What could be better than meeting family across the pond during your Ancestral Trip?

My Great-grandparent’s home in Walkden, England

Discovering Cousins on an Ancestral Trip

Oh, the excitement I felt when my cousins invited me for a visit to England. Of course, this didn’t just come up. My parents had followed the proverbial trail of the last known letter received from my ancestral relatives in Walkden, England. Here, the place where my paternal grandmother was born, they hoped to find a connection.

On a trip to England many years ago, my parents explored the possibility that someone might just know of our family. So, after knocking on the last known address, they were directed to another home and then another until at last they found my grandmother’s cousin! Oh, what a find! After much embracing they were dashed away to meet many other ancestral relatives. How fun to share stories, photos and life details.

Our cousins Louie and Esther (left to right)


Still better yet, our cousin Louie traveled from England to the states to meet us. Fond memories linger along with stories told about her life in Nazi Germany during World War II. History brought boldly to life with a personal experience that we couldn’t even imagine—an English woman living and working in Germany with Hitler as the supreme commander. Moving there as a young woman she had found love and married a man who would later be sent to the Russian front and never heard from again. Eventually, she moved back to England to be surrounded by family. Louie is gone now but her stories linger on in my memory.

What a strong person she was. I thought about her as I wondered about the cousins I would meet. Would they have strong dispositions? Was there a family resemblance? What about things in common?

Enjoying the day with my cousin, Allister


From the moment we met, they made me feel at home. Their warmth and hospitality overwhelmed me. We talked and laughed and got to know each other. We had a lot in common. They took me around and showed me parts of the country where my grandmother was born and where my cousins live today. I can honestly say the profound emotional impact of this meeting was something I hadn’t thought about before my visit. But now, I think of it often.

Have you considered an ancestral trip to your homeland and possibly meet your family across the pond? If you haven’t, I hope you will. Whether you meet relatives or not, just being there will give you a connection to your past you never dreamed about.

Did you know that Encore Journeys specializes in European Ancestral Trips? We’ve helped people connect with their homeland in a very personal way. Sometimes by just visiting the towns and meeting the people, sometimes through food and cultural activities and sometimes by visiting archives for that missing piece of information they couldn’t find at home. On occasion, we’ve even helped people find their relatives. What are you waiting for?