At the Crossroads of Europe & Asia

Finding Your Roots with MIR: Spotlight on Ancestry Travel

On the Travel Channel blog, writer and family travel expert Erin Gifford tells us, “Ancestry Travel is a Thing, You Should Try It.”

Picking mushrooms, a Russian family tradition. Photo credit: Olga Boyarskaya
Picking mushrooms, a Russian family tradition. Photo credit: Olga Boyarskaya

We already knew that here at MIR. Our specialists have been helping people in the U.S. search for traces of their ancestors since our beginnings in 1986. We’ve created heritage tours for Volga German-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans, Russian-Americans, Polish-Americans, and lots more.

In the article, Gifford gives us a special shout-out as an expert in arranging custom itineraries for Jewish people seeking their lost families in Eastern Europe.

“MIR Corporation also puts together ancestry travel tours for Jewish clients interested in tracing their roots in Europe… By working with a team of private journey specialists, travelers can expect handcrafted itineraries that enable them to connect with their family heritage.” 

Our core destinations in Eastern Europe were flourishing centers of Jewish life and culture right up until the Nazi occupation ushered in the Holocaust. Over the years, we’ve gathered quantities of information on Jewish heritage in RussiaCentral and East Europe, and the Baltics.

MIR Independent Travel Specialists work closely with clients to bring travelers closer to their roots, helping to find villages and former shtetls that today might be within the boundaries of other countries.

An American family meets the Polish family that hid their grandparents during WWII. Photo Credit: Karen Treiger
Warsaw’s recently opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta
The Khatyn memorial to 186 villages destroyed by the Nazis, Belarus. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta
Tour participants searching for relatives in the Book of Names, Auschwitz. Photo Credit: Joanna Millick
A Romanian family dressed in traditional clothing. Photo credit: Peter Guttman
  • An American family meets the Polish family that hid their grandparents during WWII. Photo Credit: Karen Treiger An American family meets the Polish family that hid their grandparents during WWII. Photo Credit: Karen Treiger
  • Warsaw’s recently opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta Warsaw’s recently opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta
  • The Khatyn memorial to 186 villages destroyed by the Nazis, Belarus. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta The Khatyn memorial to 186 villages destroyed by the Nazis, Belarus. Martin Klimenta
  • Tour participants searching for relatives in the Book of Names, Auschwitz. Photo Credit: Joanna Millick Tour participants searching for relatives in the Book of Names, Auschwitz. Photo Credit: Joanna Millick
  • A Romanian family dressed in traditional clothing. Photo credit: Peter Guttman A Romanian family dressed in traditional clothing. Photo credit: Peter Guttman

(click image to view larger photo)

In one case, we were able to track down descendants of a family who helped hide Polish Jews during the war.

Of course, you don’t have to be Jewish to benefit from our expertise in this part of the world. You just need to be curious about where your family originally came from.

So yes, ancestry travel is a thing, and you should try it – with MIR.

Find Your Roots with MIR

Researching family names and dates can lead to an irresistible longing to see the places that shaped the family stories.  MIR has a dedicated team of Private Journey Specialists who can work with on-the-ground staff in any of our destinations to handcraft itineraries that let travelers connect with their family heritage in whatever way they wish.