Over the years my interest in family history has increased as I’ve become more aware of my own heritage. I’ve done my own studies into my family history, and made many trips to the places of my forebears, particularly in Scotland from where my father’s family originated. I have even published a book about one of the properties that our family lived in for 155 years (which I am happy to show to guests on their tour, as well as sharing some of the fascinating stories and characters that occur from my family’s past).
My family’s coat of arms, the Witch’s Ring, and our old family home
So I consider myself very well placed to assist other people with their family history research, and when this is linked together with my excellent local knowledge, I can provide superb genealogy tours of Devon and beyond. People spend many years collating their family history, using the wonders of the internet as their main tool of research. They put together vast family trees, and sometimes get copies of the birth, marriage or death certificates of their ancestors. So much time spent doing invaluable work towards constructing the enormous genealogical jigsaw puzzle of their forebears! But there’s one thing missing, and that’s where I come in.
I will help you put ‘the colour’ (as described by one of my previous guests) into your family history. I will take you to the towns and villages of your forebears. I will show you the churches they worshipped in, the pubs they drank in, and sometimes we even manage to see the houses they once lived in. Perhaps we can find their graves in the churchyard or cemetery, and just occasionally I am able to come up with something really special, as you can see in the ‘Reunion Monday’ chapter of my blog article (see here: An Unusually Good Week in the Life of a Devon Tour Guide)!
Church at Ashton, Exeter Cathedral’s ceiling, and Barnstaple Cemetery
Your job is to give me the information you have so far, namely your family tree with the detail that you’ve gathered. My job is to put together one day, or a series of days, where we bring your family tree to life, suddenly bringing it off the computer screen and into reality! I offer different levels of service, which you can read about here: Family History Tours.
So please get in touch and we can discuss your family history and just how I can add the colour to your visit to give you memories for life.
Some comments and images from previous guests that I have done genealogy tours for:
Kay’s review after her family history tour with Unique Devon Tours:
Guide Alex is organized, patient, knowledgeable, prepared, and unfailingly kind. He was helpful in all requests, and went over and beyond what a visitor would expect. His knowledge of Devon and beyond is deep and affectionate. Our family group enjoyed his company and learned so much about local lore, Great Britain, ancient history, good pubs, and motorways that we will ever be in his debt.
& Desmond’s (Kay’s son) words:
On a recent vacation to Devon with family, Alex from the first moment he met us at the airport till the parting goodbye was a great guide and person – helpful in all things, positive attitude and very knowledgeable about all of Devon, from Dartmoor to local pubs . He is hands down the best guide I have ever had.
Kay’s family at an ancestor’s grave, at the Mayflower Steps, at a church near Manchester and at Chatsworth House
David’s review after his family history tour with Unique Devon Tours:
After six decades as a Canadian (with roots in Devon) on my first visit to Europe, I found myself anxiously searching for a way to “experience” some of what I had only heard and read about Dartmoor. Quite by chance, I found myself in contact with a guide named Alex. He arranged and discussed a tour plan (that proved flexible and responsive). He was prompt, courteous, refreshingly service oriented, and thoroughly charming.
His local knowledge, research, insights, and very special skills as a guide led us ultimately to the places and lives of my ancestors. His talent for listening and interest in my background was wonderful. Later, a summary of our day was emailed to me by Alex along with some special photographs.
The stories exchanged and places touched were fascinating and rendered the day profoundly memorable, as well as being the absolute highlight of my visit to Europe.
My experience on Dartmoor with Alex as my guide was, in a word, OVERWHELMING!
David at Postbridge, and outside Chagford post office, where his Great Grandmother once worked
Ann’s review after her family history tour with Unique Devon Tours:
Excellent driver, informative guide, caring person…Alex made our day in Devon more than we ever dreamed it could be. He exceeded our expectations with his knowledge and good nature, as well as his provision for our interests and our comfort. His love of the area is evident; we found it to be an area that’s easy to love. We hope to have Alex guide us again in the future; next time it will be for more than one day!
& Vicki’s (Ann’s cousin) words:
My sister, cousin and I had the most delightful day in Devon with Alex! He was more like a pampering host than a tour guide! He was extremely knowledgeable, prepared specifically for our particular questions and interests (related to our ancestral roots), with a quick wit and easy going disposition. We saw and learned so much more than we expected. We also enjoyed a wonderful pub lunch and lovely afternoon tea and cake!! As good as it gets!! Thank you, Alex!!!
Vicki, Ann and Bena laughing in South Devon, and at Combestone Tor on Dartmoor
Gail’s review after her family history tour with Unique Devon Tours:
As a solo traveller wanting to combine family history, Devon scenes and a spot of twitching, engaging Alex Graeme of Unique Devon Tours to pull it all together was an efficient way to go about it and definitely well worth it. Alex did some preparatory research to locate family history places of interest, a local historian and a church warden, and altogether this enabled me to put customs and scenery to the names and dates of my family history story. We journeyed through many Devon lanes to scenic places and seashores where birdwatching was the theme but enjoying the scenery was the greatest success. There is nothing routine about Alex’s approach to a day; it is about listening to the interests of his client and moulding it accordingly. I would recommend this type of travel to anyone wanting a pleasant few days in Devon.
Gail with a local historian, a church with family ties, and Gail outside an ancestral home
Please refer to Tripadvisor to read these reviews and more here – Tripadvisor reviews. For more information about the different genealogy tours that I offer, please look here – genealogy tours of Devon – then get in contact to discuss your requirements.