Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Good Genealogy Luck?

It's Saturday Night - time for our weekly Genealogy Fun!

I'm having too much fun at the FGS Conference, so I'm dusting off an oldie but goodie!Genealogy Insider blog by Diane Haddad about Ways I'm Genealogically Lucky. I thought to myself "old Rand, that would be a good SNGF topic." Thank you, Diane, for the idea:

Here's the directions:

1) When have you had a dose of good genealogy luck? What document or resource did you find just by happenstance or chance? By being in the right place at the right time? By finding a family history treasure in your family's attic or basement? By finding a helpful document or reference without even looking for it?

2) Tell us about it in Comments to this post, in Comments on Facebook or Google Plus, or in a blog post of your own.

Here's mine:

Read Treasures in the Closet for my extreme good luck after I thought that all family treasures had been found. This was certainly a case of being in the right place at the right time.

I'm still working my way through all of these items! I wonder where I put some of them? Hmmm, probably the file cabinet! I need to scan them and get them archived somewhere.

John Milton originally said "luck is the residue of design" (and Branch Rickey is often credited with the saying). However, the definition of "luck" is "the chance happening of fortunate or adverse events."

I saw a post on the

Here's another:  Somehow I fell into this blogging gig five years ago, and because of good fortune I've managed to be involved in Geneabloggers where there are hundreds of interesting, smart and fun genealogy writers sharing their family history and their experiences with readers.  Blogging has sort of taken over my genealogy life for some reason - and I feel very lucky!


Michelle Goodrum said...

First, I would like to say AMEN to your last comment about meeting wonderful, smart people through GeneaBloggers.

My good genealogy luck was stumbling over my great great grandmother's grave on Find A Grave. You can read part one of the story here:

Patti Hobbs said...

Well, we're lucky to have you blogging, Randy.

I have had two things happen that were extremely lucky just in the last few weeks.

I had been tracking down descendants in one family line for a long time. In one particular family I had been trying, unsuccessfully, to get together with one woman who has a "box of stuff" that her mother had. Low-and-behold, a descendant of another sibling in that family found my website and has scanned and sent me photos of my great grandfather and his only brother (who is her ancestor) at about 3 different times of their lives; a wedding photo of my great-great grandparents, m. 1878; and a photo of my great-great-great grandmother whose likeness I have never before seen.

Then I bought a book about a person who immigrated from the same part of England and at the same time as my husband's ancestor did and came to Ohio, as his ancestors did. I figured it would give me some background/historical information especially since it is partially based on the diary of one branch of the family. Turned out my husband's ancestor is in it and is related to this family.

Donna Hansen Peterson said...

Hi Randy,
My blog about good luck is at

Susi's Quarter said...

Randy, as you know, it seems I can research long and hard but the good stuff comes when I am helping others or not looking for the data any more.
I have had books drop of shelves. I have had research being done for others find me a full link to my own ancestors. I am a firm believer of Random Acts of Kindness to others because you never what is around the bend, on the next page, in the next blog by a friend, at the library, in a newsletter or shared in a phone call.

J. Paul Hawthorne said...

Randy, I found a photographer of headstones in Alabama through Find A Grave that I haven't seen before. A great resource for people researching their Southern roots. This guy photographs a lot of cemeteries! I've been a member of Find A grave for years and this guy just popped upped!
Saturday just brings surprises!

Dorene from Ohio said...

Working in a library provides wonderful opportunities for good genealogical luck! At the library, I have found DAR documents for one line of my family that provided a missing maiden name of one of my female ancestors; another time a patron had interesting details about my great grandmother's marriage to his uncle. And I have had several opportunities to be the recipient of photographs via email through distant cousins who have a scanner! I am blessed with good luck indeed!

Geolover said...

Randy, thanks for keeping up with your blog posts while so intensively attending the FGS Conference (and when did you have time to recover from Grandpa Camp?).

Most recent luck was in the Civil War Pension Application File of a son of a Mystery Cousin. He'd had a letter from his only sister, giving the exact birth dates of her, him, and their siblings, from "mother's old Bible" -- which had subsequently burned in a house fire. He sent the original letter to the Pension Office while trying to prove eligibility for a pension increase -- thus preserving it for posterity.

Accounts of children of the pensioners in these files are common, in response to the Pension Bureau's questionnaires. But seldom does one find such documentation of the whole generation of the pension recipients.

Thanks to John S. for the sending to the Pension Bureau, to Isabella for writing the letter, and to the National Archives for preserving the paper copies all these years.

Julie said...

Randy et al find mine here

Mel said...

I've had alot of good luck along the way, but I've written about two specific incidences:

Taco said...

This was my blog post from a few weeks ago: From brick wall to 4-lane highway