52 Ancestors Week 18: Road Trip

+18 votes

imageReady for Week 18 of the 52 Ancestors challenge?

Please share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:

Road Trip

From Amy Johnson Crow:

This week's theme is "Road Trip." (I love a good road trip!) Here are a few ways you might interpret this prompt: an ancestor who moved a long distance, an ancestor who traveled for work, an ancestor you took a road trip in order to research, an ancestor who was a mechanic or was involved in the automobile business.


Share below!

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
My grandfather Robert 'Bud' Marquiss was a trucker in the old days in Alaska. He drove trucks from Valdez to Anchorage in the 1950's which is a pretty treacherous drive back in the day. In the winter he often had to haul a double trailer - one with cargo and then a lowboy with a CAT so he could make it through the pass. He would have to load and unload it every half mile or so to plow enough of the road ahead of him to pull the truck forward and then start all over again. He also drove the 'haul road' and was one of Alaska's original ice road truckers. There are tons of great pictures of him pulling semis out of ditches, hauling outrageously large cargo - like the bridge pieces through a tunnel with less than 1 foot of clearance on either side.

He moved to Fairbanks in the late 50s and became VP of Weaver Bros. Trucking and then President of Texaco Star Heating Fuels, the local bulk fuel plant. But he never stopped being a teamster. In the 80's he would deliver our heating fuel and then take me to Dairy Queen for icecream. We always took the semi through the drive through and had to pull far enough from the window to climb down and retrieve our cones and then climb back up.

He was always on the move!
Julie, this sounds like the TV Show, Ice Road Truckers.
Great story/memory! I enjoyed reading that, thanks!
It basically is Cheryl Hess - Just 40 years before the show began! Theres a book called Triumph over Turbulence by Jim Magoffin that has a short blurb about my grandfather (Bud Marquiss) and his plan to have trucks drive the road and then fly the trucks back because it would be cheaper and cut 2 days off the travel time. But the unions fought against it and it became very expensive. Can you imagine flying a plane all the way to Prudhoe Bay to load it with Semi's to haul them home?!

I'm trying to find my pics of it. They really had to do some crazy stuff and that was just in the 70's. In the 40's-60's they really did some crazy stuff traversing Alaska.

Bud had been a trucker since he was a kid delivering milk in Portland - then when he joined up in WWII he was a refueler in HI. I guess Alaska is easy after that.
I am late posting BUT... 52 Ancestors, Week 18: Road Trip. Our father was an Interstate Truck Driver, even before I was born. I learned how to read a road map before I was ten years old. We drove by car from Ohio, to Iowa, to Ohio, to Connecticut, and back to Ohio, with up to six kids in the car by 1964!
But the 1954 Columbus, Ohio, Directory (right column) shows my Dad, Jack G. TAYLOR, (with our mother, Bobbie) as a Driver, and my grandfather (left column), Gerald H. TAYLOR, as Manager of Howard Johnson's Restaurant. 

61 Answers

+11 votes
My best ancestor for this one probably would be https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Blacken-2

He and his family traveled by boat from Norway to Quebec, Canada and the stories say the trip was very rough across the Atlantic.  From Quebec they rode on a box car to Port Huron, Michigan, then on another ship that went around the lower peninsula of Michigan to Northport, Michigan.  So far he has the longest trip I can find for my ancestors at this time.
by Eric McDaniel G2G6 Mach 4 (40.6k points)
+12 votes
My grandmothers family was from Italy but she was born in Portland Oregon. A few years ago my husband and I took my parents to Italy with us because my mom wanted to visit the old church and see what records she could come up with.

We drove from Germany to France (taking my dad to visit the DDay beaches) and then Italy. We researched the little town the family was from - The Bafico's and Delluchis were from Varese Ligure - La Spezia.

Well, when we were trying to find it on the map we drove to Varese. Not Varese Ligure. Spent a lot of time in the town offices searching for records only to find out we were in the wrong dang town!

The next day we drove to the place we were actually supposed to be. A wonderful hilly one lane road drive to a little tiny hamlet in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. Found an ancient priest in the old church who was able to dig up some death records and show us the cemetery.

Then we continued our travels on through Italy.

My mom really travels for her research though - often to the FHL in Utah, many Oregon cemeteries and this fall all up the East Coast and Michigan looking for my dads family.

by Julie Novak G2G6 Mach 1 (10.1k points)
Love this!

