Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My hubby and I are off to the annual Rowberg Campout this Thursday July 31, 2008 till Sunday. This year it will be held at the Dosewallips State Park on the Olympic Peninsula. It is on the east side along Highway 101 near Hood Canal.
Now what does this have to do with Pennsylvania? Absolutely nothing! I figured it would be good practice learning to blog these different happenings up to my actual big event trip. Besides reunions are a great way to share and get to know your family and keep the stories of your ancestors alive. This family knows how to do that, thanks to their mother Luella.
This reunion is for my husband’s family and they are of Norwegian descent. The names are Rowberg or Rauberg as it was first written. Other surnames are Lokensgard, Romtvedt, Brathole, Walswick and more. They have a heritage tent that guards the many photobooks and memorabilia of their mother’s and father’s.
The Kjetil and Aslaug Rowberg/Rauberg came in 1870-1. Their grandson Hardy Rowberg married Alvhild Lokensgard. Her grandparents Ole and Helga Lokensgard came to America back in 1857 and last year they celebrated the 150th year anniversary of this event in Minnesota where they settled. This is my hubby's father's side. On his mother's side Louis Brathole came in about 1886 to America from Norway. The Walswicks came about 1856.
This family gathers around the campfire after dinner and each person gets a chance to share their life events of the last year. I mean everyone! The news is about 27 people will be there! They come miles to be there and they are very sad when they cannot make it.
Every campout has been documented in special scrapbooks of the photos and it is fun to see the family members change throughout the years. Yes, they have their group photo shoot and they actually cooperate!!!
My sister and brother and his friend came last year. This year my sister Nancy will be come for a visit.
Well I am off to pack up the van for this trip!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Genealogy research trips are like treasure maps and always an adventure. It is important to have a road map of the area you are visiting so a state map is very important. A detailed city map is useful for the big cities.How do you get a hold of maps like these or find your way?
If you are a member of Triple AAA, The Automobile Club, you can get free maps and travel booklets that list hotels. This website for AAA is for Washington State: http://www.aaawa.com/ You will need to sign up for your own state. You can order maps and booklets through their website. Another option is a used bookstore like Half Price Books. They have older versions of travel books. You do pay a small fee for them.
The tourism website for the state you are going to visit can be of assistance and frequently you can get free travel brochures by clicking on their links. I just typed “Tourism Pennsylvania” into Google and it takes me to all kinds of information and I can pick and choose what I want. I decided on this site for Pennsylvania: http://www.visitpa.com/visitpa/home.pa. A state tourism website is a great place to get familiar with the regions and the way a state views itself. There are links to lodging, activities and more. They also have maps to view. This particular website is very helpful and easy to get around in. Some can be difficult very difficult to find information.
This tourism website also tells you about other visitor centers. Going to a visitor center can be helpful. You get more good maps and can ask questions of the natives.
I will be visiting in several of the regional areas in Pennsylvania. First stop is Philadelphia and the Countryside http://www.visitpa.com/visitpa/regionsDetail.pa?regionid=7. I will fly into Philadelphia and stay there for the conferences for the PMC for APG and the FGS. Then I will rent a car and drive to Lancaster. At the end of the trip I will return to visit Washington’s Crossing and Valley Forge.
Next, Dutch Country Roads http://www.visitpa.com/visitpa/regionsDetail.pa?regionid=6.
I will drive through Lancaster, do a little exploring and have a little dinner before I head for Harrisburg.
After Harrisburg is The Alleghenies and Her Valleys as another regional area I will travel through. I will follow the Susquehanna River up to Sunbury and vist that area for a day or so. http://www.visitpa.com/visitpa/regionsDetail.pa?regionid=5
The target area is the Northeast Pennsylvania Mountains. From Sunbury I will travel East to Wilkes-Barre and stay there for six days. This is where the Goss family settled in 1769. http://www.visitpa.com/visitpa/regionsDetail.pa?regionid=3
To plan my route I am using Microsoft’s Streets and Trips 2008 software, which I purchased at Sam’s Club (Walmart) for about $22.00 this year. This gives me very good detail. It sets up a driving route from each point giving me time and miles between stopping points. The time factor is very important in planning your trip. I can turn on local information like hotels, museums and parks to see what is in an area. It doesn’t have them all but it helps. With gas prices as high as they are these days this is extremely important in making sure you plan your trips efficiently.
