Barry's Relatively Speaking: A Genealogist Who Played Fairy Godmother

Posted on Oct 15, 2012

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

A genealogist-friend of mine worked in a shop with a sullen and uncommunicative young man. Intrigued by his attitude, my friend questioned co-workers about him. She learned that he was orphaned as a baby and had been unsuccessfully placed in dozens of foster homes. It was assumed that his depression stemmed from his lack of roots and family love.

As with all genealogists, my friend is driven by an overwhelming curiosity. Finding this man's parental background and hopefully giving him a foundation monopolized her thoughts until she gave in to the challenge. Within weeks she discovered that 28 years ago he had been taken by the State from his parents because of their poverty-stricken living conditions. All family communication had been cut off.

My friend was convinced when she located his parents days later that they deeply loved their son and losing him crushed their already broken lives. She made tentative arrangements for the couple to meet with their son. She then nervously approached the young man with her findings. After a stunned reaction, he began to sob. He finally knew that he was loved and that he had parents who not only cared for him but also wanted him.

The family reunion was a success. Three shattered lives were pieced together by the loving concern of a genealogist who applied her researching talents in a new vein.

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