I've often kicked myself during the course of my research thinking how close I once was to records or places that could have given me additional information - had I just known previously.

What a wonderful opportunity you all had.
+11 votes

I've always wondered what it was like for these two ladies as they traveled with their husbands (as well as my father, uncle and aunt) from Iowa to Washington State in 1936. My Grandmother Leona Catherine (Budd) Robinson is on the left Great-Aunt Naomi Caroline (Budd) Patten is on the right

by Azure Robinson G2G6 Pilot (190k points)
Oh wow! Hopefully, they went in the summer when the roads were probably a bit more drivable.That is quite the trip, even today.
+12 votes

After my parents (Gerald and Rosemary Mahoney) got married, they took a road trip from Massachusetts to California for my father's new job.

Here is a picture of him with the car.

Road Trip

by Sally Mahoney G2G6 Mach 3 (31.7k points)
+10 votes

One of my best childhood memories were the road trips with my father. Whether it was down to the lake or across the state to visit family. They were something he loved to do and would often make them a part of the fun: Car picnics, car camping, car fishing.

Here is an older picture of my father with his wife, my older siblings playing in the background, and I believe some of his wife's family. 

Car picnic in full-effect! I'd expect this trip also involved camping and fishing, as well. With maybe a little sneak-off for "hunting".

by Patricia Ferdig G2G6 Mach 3 (31.5k points)
+9 votes

My Uncle Monk made many a "road trip." For a while he drove a Greyhound bus (not mentioned in his bio because I don't have a source document--just personal knowledge.) Later he had a limousine service in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and drove many celebrity clients. I wish I'd known him better--I bet he had many interesting stories he could tell, but a good limousine driver would keep things confidential, I'm sure.8)

by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
+9 votes

My mother was born and raised in Colorado, but she eventually moved to California where she met and married my dad. Most of her family remained in Colorado, so growing up, we made numerous trips to visit Grandma  and Grandpa. Over the years -- in the 50s and 60s -- the number of children expanded from 1 to 4. Though I can't keep all the trips separated in my mind, I can remember some memorable happenings along the way -- the time my sister broke out with the measles in the desert about halfway to Colorado. (This was in the day when measles was a common childhood illness -- no vaccines, and you just dealt with it, like "no big deal".) And there was the time that something on the car broke and we all were scouring the desert for a piece of wire to tie up the broken piece, finally finding a wire right next to the car. There were the straight, straight roads that you could see ahead "forever" and the dips that made you feel like you were on a roller coaster. There were interesting tourist attractions -- Yosemite, Meteor Crater, and others. There were the motels where we always begged my dad to "find one with a pool, please!!" (We didn't have a pool.) -- and he usually did. And the best 4th of July fireworks show I've ever seen in Henderson, NV. There's so much more... but that's all (for now) folks...

by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (967k points)
+10 votes

My ancestor that I loved to take road trips to visit was “Uncle Leonard “ He was the awesome. He was actually my second cousin but he was more like an uncle to us because him and my grandfather were as close as brothers. 

He had a 100 acre dairy farm that was more like a zoo then a farm. He always had a new pet when we would visit so we were always excited to make the trip and see what he had added. I saw my first peacock, held my first deflowed skunk, and fed my first (and only) snake at his place. Those were just a few of the many, many “Pets” that graced his farm. Of course there were the normal farm animals as well, Cows, Horses, a donkey, pigs, goats, dogs and cats just to name a few. 

Growing up we would take a trip every spring to decorate the graves of my grandparents families and we always stayed at his house. We would take our camper and stay with several days. I continued to visit and take my children to visit him until he passes. I am sure he has a big farm full of animals in heaven. 