If you don’t have access to Triple AAA or want to save money you can use MapQuest http://www.mapquest.com/ and Yahoo Maps http://maps.yahoo.com/. I find them very helpful and they have worked great for me in the past. I would plan a route between to stopping points. It gives me the time and miles. I can even zero in on a city and just make a map of the area in the city that I need or a whole town if it is small enough. They save your addresses which makes it easier to make adjustments. You can print them off to place into your Travel File for later viewing. I write on the printouts what the addresses refer to and put them in order into my Travel File. These maps don’t always give you as much detail as you need so you still need a city or state map to review as well.
This year I have discovered Google Earth http://earth.google.com/ which takes you to the location in real time showing you houses, buildings, roads, cemeteries etc. It is sooo cool! It will be great for finding cemeteries. I have wandered around a bit looking for the small ones before, HA! You will have to sign up for Google Earth but the basic is free.
Don’t forget the DOT for the state you are visiting. DOT stands for Department of Transportation. The one in Washington State has cameras on the roads so you can see what the highways look like and get a feel for the area. They also tell you about construction problems. Street’s and Trips 2008 does too. This is the one for Pennsylvania: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/.
The other websites that you might want to study are Airport websites which give you a map of the airport. Here is the Philly airport site http://www.phl.org/index.html. Airport websites give ground transportation information for taxi’s, shuttles, rental cars and a map of the airport and terminal, food and shops, flight information etc.
How do you find these things. Just type DOT Pennsylvania into Google and you will get there. For Airports just Google Philadelphia Airport. Remember to be careful and choose the right airport. Some cities have several?
I have two routes set up on “Streets & Trips 2008.” One is the overall trip which is like a big circle: Philly to Harrisburg to Wilkes-Barre back to Philly. The second route is in the Wilkes-Barre area to all the sites and repositories I will be visiting.
You gotta know where you are going or it can be really be a problem. You can waste time. Wouldn't you rather be researching your family and having fun? So plan inadvance it works!
I will put these route maps on my laptop where I have the software loaded and it will help me to find my way. Then with my new Moto Q9c cellphone with Sprint Navigation on it I should be able to get from one place to the other just fine.
Monday, July 7, 2008
My first step in preparing for a genealogical research trip, is to prepare an itinerary that details each of the day’s activities. I open Word on my computer and just type, nothing fancy…
Day 1 – Monday, Sept. 1, 2008: Fly into Philadelphia…
Day 2 – Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008: Go on walking tour of Philly…
Day 3 – Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008 etc…PMC Conference…"
I add as many details as necessary to make my life easier on the trip. I add addresses, phone numbers and the hours/days a society or library is open.
You never have enough time! So the more detailed the itinerary is, the less time you spend looking for information. Besides you can just print a copy for family or friends so they know where you are.
So what is on the itinerary??
1. My Goal for the whole trip. The dates of the trip and the location targeted...
2. Each Day and date of the day - underlined and bolded so I can find it easily
3. Then I follow with the goals of the day.
4. Addresses, phone numbers and hours of the archive, genealogical society, museum or library
5. Checking into and out of a hotel/motel/B&B. Addresses of hotels and phone numbers
6. Airfare reservation information
6. Car rental information and the address of the rental agency/phone number
7. Shuttle or taxi service information that I might need and where to find it.
It gets frequent updates till the first day of the trip. It is printed out and placed in a travel file for the trip. In that file are my confirmations, reservation information, brochures and maps. All my travel information. I also have copies of my itinerary on my laptop.
The itinerary is constantly updated right up to the beginning of the trip. Do I do everything I plan…No…so the itinerary is just a plan of action subject to change. The details of the actual trip are in the journal I write as I experience each day!!