Wadena County, MN (2012)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ll be travelling later this autumn to the Wadena, MN, area—the old stomping grounds of a large chunk of my family. This page will serve to help me organize and plan my trip.


Crafting a general itinerary—where will I be, and when? This outline will highlight my opportunities and identify my limitations in terms of what I’ll be able to do and see. Better to learn these details and learn that I’ll need to tweak them now, rather than to keep having to mutter “if only I had known this ahead of time….”

Places to see

As a double-check for not missing anything I’ll want to see, I’ll want to make a checklist of places to see, organized by city, town, and village.


There’s an overwhelming lot of places and people to see, and things to do. Completing all of my “blue sky” goals might require a trip of five or more weeks, and I’ve got only one week. To guide my decisions of what to do and what to skip, I’ll be asking myself “what will I not be able to do or ask on my next trip here, perhaps not for another 5-10 years?”


What can be done before I arrive to make the trip smoother, easier, and more productive? I’ll want to contact relatives, the local historical societies, records offices and so on, in order to make those visits as productive as possible. I’ll also want to sort out the details of where to stay, how to get around, as well as learning the various hours of operation of the assorted agencies, so that I won’t waste precious time doing these things while I’m there.


It’ll be good to know some of the most important questions I’ll want to address while there (especially those that I’m unlikely to be able to get answered anywhere else), so I won’t be fumbling with papers and computer files trying to figure out what other unanswered questions I’ve got. This would be a piece of cake if I was just looking into one or two ancestors, but with a list as long as I have, it’ll be hard keeping everything straight if I don’t write it all out ahead of time.

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