This blog is a reprint of my internet journal from 2001 to 2002 in which I documented my "vagabond" solo journey in a Chevy Conversion Van tracing my roots. I not only traced their paths and found their homes and final resting places, but I did extensive genealogical research in court houses, libraries, historical societies, genealogical societies, cemeteries, and talked to the local people. I traveled with a laptop to upload my notes and photos, and use e-mail. It was a fantastic journey which lasted two years. I had no other home except my van to sleep in...just a bed and video player. My household goods were put into storage for two years. My mail was delivered to me at general delivery when I phoned "MailBox, etc." and told them where to send it. At night I stayed in campgrounds, motels, friends' backyards, friends' homes, and those of the few living relations I've tracked down. As I traveled I collected so much genealogy information, that I had to get rid of items that I had originally thought essential to my travels (like a microwave oven). Between ancestral sites, I visited any tourist sites I could find and got to know alot about the USA. This was a trip of a lifetime and I'm still sorting through all the wonderful memories, photos and invaluable genealogical data I found. I will post to this blog as I can - one or a few days at a time of that journey from 2001 to 2002

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inspiration for beginning this blog about my Ancestor tracking trip - a dream come true.

Recently Randy Seaver, of the great blog at "Genea-Musings" of July 24, 2010,  proposed for "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" that readers 1) Think hard about the genealogy research trip that you would take if money were no object. Where would you go, how long would you stay, what research would you do? What is your "dream research trip?"  2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, etc.  He (and I) have been following Becky Wiseman on her kinexxions blog as she travels around the USA.on her dream trip, although she is not doing a lot of genealogy research along the way. Her trip inspired the SNGF (Saturday Night Genealogy Fun) challenge, and I have marveled at her amazing photographs along the way.  
 My dream trip leaves from Fayetteville, North Carolina in May 2001, where I retired from the Army Nurse Corps at Ft. Bragg.  I drove for two years - both for genealogy research and to see the great sights of America.  I headed north and spent most of my travels in North Eastern United States -- with a stint up to Nova Scotia, and a couple flights to Wales and England.  After New England much time was spent in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Colorado.    I made it as far west as Las Vegas, where my brother lived, and down to San Antonio, Texas, then back east and up through the Shenandoah Valley, VA to Pennsylvania where I sold the van and flew to Hawaii to find my retirement home, at last, in 2003. Since I am from Los Angeles and grew up in California, I didn't cover that more recent part of my ancestors' journeys.

So here will be the record of my own amazing Genealogical Journey - my solo vagabond journey along the paths of my ancestors. 


  1. Hi Donna, I just found your blog through a link in facebook posted by Thomas. I haven't been doing much research on my journey thus far but that may be changing soon. I'll be going back to "catch up" on existing posts and look forward to reading about your amazing Genealogical Journey!

  2. Hi, I have just come across the reference to your blog via Thomas at Geneabloggers. I am now just about to have a read of your travels. You have truly lived the dream!

  3. Donna -

    This is an incredible trip and an incredible story. I'm so glad that you were able to do this and that you recorded it for your own memories and for sharing with us. I'm sure you will inspire many others to take on similar "dream trips" of their own. I look forward to reading about your adventures.

    Smallest Leaf


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