Postcards from the Edge: Genealogy Road Trippin'

You've done it. Come on, admit you've done it. It's okay, really. You've talked some poor unsuspecting non-genealogist--husband, wife, significant other, sibling, friend--into taking a research side trip somewhere. Your can hear yourself already, "It's right on the way. We're driving right past it." In my case, the vacation to the Poconos in Pennsylvania has been planned for some time now. Last week I had the happy fortune to discovered that an ancestor lived for a while in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, only an hour away from where we are staying. Imagine my excitement. Imagine my husbands excitement, or not.

Two years ago on on our way home from a vacation/business trip to Charleston, South Carolina I asked my husband if we could stop in Winchester, Virginia. I found my grandfather Frank Chenette's half-brother Francois Chenette, a Civil War soldier, was buried in the Winchester National Cemetery. Winchester wasn't that far out of our way, after all we were heading north. I asked my husband if we could stop and check out the cemetery. He said sure. We found the cemetery without too much trouble. I found Francois' grave without too much trouble, using the information from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator. After we left the cemetery we decided to find a hotel room for the night. Not being locals, we didn't realise the Shenandoah Valley Apple Blossom Festival was going on in Winchester. Every hotel room in the city and the surrounding area was taken. A very kind hotel clerk at one of the hotels took pity on us and called around to the other hotels. He said he literally found the last room available. We took it.

I'm looking forward to the visit next week to Shenandoah, PA. A coal mining town, I plan to look around town, check out the library, and maybe visit a cemetery or two. Now that's what I call a great vacation. I'm already thinking ahead to our vacation in Virginia in August. I've already told my husband I want to check out the battlefield route--the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor--around Richmond. I can't wait. Maybe we'll stop in Winchester again. After all, it is on the way home heading north...

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