Serendipity...genealogical discoveries with a little help from above.

Gold is Where You Find it!

by Randi

My e-mail address is
and I live in Princeton, Missouri.

This really happened to me

On a Tuesday night, after a local genealogy meeting, a friend of mine and I decided to take an impromptu trip into Illinois for the next two days to research both her, in Warren County, and my family, in Pike County, who were giving us both quite a lot of "brick walls".

We decided if we took two days, two heads being better than one, we could spend the equivalent of four days researching. So, we left Princeton around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and went into Pike County, to begin research on my Browne - Hubbard - Ellsberry - and Mace families.

My Browne family had come from Ireland in 1833, and I hadn't done much research on them up until this time. My eyes were really opened when I took copies of Henry Browne's will! He was educated as a doctor in Dublin, had seen action in the East Indies as a Captain in the British Army. Also included in the will was the address in London where he received his pension funds! But, what was really ironic was his wife, Honoria's obituary.

Most obits at that time in Pike County were very sketchy unless the person was of some prominence. Her will was very lengthy, giving the date and place of her birth, and her marriage date to Henry - along with the name of their farm estate, etc., what a find! We spent the afternoon hours happily going into well kept cemeteries in that county - taking pictures and organizing the information we had amassed from the courthouse and library.

The next morning we were up early, driving on to Warren County to search my friends Cousin lineage. There she hit a bonanza! And, we deemed our trip a success. However, late in the afternoon, just before the courthouse was due to close, while researching old birth, death and marriage records for her - lo' and behold - I came upon a birth record for one of my Coop family members who I'd been searching for for the last 5 years!

I'd been searching in the wrong county all of this time - never dreaming that the family had come through Warren County on their way into Iowa. Divine intervention - you bet! Why else would I find my own family in a county I had never begun to research while helping her find her family members? I also believe my Browne family was "given" to me at the same time.

I generally only research to the parent country - believing, after all these years of research, that I must leave something for my children to research on their own. I now believe that they, our ancestors, are given to us when the time is right - no matter where or what we're researching -and to "go for the gold!" when it FINALLY happens.

Submitted:  July 21 2002

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