Tracing the Route to Your Roots

A story spun from a web site ......

This New Zealand-based specialty travel business offers its customers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure: a journey to the roots of their family trees. Hooked on Genealogy's Intranets.com Site has become a combination training camp and Grand Central Station for pilgrims in search of their past.

Jan Gow is a veteran time traveler, an expert pathfinder through the vast repositories of genealogical data that can be found in the United Kingdom and the United States. Her Auckland bookstore, Beehive Books, is a prime destination for New Zealanders seeking information about their British ancestors. Hooked on Genealogy, Gow's travel company, takes its clients from the pages of history to the real thing, with annual tours to Salt Lake City, London, and beyond.

Beehive Books sells genealogical texts, maps, and software, attracting business primarily through advertising and word-of-mouth. Hooked on Genealogy's customer base is drawn mainly from bookstore customers who are prepared to travel halfway around the world to uncover their families' pasts. And every August, that's exactly what Gow and her amateur genealogists do.

"Our tours aren't just sightseeing outings," says Gow. "They're serious research trips for people who really want to do the work required to find out about their roots. The Mormon church maintains an enormous archive of genealogical records in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it's so large that even an experienced researcher needs plenty of time. So we fly there from New Zealand and settle in for 18 days. Then it's on to London for 10 days, followed by 10 days more in Ireland or Scotland. Of course, it's not all work and no play. We get in plenty of shopping, sightseeing, and other leisure activities. But the main focus is genealogy."

Combing the archives takes more than time, however. Unless a researcher is armed with the proper training in how and where to look, and what to look for, those sought-after forefathers and great-great- great grandmothers may never turn up. Gow saw an opportunity in the challenge. "You can't just walk into the archive in Salt Lake City and look up your ancestors in a phone book of some kind. You need to know what you're doing. So when you book a tour with Hooked on Genealogy, you get a lot more than a plane ticket and a hotel reservation. We provide seminars and other advance training so that our customers can make the best use of their time during the trip."

Want to find out if there's a king, a duchess, or maybe just a plain old prime minister on your family tree? From Intranets Newsletter 2000. Such is the reality of the World Wide Web that the Bizland web site, & the Intranets site, no longer exist! These free sites are no longer available. But it’s a great story, and based on a true story!

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