A Bucket List of Ancestral Villages to Visit

In a perfect world, there would be enough time and money to visit every single ancestral home, whether it be the actual physical building, the village or town or perhaps even just the country if the actual town of origin is unknown.

Most of us don’t have unlimited time and, even if we did, we probably don’t have unlimited amounts of money either!

Where would you visit if you could? Here is my bucket full of travel wishes.

On my dad’s side of the family:

  1. Kucharik, aka SaboVysna Sebastova and Ruska Nova Ves, Slovakia. The family originally settled in Delano, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. I’d also like to visit there.

2. ScerbakUdol and Ujak, Slovakia. These villages are only about two miles apart and maybe 55 miles from Vysna Sebastova and Ruska Nova Ves, in #1.

My mother’s side is a bit more complicated, as family emigrated in the colonial era from England and in the 1800’s from Denmark and Sweden, mixed in with Loyalists who went to Canada in 1783. There are too many families to list here, so only place names are included:

3. New Brunswick, Canada – Sussex Vale, Queens County; Buctouche, Kent County; Keswick and Burtts Corner, York  County; Ludlow and Nelson, in the Miramichi area of Northumberland County

4. Denmark – I was fortunate to have been able to visit Copenhagen in the spring of 2014. However, we didn’t have time to get to northern Denmark, where the family lived in Flade and Saeby, both in Hjorring County. Both of these towns are way up north, outside of Frederikshavn.

5. England – Beds, Clapham and Cranfield; Bucks – Sherington; Devon – Exeter; Essex – Bocking, Toppesfield, Boxstead, Wormingford; Herts – Kingswalden, St. Albans, Ippollitts; Northants – Preston Capes and Ringstead; Notts – Ruddington; Suffolk – Bures St. Mary and  Nayland; Warw – Alcester and Tanworth. I’ve likely missed some, but a month to wander around England ought to do it. The red arrows mark the counties:

Busy in England!

The Stufflebean side of the family is a bit easier, simply because I don’t know the origins of many of the immigrant families.

  1. StufflebeanLangenlonsheim and Laubenheim, Germany
  2. WhitmerBarbelroth, Germany

Laubenheim to the north and Barbelroth to the south are less than 100 miles apart.

Those are the only European homes I’ve located for Dave’s family and no one in his family settled in Canada.

There are a number of places in the United States where various branches lived that we haven’t visited:

3. BrasherChristian County, Kentucky
4. HallenSullivan County, Missouri
5. StufflebeanLinn County, Missouri, Estill and Bourbon Counties, Kentucky and Claverack and Kinderhook, New York
6. MillerMuhlenberg County, Kentucky and Franklin County, TN
7. SturgellLawrence County, Ohio, Grayson County, Virginia, Caddo County, Oklahoma and Ashe County, North Carolina8. AlbertySurry County, North Carolina
9. Riddle and DulworthOverton, Clay and Fentress Counties, Tennessee and Cumberland County, Kentucky

If I could plan out one trip that was of a reasonable length and cost, which would I choose? Definitely, Germany and Slovakia, as they are geographically close to each other and there aren’t too many towns to visit. My second choice would be an extended trip through England. Home towns in Canada and the United States are much more reachable, so those would be in third place.

Have you mapped out your ancestors’ homelands? How many have you visited and which are still on your own bucket list?


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