One of my reasons for reviving this blog is to chronicle a trip my wife and I decided to take with her parents. We went to Pennsylvania and Ohio to do some research on her family tree and visit some of the sites of her paternal line. Taking valuable vacation time off work to do this, we wanted to make sure we spent our time wisely and got the most out of this trip.
As I’ve learned on this genealogical journey, you can chase a lot of rabbit trails. When gas money and hotel costs are on the line, you can’t afford any boondoggles. So we started by coming up with a strategy. What lines did we want to pursue? What individuals in our tree did we want to focus on? What sites are associated with them that will yield the most information or context?
At the top of the list is my wife’s 2x great grandfather, Parris Eaches. We believed he was a stagecoach driver on the National Road and was apparently a very colorful fellow. But we didn’t have much information other than that. We didn’t even know if we had the correct spelling of his first name! So we decided one of our first stops would be Harrisburg. As the capital of PA, we believed their state archives should house all the census records and newspaper obituaries we needed to fill in the blanks.
Then we planned to head west to Pittsburgh where he is buried, and on to Ohio where his children eventually settled. Ohio is also home to the National Road Museum where we hoped to see some great artifacts and exhibits on the history along Parris’ work route.
Of course we also scheduled some other worthwhile stops like Gettysburg. But we had fun constructing the guardrails for our family history road trip adventure.
Stay tuned for my account of our trip…