Experience Your Family History with Ancestral Footsteps Founder Sue Hills
Few travel experiences are more meaningful than a trip with Ancestral Footsteps. Founder Sue Hills discusses how she and her team dive deep into the past to uncover fascinating family stories and create in-depth, surprise-filled genealogical journeys.
No one knows your family like Sue Hills does. A longtime director on the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, Hills is the founder of the genealogical travel company Ancestral Footsteps. While DNA testing and genealogical tours have become popular in recent years, Ancestral Footsteps takes you several steps further, diving deep into your family history and leading you on a personal, highly customized adventure to discover your specific origin story.
In this episode of Travel that Matters, host Bruce Wallin is joined by Sue and special guest co-host Lisa Sweetingham, a New York Times bestselling author—and Bruce’s wife—who traveled with Ancestral Footsteps to discover her family’s past. Lisa shares her story of working with Sue and her team to uncover a family mystery about her maternal grandmother, a German immigrant who was shot and killed by her Mexican American husband—Lisa’s grandfather—before he turned the weapon on himself.
While traveling with Lisa through Europe, Sue revealed information Lisa never knew about her grandparents and unraveled some of the mysteries behind the tragic murder-suicide story. Perhaps the greatest revelation came when Sue introduced Lisa to an unknown relative—a connection that required a considerable amount of research and ingenuity to make.
Bruce and Lisa speak with Sue about the extensive knowledge and planning that go into creating some of the world’s most private and personalized journeys. These are far more than tours; they are intricately researched and orchestrated experiences that bring family stories to life. Sue and her team search through archives, speak with locals, and—in Lisa’s case—even take out stories in local newspapers to glean even the tiniest details that can lead to major breakthroughs in your family story.
As with any good story, Sue saves some of the biggest reveals for last. Throughout each of her journeys, however, you will learn—and experience—fascinating tales from the past and moments in time, whether visiting the former home of a long-forgotten family member, discovering an ancestor’s signature in a dusty old archive, or even meeting a living relative you didn’t know you had.
Hosted by: Bruce Wallin
Produced and edited by: AJ Moseley & Darra Stone
Music by: Joey Salvia