Knowing where you “came from” is kind of a big deal nowadays. Just turn on the TV and you’ll see commercials about family tree websites and DNA testing services. Scroll through social media and you’ll see your family and friends talking about their test results.
Often times when I’m hosting a journalist or chatting with a visitor, they will share with me that one of their distant ancestors lived in one of the Laurel Highlands’ industrial towns or agricultural areas. This totally makes sense; our region was home to the earliest western settlers, filled with rich natural resources that fueled the Industrial Revolution and vast farmlands that have provided for countless families across the country. These conversations always get me thinking about my family tree, knowing that both sides of my family have lived in and around the Laurel Highlands and Pittsburgh for many, many generations. So I’ve just started to scratch the surface of my family’s heritage.
Sure, some internet sites may give you quick answers, but wouldn’t it mean more to see it for yourself, hold documents in your hands and truly experience your heritage? In the travel and tourism business, visiting a location for the purpose of researching your family’s history is called “genealogy tourism” or “roots tourism.”
So if you’re retracing your roots and your research brings you to the Laurel Highlands, here are a few places you may want to visit or organizations you can contact to get a better understanding of where you “came from.”
To see the list, please visit the original post…