Book Review – Journey’s Home by Andrew McCarthy

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A Review of Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips & Strategies to Find Your Family History.

Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips & Strategies to Find Your Family History, starts with the story of actor, writer, and director Andrew McCarthy and his many trips to Ireland where he learns more about himself than he thought he would. He recounts the story of finding a book by Frank O’Connor and the passion he had for making one of its short stories into a film. McCarthy’s section is full of stories about his discovery of parts of his family across Ireland

Of the other stories in the book, the one that moved me the most is by Juan Jose Valdes. This section begins by describing the day he left Cuba in 1961 and recounts the emotions of his return visit in 1999. Like when he discovered the map on the floor of the Hotel Nacional. It was understanding that he had been there before standing at the map, but not understanding why or when he had been there. Later his father would tell him the map was his favorite stop when his parents had brought him to the hotel to dine with them as a child.

Other places where authors journey in search of their ancestors include Angola, Croatia, England, Japan, Laos, Vietnam, Poland, and many others. As this is a National Geographic book, the “word pictures” and descriptions of the people, places, and cultures are fantastic. Since this is a National Geographic book, the pictures are also superb.

At the end of the book is a section giving a guide on how to plan your own journey home. This section gives tips on how to organize the information. In addition, it talks about places to look that you might not think of. What may be the most important advice is to manage your expectations.

Genealogy Tourism is a growing part of the tourism industry consisting of people who have ancestral connections to their vacation destination. These genealogy tourists travel to the land of their ancestors to reconnect with their forefathers. Genealogy tourism is a worldwide industry, although it is more prominent in countries that have experienced mass emigration at some time in history and thus have a large worldwide community. For example, genealogy tourism has been prominent in Ireland for some time and a web search turned up several tour companies in Ireland to help plan such a trip.

I really enjoyed reading this compilation of stories. Journeys Home is one inspiring story after another and has made me wish that my Great Uncle Archie had written such a story when he traveled to France tracing our family’s history.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free Advanced Copy of Journeys HOME: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips & Strategies to Find Your Family History to write the review.

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Chuck Prevatte

by Chuck Prevatte

Chuck Prevatte is a regular contributor to The Amateur Traveler. His travels include North America, Europe and the Middle East. He is happily married and the father of three children.

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