A neat article
by travel writer Jan Burak Schwert appeared in the Seattle Times earlier this week recounting her husband's unusual meeting with his third cousin Franz - a man who looked so much like him, he could have been his brother. The article had already caught my attention when she described her husband as "grinning from ear to ear" upon finding several Schwert graves after 30 minutes of searching a cemetery in the tiny ancestral German
village of Binningen
in the pouring rain. How many of you can't help but smile when you read that? Just about any genealogist knows exactly how he must have felt at that moment...but I digress. The story gets even better when Jan and her husband Ron stop in a small pub (gaustaus) before leaving Binningen, only to have the locals immediately recognize the resemblance that Ron shared with Schwert's living in the area. A more complete version of the story, entitled Finding Franz
, shares a little more of the magic behind that special genealogy encounter, and her conversion from a "genealogy widow" to a believer...
My guess is that most of us self-professed genealogy "junkies" get a thrill from just about every discovery, whether an online census record or a tombstone laying among the weeds on the old family farm. I'm to the point where I'm equally thrilled to find the ancestors of others, or to find a neat old cemetery that I didn't know about before (I don't need to know anyone buried there to be thrilled by it...just ask my husband!). But for most of us there is still a genealogy encounter that stands out - perhaps one of your early genealogy discoveries, an unusual "find," or a very special person you've met along the way. If such an encounter comes to mind when you read this, then please share it with the rest of us - we'd love to hear it! Just click on "comments" below to share your "magic of genealogy" moment. Or, if you have a family history blog, then please feel free to blog your story there and then send me the link or add it to the comments below. I'll highlight them in a future blog post.