Barry's Relatively Speaking: Unseen Forces

Posted on Aug 14, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on Carol shares the following experience.

On the way to a town in Colorado to search courthouse records for a great great grandmother's death notice, my husband and I stopped at a motel for the night. We took that only room available sight unseen, but on entering the room the odor of escaping gas was so overpowering we couldn't stay. The next nearest town was about twenty miles out of our way, but we had no choice so we went there and spent the night.

Next morning our car would not start so my husband called a garage for a tow truck. I reluctantly accompanied him to the garage expecting a dull and boring wait.

In the waiting room I noticed the

name of the owner of the garage. It seemed familiar and it occurred to me that I had written a man by that name many months before in regard to genealogy.

I asked the secretary if the owner would be in and she said he rarely came to work on Wednesdays. But hardly had she made the statement than he did enter the building and I introduced myself. He recalled my letter and said since I was there he would go home and get some papers for me. Soon he returned with a diary written by my great grandfather over a hundred years before. Also he gave me a copy of a DAR presentation which a great aunt had authored. Both items had a wealth of genealogical information.

Looking back at the events it occurred to me that our first motel could have been satisfactory; our car could have broken down any place along the way; my husband could have called any other garage; I could have decided not to accompany him to the garage; the garage owner could not have come to the shop that day. But it seemed unseen forces were taking a hand in my ancestor hunting, for when we finally did reach our destination, the first book the lady at the courthouse handed me fell from my grasp onto a table and the pages fell open. The first name I saw was that of my great great grandmother who we had come so far to find.

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