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  • Writer's pictureDavid Natale

Cruise with AmaWaterways and

Ancestry® and AmaWaterways


During Covid I took my DNA test and signed up for full membership at to find out more about my Grandmother Cunningham's family. All my life we had been dominated by my mother's Italian heritage, and despite my father's mother telling us about our "Pennsylvania Dutch" background and our German and English roots, I didn't know much about it.

Imagine my complete shock to find out that my roots thru my paternal grandmother would lead me to a great uncle whose farm was the site of a large part of the Battle of Gettysburg or a great grandfather who helped finance Washington's army during his time at Valley Forge. As I went back further and further thru Cunninghams, Kriegers, Weavers, Hyatts, Isaacs, Tewksburies and Traffords.

I learned that my roots connected me to the second round of pilgrims (with one set of grandparents sharing their marriage registry page with Miles Standish, Jr.), to the earliest settlers of Maryland, Virginia and New York. As the story went back further and further I was completely excited to learn that Jane Austen is my 2nd cousin, 6 times removed: we share Sir Thomas Leigh (son of Alice Trafford... yes, those Traffords) as grandfather. He is my 14th great grandfather, which also links me distantly to Winston Churchill and the Spencer line. This was just too crazy to be real, but the documentation from my great grandmother Catherine Krieger linked me in multiple directions to a fascinating family line.

Do you see the resemblance between me and my 14th great grandfather, Sir Thomas Leigh?

Now you, too, can find about about your ancestry and you can combine it with a fantastic AmaWaterways journey.

With all of my fascination about my English roots, I also found out that I am Swiss and German and can trace my family to exact regions and even graves in Germany and Switzerland. Can you imagine doing that all as part of a river cruise experience? Now you can because AmaWaterways is partnering with for some very special trips back in time even as you sail thru the present.

This has never been done before on the rivers and Ama is proud to bring this to you!

Enjoy all the regular activities and fascinating experiences of a Rhine River cruise, but combined with your own personal Ancestry expert to help you trace your roots!

There are special prices for those who wish to have the services of the professional and rates for those who just wish to sail.

Contact me for details and to get your own spot!

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