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Hitching a ride: Exploring British travel journals

Throughout the ages, many adventuresome souls have chronicled their travels far and wide. Melody Amsel-Arieli turns back the pages to view the landscape through their eyes

TAKE A SUMMER HOLIDAY BACK IN TIME

The road from London to Buckingham, continued to Banbury, shown as scroll-like strips, with decorative cartouche of mer-people and allegorical river god, from Britannia, first road atlas of England and Wales, printed c1675, courtesy of www.alteagallery.com

Family researchers, in addition to gathering names, dates and locations, often seek photographs and supplementary sources to enrich their quests. Some also dream of walking in their ancestors’ footsteps, of going back in time. With perseverance, imagination and a little luck, perhaps they can – at least in spirit.

Throughout the ages, many adventuresome souls have chronicled their travels far and wide. Historic accounts of journeys through England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, for example, abound. Each of these treasures may describe an ancestor’s surroundings, cares and customs as seen through the eyes of his contemporaries.

Locating a travel journal relevant to personal research may be challenging. ‘A Vision of Britain Through Time’, an internet site featuring excerpts of 17th and 18th century British travel writing, however, may pave the way.

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About Family Tree

There's something undeniably special about visiting our ancestors' final resting places. Read the guide in the latest issue of Family Tree about graveyards and we will help you step back in time. Graveyards and cemeteries are a very real reminder of earlier generations and visiting them will not only spark thought-provoking memories - they may also provide you with new clues and details... And speaking of 'new clues' - don't miss our brand new series 'Taken a DNA test? Now what?'. This is the advice you need if you want to get the most from your DNA test. Discover how to make sense of the results, find more details and grow that fabulous family tree of yours! Join in with the DNA adventure today! We also have a fabulous free guide for you in this bumper issue, Heritage Days Out, packed full of ideas for family and local history trips to take this summer. Enjoy your travels through time!