Barry's Relatively Speaking: Rorschach Test At Work

Posted on Dec 10, 2012

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

Genealogy draws upon different personal qualities. When researching, I become like Sherlock Holmes - or better yet, a hound with nose to the ground, adamant to the very end, stuck on the scent of the evasive ancestor.

Clues, traditions and solid facts, all indicated a certain town as my great-grandmother's birthplace, yet, I was unable to prove it. Over and over I rechecked the town's microfilmed birth index. Was she born here? Was she known by an alias name? I was beginning to believe she had been hatched.

I knew she had to be born there. Then, while thinking how blotched the ink appeared on the microfilm record, I came upon the idea that perhaps the index wasn't completely microfilmed - that a page had been skipped over, and if so, I could try to "read" through the reverse side of the ink-blotched pages. Taking a mirror, I tried to read the back side of the index and found my ancestor's record!

I'll probably never need to resort to this technique again, but like all genealogical hounds, my hard working nose will continue to try and find another elusive ancestor.

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