“This search is starting to sound familiar.” I read the words again. Could it be possible that the genealogist I hired had researched this family before?
My genealogy hero, Marianne, entered my life when I was brand new to genealogy. I was in the middle of an adoption search to find my mom’s biological mother and needed someone to photocopy various city directories. I feared I was already wearing out my welcome with the library staff, so I asked for researcher recommendations. Marianne was the first genealogist on the list.
Marianne was very responsive. The city directory search led to other research. She even took photos of the various homes my grandmother had rented. One day, upon finding an obituary for my grandmother’s father, something struck her. She had researched this family before.
She looked through her files and realized she had done research on my grandmother’s son (my biological uncle), who had also had a child put for adoption. In her letter, she mentioned that she had done research on this family and would contact her former client if I wished. That is how I met my new cousin, who had done his own adoption search with Marianne 5 years earlier.
Once I got over my shock at the serendipity of it all, I had chance to reflect on how professionally she had conducted my research. She exceeded all the standards expected of professional genealogists. Her communications with me were frequent and analyzed the data collected, suggesting next steps. She was very familiar with the resources available in the city, county and state and where to find them. And I’m still amazed that she recalled the prior research (considering the last name was very common) and could find her correspondence files.
I am lucky to have had such a great mentor for my first genealogy search. Who is your genealogy hero? What heroic acts have you done in the course of your research?
© Corey Oiesen and Genealogy Heroes 2009.