*With this post I have caught up with everyone.

by Pam Dale G2G6 Mach 6 (69.2k points)
+9 votes
My great-great-grandfather, Edward Crossley (aka Emmons/Emmors), was a lifetime B&O Railroad employee.  We still have the gold watch the railroad gifted him around 1900, and one of my cousins has a picture of him and several other mechanics standing in front of one of the engines.
by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
+8 votes

When we were growing up, we were the only kids in school who had been more than thirty miles away from our home town, and not just once, but many times, thanks to my Mum. heart

For something a little different, though, I'd like to mention my late father-in-law.  He doesn't have a profile (yet), but he loved to take his family on a road trip at least once or twice a year.  He'd pack the car, then load it up with five kids, himself, and his wife, and they would travel north from Chicago-area to northwest Wisconsin.  Today the journey takes about 7 hours, but back then it was an all day and into the night journey.  The cars weren't as efficient, and the roads.  Wowzers, those roads!  Today there are freeways, expressways, bypasses, 70-mph zones (where "everyone" does at least 85) and so on.  Back then you were lucky to get to a steady 45 mph for any length of time, and there were so many towns that could not be avoided.  I have seen some of those places, and ten years ago they weren't a whole lot different from how they were 50-plus years ago .. right down to the same little restaurants/cafés and gas stations that were there then.  Now (as of April 2018) much of that picturesque journey, long as it may have been, is no longer there.  Either "modern" America finally caught up to it and buildings have been replaced with "updated" versions, or the newer roads bypass everything.

I think my husband got part of his love of driving from his Dad and those road trips up to the cabin in the Northwoods.  (My husband's road trips would fill a dozen or more books!)




18th week out of 18!

by Melanie Paul G2G6 Pilot (280k points)
+8 votes

My Grandfather and Grandmother's lives were basically all one big road trip; my Grandfather https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Laurin-14 was a Methodist Minister in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and my Grandmother https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Lindsay-1371 often accompanied him in the car; they'd drive church kids to mountains in the area for hiking expeditions and they'd drive to visit the sick and elderly; I have many letters that my Grandmother wrote detailing such adventures, like this:

 "We were so concerned about this Mr. Freeman who has been ill so long that we had been to his house practically everyday that week in addition to our other "duties" - and "opportunities." In work like this, Lillian, we know that everything else is secondary to our helping folks. That comes first. This week we were to be in Claremont, N.H., all week for a ministers' conference but Monday morning one of our finest women in Westport (our other charge) died so we went up to Claremont in the afternoon and returned Tuesday afternoon. We went to this Mrs. Smith's home Tuesday night to stay with her sons (one forty years old and both unmarried) so that they would feel less lonesome. Then the service was Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock. We came home for supper but went back there right afterwards not returning here until quarter past eleven. We felt that the first night without her would be especially hard for them. Just recently Sven went all the way to Springfield, Mass., to conduct a funeral service. Sven has had fifteen funeral services since we've been here (16 months) which is a high percentage. He never accepts remuneration, either, because long ago we decided that it didn't seem right to accept money for such a service."

by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 3 (36.4k points)
+8 votes

My Aunt Edna wrote about her father's "road trips" over the Canadian border during prohibition.  

“My father, always wanting to give us the best chance, decided to move the farm from Crookston and got a strip of land over the North Dakota border, close to Grand Forks, when he’d found some work. I wasn’t sure what he’d be doing, but I didn’t want to ask too many questions, either. Everyone was having trouble making ends meet in those days, and it was no secret that he found occasional work as a “rum runner,” smuggling whiskey in from Canada during the prohibition. Despite the stiff penalties he’d face if he got caught, my father kept at it. I think he did it mostly to keep food on the table, although he certainly didn’t seem to mind the excitement of it. As nerve-wracking as it must have been, he used to love to tell us how he could “outrun a jackrabbit if it was in the way” when he was trying to escape. He must have been telling the truth, because poor as we were, we never went hungry and he never went to jail!"

The picture includes the Model T which he drove.

by Jim Wiborg G2G6 Mach 3 (39.5k points)
+7 votes

A number of families from Calvert County MD travelled the National Road across the Appalachians to Ohio, ending up in Barnesville, Belmont County OH.  I have written a blog about some of these families, including Thomas Taneyhill and his wife Mary Scrivener. 

Travelling the National Road from Calvert County MD to Belmont County OH

by Anne Agee G2G6 Mach 1 (11.9k points)
+8 votes

The year I turned 30 I decided it was time to meet my grandmother so I hopped on a cross country bus to a town whose name now pops up often on FamilySearch: Le Mars, Iowa.  

France Eileen Pierson

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (81.5k points)
+9 votes

I have plenty of travelling ancestors, but I think this theme gives me a chance to share another ancestor, who helped to make road trips possible. 

