ancestral homeland the better. There is no greater, more profound experience. And when genealogists can help make that connection, it is a humbling and rewarding experience that defies description.

But like anything else, some people are jumping on the bandwagon without really understanding the concept. Without really knowing what they are doing. Sure, we all have to start somewhere, I get that. But let’s keep in mind that those we provide our services to have expectations and we have an obligation to them to provide a once in a lifetime experience. For the person we provide service to, it has become a strong case for Caveat Emptor.

When is an ancestral tour NOT an ancestral tour?

1.       When it is a sightseeing tour disguised as an ancestral tour. Everyone should visit the country their ancestors came from. Without question. But unless the tour takes you to research facilities where you can find your ancestors in the documents, or takes you to the home, church, or grave of your ancestor, it is not an ancestral tour. It is a sightseeing tour. Don’t be fooled and don’t pay for something you aren’t going to get.

2.       When it is a conference disguised as an ancestral tour. Conferences are a fantastic way to learn. Truly fantastic. They energize us. The teach us new strategies and they expose us to information and people that we would never have known otherwise. But if you are learning on a ship or on a bus then you aren’t taking part in an ancestral tour. You are attending a conference. Be sure you know what you are getting when you sign up.

3.       When the tour is linked to your DNA results. DNA has opened a whole new world in connecting people. And in some instances, a whole can of worms. DNA is a great tool for genealogy, but when you are going to a country based on your DNA results, results that don’t connect you to actual people in your family tree, you are not on an ancestral tour. I’m not really sure what you are on, but I think it’s likely similar to a sightseeing tour.

4.       When a genealogist’s dream holiday is disguised as an ancestral tour. Just because the person leading your tour is a genealogist does not mean you are on an ancestral tour! You are only on an ancestral tour if the genealogist has knowledge of the country you are going to – likely because of their own heritage. And an intimate knowledge at that. Go to Ireland with an genealogist who is Irish or has Irish ancestry. Go to Germany with a genealogist that is German or has German ancestry. Make sure they know other genealogist in the country you are visiting, that they know of where you can access records that will lead you to your grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents etc. You want to be assured that the genealogist has an understanding of the history of the country you are going to and a sense of what led to people leaving their homeland in the first place. They should understand the culture, the language and the customs as well. And of course, they need to know the geography so they know, realistically, what can and can’t be accomplished in the time frame you are going to be in your ancestral homeland.

5.       When it is all done on a wing and a prayer it is not an ancestral tour. Planning ahead is crucial to a successful ancestral tour. Make sure the genealogist you hire is going to prepare you for your time in your homeland. They should either assist you in getting your research to a certain level before you travel, or they should be doing the research for you so that they can then give you that once in a lifetime experience. Look at their history, their reputation. How long have they been providing ancestral tours? Have they evolved over time? Do they have a blog where you can see for yourself what a tour with them will be like? Are there testimonials from past tour participants that will give you a sense of whether you are making a good investment? Don’t be afraid to ask them if they have repeat customers.

I love ancestral tourism. It has become a passion for me. Not for me, but for the experiences I get the joy of sharing in when others feel that deep connection to their homeland. When the tour completes their sense of who they are. When they feel more grounded in their heritage. I fully believe that the sandbox is a big one and lots of opportunities exist for others to provide ancestral tours. But I balk at people disguising other pieces of genealogy or travel as ancestral tours.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Pre-Cruise Conference Registration OPEN

The pre-cruise conference will be the weekend of April 14th and 15th, 2018

The pre-cruise conference will be open to everyone who is booked on the cruise or who has expressed interest in the cruise. Those not booked will only get access for 4 days. Those booked for the cruise will get extended access so that they can re-visit the information and ensure they are prepared for their consultations or research time in Ireland and Scotland.

The pre-recorded presentations are well underway and Registration is OPEN.

