Barry's Relatively Speaking: Genealogy Class Provides Reunion
Posted on Nov 21, 2012
Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on MyGenShare.com. Jeane shares the following experience.
As a genealogist, I wear several hats, among them, professional researcher and teacher of beginning genealogy. Recently, these combined in a manner I still find hard to believe.
During October 1982, I received a letter from Sherry Mitchell, of Ark-adelphia, Arkansas asking me to find her grandfather's death certificate and information about his occupation. She was orphaned young, her father died of TB, she knew little about his family except her grandfather's birthplace, grandmother's maiden name.
The death certificate stated William Clark died of carbolic acid poisoning in 1901. This being an unusual death, I read the obituary at Waukesha Library. William had been a minister and auctioneer; his son, Charles, (Mrs. Mitchell's father) took his body to Prairie du Chien for burial.
During class in Waukesha, May 1983, I used this story to illustrate combining vital records and other sources. A strange look came over the face of student, Nan Monk. She said her great grandfather, William Clack, had the same history: TB, minister, and auctioneer.
We ascertained William Clark and William Clack were the same man. Mrs. Monk phoned Mrs. Mitchell, the family has been united.
I had never used that story in class before, and I feel the Lord was guiding me to make their reunion possible.