Barry's Relatively Speaking: Mental Telepathy? ... Prayer?

Posted on Sep 17, 2012

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

Is there such a thing as mental telepathy at work in genealogy? (Or maybe it is just called prayer.)

After receiving copies of my grandfather's military record of service in the Spanish American War, I wrote to the local Veteran's Administration for his claim file. The National Archives had given me the file number. Sometime later, the V.A. phoned and said they could find nothing on any file

showing he (George W. Sweet) had been wounded or awarded a Purple Heart. The caller said all they had was a typewritten extract of the discharge, and I luckily thought fast, and said, could I at least have a copy of that. I was very disappointed to receive a poorly typewritten extract, with very little information listed.

From this I knew I would need to spend some time searching for other ways of nailing down some information about George Sweet. I put it on the "back-burner" of my mind, and went on to other family lines, on which I had better success. Both my parents knew of my unsuccessful research.

Just recently, my mother called long distance to say they had a surprise for me. My father had been downtown and was working at the Disabled Vet's Office, and a man came in, they got to talking. The man said that his stepfather had been in the Spanish American War. My dad told him that his father had been in that War. The man said that he was from Cottage Grove, my dad said his own father had lived in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Then the man said, "Well, what was your father's name?" My father said, "George W. Sweet". The other man put out his hand and said, "Well hello, stepbrother". It was John Wilson, stepson of George W. Sweet.

(My father told him of my interest in the family history and they exchanged names and addresses.)

Is this coincidence.....mental telepathy.....prayer?

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