There are 12 presentations in total. Six for those with Irish Ancestors and six for those with Scottish Ancestors. You can register for either country, or for all 12 presentations.

HOW IT WORKS

The learning will use the same platform that was used for the Scottish ViC and that will be used for the Irish ViC. This is an online educational platform so you will register for a "course". Don't worry about the semantics. There's no test and no homework.

The Irish presentations will be released on Saturday April 14th (2018) at 9 am Eastern. You can work your way through the presentations at your leisure. Access will remain open until April 2019.

The Scottish presentations will be released on Sunday, April 15th (2018) at 9 am Eastern and access will remain open until April 2019

Please note that there will be no opportunity to ask questions of the presenters but you are welcome to email me your questions and we will get the answers for you. Please note, however, that we will not be responding to consultations, so please don't include your genealogy brick walls.

The Irish ONLY presentations are $149.00
The Scottish ONLY presentations are $149.00
All 12 presentations are $275.00


On the website homepage, click on the "pre-cruise learning" tab at the top.

FOUR Spaces Left for Glasgow Genealogy Tour 2019

There are just four spaces left for the Glasgow research tour May 16-24, 2019. 



Here is the link for more information. 

https://www.genealogytoursofscotland.ca/glasgow-tour.html

Please also note that air travel or travel from the airport to the hotel are not included. 

Monday, 5 February 2018

Save the Dates!


The pre-cruise conference will be the weekend of April 14th and 15th. The pre-cruise conference will be open to everyone who is booked on the cruise or who has expressed interest in the cruise. Those not booked will only get access for 4 days. Those booked for the cruise will get extended access so that they can re-visit the information and ensure they are prepared for their consultations or research time in Ireland and Scotland.

Monday, 29 January 2018

GLASGOW TOUR 2019 NOW BOOKING




I have received quite a bit of interest in a Glasgow tour for 2019. As such, I have put a tour together for May 16-24th, 2019. May 16th is the day of arrival and May 24th is check out. 

Bookings are open now. 

Here is the link for more information. Please also note that air travel or travel from the airport to the hotel are not included. 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Discounted Deposit for Celtic Cruise

Princess is Having a Sale!

Princess cruise lines has just announced that from today until January 30th, they have reduced the required deposit to just $100usd ($125cad). That's all it takes to book your cabin! Final payment for the balance of your cruise is not due until February 1, 2019 - a full year from now! And Terri will happily work out a payment plan for you so that you don't have to panic between the time of your deposit and the time your full payment is due.



Ports of Call:

Dublin - research and consultations
Belfast - consultations
Glasgow - research
Inverness - research
Edinburgh - research

We also have shore excursions in the works for Dublin (The Emigration Museum), Belfast (The Titanic Centre), Glasgow (Loch Lomond), Inverness (Culloden) and Edinburgh (Outlander Day, Historic Walking Tour, Shopping or sightseeing on the Royal Mile) for those who won't be researching or consulting in these ports.


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Limited Cabin Space for International Travelers


We have had a great deal of interest in the Celtic Genealogy Cruise and already have some bookings. We are delighted with the interest, but wanted to share some limitations to help you as you ponder and plan for the cruise.

We have secured a block of cabins and the cruise line has given us a group discount. As stated previously, once those cabins sell out, any additional cabins will be at the current market rate at the time we ask for the additional rooms. We are not there yet, so no need to panic.

However, we have a small number of cabins specifically for Canadian travelers that are offered in Canadian dollars. Once those are gone, they are gone.

We also were able to secure 5 cabins for international travelers - those from outside of North America. Once those go we can not get any more this year and international travelers will need to wait until 2020 to join the cruise. We have taken a booking for one of the international cabins and have one person who is considering booking an international cabin. At this moment, we have 4 cabins left for anyone from Australia, New Zealand, Europe or other countries who wish to join the 2019 Celtic Genealogy Cruise. If you are from one of those countries, you may wish to kick your planning up a notch so as not to miss out.