This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more info.
Welcome to Tenacious Genealogy! This is another post for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge that I’m participating in this year. It is a challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow every year and I figured I’d get in on the fun.
If you’re looking for week 16 or week 17’s prompts, I skipped them. Given as there are only a few more weeks left in 2019 and I’m not even halfway through the prompts, I figured I’d jump to the ones that were fairly easy to write about. However, I plan on posting on the subjects of the missing weeks at some point in the future.
This is the week 18 prompt (which you can already tell I’m lagging behind on) and it is: ‘Road Trip’. I’m not focusing on a specific person in this post, but rather a time when I really connected with my family history.
Growing up for me meant summer vacations to Utah and genealogy road trips. Literally. While other kids were going to amusement parks, I was spending time in libraries, archives, cemeteries, local history museums, and other old places. One of the first road trips that I remember vividly is the road trip that my family took in 1999 from Salt Lake City, Utah to Mancos, Colorado – the town where my grandfather was born and where many of his ancestors were buried. That year, the Fieldings (and their related families) came together to rededicate the graves of some of our ancestors and have a family reunion.
For me, at the tender age of 12, both the road trip and the family reunion were fun adventures and I got to explore more of the family history that my parents were heavily into.
Summer of ’99
That particular road trip was actually not the most eventful part of the vacation. A few days before we left, Salt Lake City had the infamous Tornado of 1999. My mother was actually in the middle of downtown Salt Lake doing – you guessed it – genealogy when the tornado hit. Thankfully she was safe and a couple of days later, we made our way south in an 18 passenger van that the car rental place had ‘upgraded’ us to because they didn’t have the car that my father had requested.
(Given that there were only three of us, an 18 passenger van was a bit of an overkill, but it ended up coming in handy once we made it down to Mancos. As a kid, I thought it was the coolest thing, but I’m sure my parents weren’t exactly thrilled to be driving it at that point.)
As we traveled through southeastern Utah, we passed through various small towns that ancestors had either passed through or lived in over the years as my dad told us about the various family stories that he had heard or discovered while doing genealogy. While some of these stories had little to do with the actual path we were taking (such as the story of the Hole-In-The-Rock pioneers and the San Juan expedition), they intertwined with the destination that we were headed to and left me with a sense of awe for both my ancestors and the land that we were traveling through.
At the end of our trip, we arrived in Mancos, Colorado where we ended up having a massive (to me at least) family reunion and grave rededication for several of our ancestors. And while there were plenty of other road trips before and after that, that one sticks in my mind more so than the others.
Questions or comments about this post? Have any interesting family road trips? Curious about the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge? Let me know in the comments! And if you like what you’ve been seeing on Tenacious Genealogy – please subscribe to our email list. Not only will you stay up to date with the latest blog posts, but you’ll also get freebies such as ‘10 Tips For Starting your Genealogy’ and other fun ‘subscriber-only’ items.