Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Irish Research & Heritage Tour July 9-19, 2011

$1750.00 pp dbl
$200.00 sgl supplement

A dazzlingly green emerald sparkling in the Atlantic, Ireland is surrounded by tumultuous oceans and guarded by great sea cliffs. Over the years thousands of emigrants left this beautiful island to faraway destinations. Perhaps you are descended from these brave emigrants and you want to return “home” to learn what their life was like and why they left. Join us for our journey back to our Irish homeland.

We start off by spending several days in Dublin, accessing records from the National Archives and the National Library of Ireland. The National Archives has a free genealogy service, to advise visitors on their family research, where to go and how to use relevant records. Optional sight seeing in Dublin will be suggested for those who don’t want to research. We also will spend a lively evening at the Abbey Theater for dinner and an Irish show.

We then travel down through the lush countryside to our next stop of Kilkenny. Kilkenny is home to a Castle and the Rothe House. Rothe House is the Family History Centre for Kilkenny city and county. In addition to possessing a detailed computerized genealogical database at Rothe House, they also employ a genealogist who will assist you in researching your family tree, tracing your ancestors from Kilkenny city and county. From this home base we also will visit the Dunbrody Emigrant Ship in New Ross. Dunbrody was a 19th Century three masted sailing ship that brought many emigrants from Ireland to North America during and after the Great Famine. You will explore the ship, fitted out exactly as it would be for a voyage. You will encounter actors, playing the role of emigrants, in their cramped quarters with their meager possessions, fleeing as they are a worse catastrophe. They will tell you their harrowing stories of being forced to emigrate. A member of the crew will tell you the story of other voyages and all about life on board a sailing ship. Here, also, you have the opportunity to access a huge database of emigrants who sailed from Ireland in the nineteenth century. Back in Kilkenny we have a fun evening at the Kyteler Inn.

The next two days find us in the Blarney/Cork area. On our way we stop to see The Rock of Cashel (also known as Cashel of the Kings) in County Tipperary which is home to the ruins of a great Celtic cathedral. We stay near the Blarney Woolen Mills shops for those who want to bring home souvenirs and we also will spend some time at the Cobh Museum along the southern coast of Ireland. The harbor and the town has been the last sight of Ireland for many thousands of emigrants. Over 40 thousand men, women and young girls were transported to Australia from here and millions more left during the famine years for the new world. It was the main transatlantic departure point from Ireland up until the late 1950s.

It was the last port of call for the R.M.S. Titanic on her ill-fated maiden voyage, where she took onboard mail and 123 passengers who were emigrating to the U.S.A. Also from Blarney, we will take a day trip in the charming port town of Kinsale, where we have a guided walking tour.

Then it is time to head up north as we make our way to our hotel near Shannon. On our journey north, our coach driver will entertain us with stories and maybe songs of Ireland and we will make a stop in the picturesque village of Adare, with its quaint thatched roofed houses, medieval monasteries and ruins.

Our last day will find us stepping back in time to see how our ancestors lived at the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park where 19th century life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting. Meet and chat with the Bean an Ti (Woman of the House) and various street characters including the Policeman and Schoolteacher who give the site its sparkle during the summer months. Enjoy the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of this enchanting place as you stroll from house to house or around the charming village complete with school, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and of course the pub! Tonight is our farewell dinner, where we share a toast to our wonderful time in Enchanting Ireland.

There will be free days for you to visit your hometowns, due to our using a motor coach there may be additional transportation costs for you to get to your hometown.

Trip Includes:

9 nights Hotel
Daily Irish Breakfast & 7 dinners (1 at Abbey Theater which
Includes Irish Music show)
Ground Transportation by 16 seat Motor Coach
Research Help at National Archives in Dublin
Tour of Kilkenny Castle
Tour of Dunbrody Emigrant Ship
Entrance Fees to Cobh Heritage Museum
Entrance Fees to Bunratty Castle & Folkpark
Email: info@familytreetours.com or familytreetours@charter.net for more information or Reservation Form

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New York City - Washington DC Tour 2011

I usually am talking about trips I have already been on but I thought I would tell you of some of the upcoming trips for 2011. Perhaps you would want to join us, or know someone who would be interested. We are planning on travelling April 15-22, 2011 to attend a genealogy conference at the National Archives on April 20 -21 but we will spend some time in NYC before this. Here are some links for you to get a jump start on preparing for the trip!

Very interesting article here, and a great research resource for those of German descent


Hopefully, we will be able to see these files at the National Archives in DC




New York City-Washington DC Tour
April 15- 22, 2011
$1299.00 pp dbl

This time we explore our ancestor's experience here in the U.S. What did it look like and feel like to arrive at Ellis Island? Of course a lot of our ancestors arrived before Ellis Island but we will learn of all these scenarios on a private tour with a retired National Park ranger, who will explain in great detail our immigrant ancestor’s arrival in the United States. We also will stop to view the Statue of Liberty, who has welcomed so many to the land of freedom.

We take a neighborhood walking tour and learn what you might have seen and experienced negotiating the streets of the Lower East Side a hundred years ago. Explore the day-to-day challenges and opportunities immigrants might have faced as you visit sites where they worshipped, studied, conducted commerce, and debated politics. Then later we tour the Tenement Museum, a look into how thousands of immigrants lived in New York City through different centuries. Also in NYC we step way back in time and visit a museum located in a Revolutionary War time period tavern. Fraunces Tavern was built in 1719 as an elegant residence and purchased in 1762 by tavern-keeper Samuel Fraunces. The tavern played a significant role in pre-Revolutionary War activities and later housed early U.S. government offices of the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs (today’s State Department). It is best known as the site where General George Washington bade farewell to the officers of the Continental Army on December 4th, 1783.
Then we will take the train to Washington, D.C. where for the next few days we will have all the research material available at the National Archives at our disposal. I am excited to tell you that we will have a special lecture by Dr. John P. Colletta, a very entertaining speaker who will give us an overview of how genealogists should use the Archives and stories of immigrant experiences.
The next couple days we have time for private research. On Wednesday & Thursday of this week the Archives will have their 6th Annual Genealogy Fair. You can attend classes and visit vendors or still spend time with your own private research. For a look at what kinds of material is available at the National Archives see this site. http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/

We also will explore the beauty of our Capital city at night by taking an Evening Monument Tour.

Tour Includes:

A Family Tree Tours guide traveling with you for the duration of your trip
Accommodations with private bath: three nights in NYC (Newark, NJ)
4 nights in Washington, DC
All continental breakfasts when specified and often times full breakfasts.
Meals noted including welcome gathering, midweek and farewell dinners.
All expert local guides, naturalists and specialists on itinerary outline
Historical walking tour in NYC
Guided Tour of Ellis Island with retired National Park Guide
Guided Tour of NYC’s Tenement Museum
Museum visit and entrance fees to Fraunces Tavern Museum in NYC
Amtrak Train from NYC to Washington DC
Lecture by Noted Historian, Dr. John P. Colletta
2 day Genealogy Conference at National Archives in Washington, DC
Nighttime Monument Tour in Washington, DC
All hotel taxes and government fees
Gratuities as applicable for meals as specified
We meet in Newark at hotel,
if you have any questions or interest in this trip.