In 1814 my 3rd great grandparents William Dunlop and Mary McClearn left Liverpool, Nova Scotia with William's cousin, whose family operated sawmills, and his cousin, who was a shipbuilder. The three families settled at the junction of two rivers in a remote area of Nova Scotia and went into business. 

William and Mary Dunlop built their inn to house the seasonal workers, but William had a vision for something more. At the time, the rivers of Nova Scotia were the roads, and the unpredictable North Atlantic was the only highway. William built his inn between two rivers, but it was also near a deer trail that was occasionally used as a bridle path. He built bridges over both rivers, worked hard to see that proper roads were built, and became superintendant of roads for the county. 

When the stagecoach started running, the Dunlop Inn at Sable River was perfectly situated.The stagecoach stopped for lunch in one direction, and stayed overnight going the other way.  For about 115 years, my ancestors were a part of everyone else's road trip along the south shore of Nova Scotia.

by Laurie Giffin G2G6 Mach 8 (83.4k points)
+7 votes
Meet Christian Wuster. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wurster-80

Christian is the son of Christian Wurster who moved from Middle of Pennsylvania to Dawson, Nebraska and even started a brand new name line. Talk about ambitious. Anyone from the area can trace their roots back to him and if they get confused as to where he started and what family lineage he has. Look no further as his entire family along with most married in names such as Kiess, Heim, some Smith, Lovell, and many more are descended from Wurttemberg, Germany where they were sausage makers (hence the name Wurst -er).
by Christine Preston G2G6 Mach 4 (43.7k points)
+6 votes

My grandmother, Haydée deBautte (Brickell) Trueblood, known to all as Mère, came from New Orleans, but unwilling to raise her children under segregation they moved to California.  But every summer when school was out she'd stick her three sons (including my father) in the car and drive from LA to NOLA along the I-10.  Being the forties there was no air-conditioning and the trip took three days.  How she coped with three sons (probably squabbling), over that distance and in that heat, is something of a mystery.  It defines my idea of a roadtrip!

Of course, having spent the summer in New Orleans with friends and family (who spends summer in New Orleans?) the process had to be repeated in reverse!

by Stephen Trueblood G2G6 Mach 4 (47.2k points)
+6 votes

Back in the summer of 1956 my family made a road trip from Long Beach, California through Mitchel, South Dakota to Alberta, Minnesota to where one of my Dad's Army buddies from WWII was living at the time. One important part of the trip was the time we spent in Mitchel which is where my mother had been born and where a large number of her relatives lived. We stayed in a Great Aunt's home who was gone for the summer and visited as many of the others as we could. Everywhere we went we were fed fried chicken since we were guests from California. We enjoyed the three farms my grandmother's brothers owned. Very different from the suburban life of the west coast.

The other part of the trip I remember vividly is the road itself where we followed Ike's interstate highway system-- that would be. While most of the road was in place, many parts of it weren't yet connected. It took us about a week each way to make the trip that would now require about 3-4 days without any diversions such as pit stops for a 13-year old, 8-year old and 7-year old with a small bladder or sight seeing. None of which was on my father's mind when he remember how few days of vacation he had.

by Judy Bramlage G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+5 votes
This is the easiest one for me so far. My father, Edwin T. King, was a mechanic in the Army during WWII. He taught my big brother, Charles E. King, who in turn taught me to work on my own car.

One time my old junker died in the middle of the road as I was making a left turn. I jumped out with a long screwdriver and a guy stopped to ask if I needed help and I told him I had it. I opened my hood, shoved the screwdriver into my carburetor to keep the choke open, jumped back in the car and cranked it, then ran back and grabbed my screwdriver out of the carburetor and jumped back in the car and drove away. :)  Thanks, dad, for teaching my brother so he could teach me!
by Tina Hall G2G6 Mach 1 (15.1k points)
+5 votes
So, it isn't an actual road trip that I have taken, but I do have one planned. My second cousin and I work on the family history and we have planned a road trip out to the Martha's Vineyard area by way of Bethlehem, NY (Albany) and Virgil, NY. We have a lot of family history in those areas and would love to do some digging in anything we could find that has not been digitized. Plus, it would be wonderful to be able to walk "in the footsteps" of our ancestors!
by Anonymous Tuma G2G6 Mach 1 (14.3k points)

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