Traveling for the sake of Family History

This post was prompted by a #TTOT discussion on Twitter on 2/26 about taking trips to trace your family history. This is a subject near and dear to us, especially for Kimberly, who was adopted as an infant and has done extensive research to find her birth family.

But let’s begin with the instigating incident. In February 2016 we decided to go to Poland in hopes of perhaps finding long-lost relatives related to Kimberly’s grandmother on her adoptive father’s side. We did in fact find some victims at Auschwitz with the surname Mularczyk, the family name of some distant relatives. Though we’re still still not certain those particular individuals are related, the trip sparked a subsequent deep dive into genealogy and tracing family roots.

I know my grandma was with me when we visited Poland even though we didn’t get to where she grew up — we later discovered that the town is now within the redrawn borders of the Ukraine. But we were able to experience the Polish culture that shaped her.


Flash forward to March 2016; after thousands of obsessive hours of research including connecting with distant DNA cousins, we are making special trips to meet members of Kimberly’s newly discovered half-siblings for the first time in Palm Springs, CA.

At the gravesite of newly discovered ancestors in Pennsyvania
The search for Kimberly’s birth family led to meeting many ancestors in graveyards in rural Pennsylvania.

The deep dive hunt for family roots also led to a trip to Salt Lake City to do research at the Family History Library, as well as excursions in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to see where our ancestors lived.

And this week, three generations of Fishers made a trip to Disneyland to celebrate. Kimberly’s birth mother, whom we met in 2017, is traveling with us in our RV for a week. So as a surprise for her, we arranged for our son Zephyr to fly in from Rhode Island to meet his birth grandma for the first time.

Three generations at It's a Small World in Disneyland
Zephyr, Kimberly and Grandma Jeanne

What’s next on our family-based travel agenda? After doing so much genealogy research, it would be fun to visit the places all of our grandparents immigrated from. Nothing on the agenda as of yet, but someday we’ll be saying “Hello Norway and Ukraine, Netherlands, Italy…”

Join us @activatedAdven1 and other Traveling Tweeters every Tuesday for #TRLT at 1:00 pm and #TTOT at 4:30 pm ET on Twitter. Visit The Road Less Traveled on Facebook for a sneak peek at upcoming themes and questions. The group Travel Talk on Twitter also posts themes and questions ahead of time Facebook.

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