Viewing public records is free if you go to the municipal or religious archives and look them up yourself.

However, if a genealogy company took the time to scan paper-based records from various sources around the world, index them and make it easy to search through mountains of material, you will mostly likely be charged at some point.

“Ancestral travel is a way of connecting oneself with their progenitors and finding one’s rootedness in a confusing and fast-paced world,” Dallen J. Timothy, a professor at Arizona State University and editor of The Journal of Heritage Tourism, wrote in an email.

The sentiment crosses many ethnic groups.

The motivations of those who make these trips vary, as does what they find.

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