Archive for January 9th, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – My Super-Powers

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 9th, 2010

It’s Saturday Night Live at the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Playhouse, and Randy Seaver wants to know what our Genealogy Super Powers are.

Check out Randy’s Challenge below or at Geneamusings.

It’s Saturday Night – time for more Genealogy Fun!

Dean Richardson posted What’s Your Genealogical Superpower? on his Genlighten Blog – Genealogy Documented blog last week, along with a nifty picture of a young lady with a big S on her shirt flying (is that Dean’s wife?). I thought Dean’s question was a great one for SNGF – so your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to…

1) Answer the question: Do you have a genealogical “superpower”? (i.e., a unique research ability or technique that helps you track down records or assemble conclusions that others can’t?) If so, what is it?

2) Tell us about it in a blog post, a comment to this post, a comment to Dean’s post, or a comment to this post on Facebook or Twitter.

3) If you have a picture of yourself in superpower mode, please show it to us!

What are my super powers?  What is it they say in the movies?  I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you?  Seriously, I’m just not sure that I have any “super” powers.

I do seem to have some good networking and investigative skills, and I’ve managed to run people (dead and live ones) down by making phone call after phone call to one entity or another.

I found a distant elderly living cousin in Barren County, Kentucky by doing the following:

1. We were at the Glasgow City cemetery and there were flowers on the grave of my great-great aunt.  That told me that someone living, and probably someone from that the area, put them there. She was of an age to still have living children, and definitely could have living grandchildren.

2. So, my next step could have been to find her obituary and that would have been a good next step, but I was hoping for a little quicker solution, so I called the local funeral home(s) with her name and date of death.

3.  I hit gold on my second funeral home. They had handled her funeral arrangements.  Because I had visited with this director on several occasions and he knew the cousins I’d already connected with in his town, he gave me the woman’s name and I was able to call her.

My new-found (and very elderly) cousin was very kind, but she knew very little about her ancestry and was very apologetic about “having had to throw away all the old photos due to moving into a smaller apartment.”

My first thought was “You Did WHAT?!”

But I didn’t say that and while I was broken hearted knowing that photos of my ancestors may have gone into the dumpster, at least I was able to learn that that particular avenue was closed to me for more information, and I connected with a nice sounding distant relative.

I guess what I’ve learned is that you can pick up the phone and make a few phone calls that can help you connect with distant family members and further your research, though you may not always get positive results.

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