May 2010 Everything’s Relative

By Family Tree Editors Premium

All in the Family December Winners: You’re in Luck
Can we get some of these people’s karma? They’re among the dozens of Family Tree Magazine readers whose family trees have benefited from uncanny research coincidences: bumping into long-lost cousins at the library, tripping over Great-grandpa’s nearly concealed gravestone, randomly opening to the page with the right name and the like. The lucky streak continues for these readers, who’ll receive our 2009 back issues on CD.
I called a realtor to view a house about 100 miles away. When I met him, he looked familiar, but we decided it was coincidental. I commented on the house and where my grandmother had lived—a thousand miles away. His family came from the same area. We soon discovered that our grandmothers had married the same man. His grandmother was the first wife; mine, the second. No wonder he looked familiar.

Ann Desormeaux » Lanark, Ontario

Several years ago, my husband and I were looking for a cemetery where my ancestors are buried. We couldn’t find it, so we stopped at a nearby farm to ask for help.  The name on the mailbox was Erway, my maiden name. We’d accidentally found my family farm. We got more history than we expected that day.
Lynn Fortney » Lititz, Pa.

My husband and I went to Pershore, England, seeking the grave of his great-great-grandfather, John Gore. We were distressed to find few stones left in the cemetery.  My husband went off to find a public “loo.” While waiting, I reached down to pick up a coin. My amazed eyes saw part of a stone with the letters oor. I peeled back some sod and saw goor. When my husband returned, he peeled the remaining sod and, without a doubt, it was his ancestor’s grave.
Rose Mary Keller Hughes » Henrietta, NY

When I became the family historian, my mother suggested I research my Snee ancestors because they “lived in Gill Hall (Pa.), and you live near Gill Hall Road.” But I couldn’t find a hint of Margaret Snee in cemeteries, church records, censuses or wills. Finally, I found a deed of her father, John Snee of Gill Hall. A chill ran up my spine as I read the property description. My current home sits on the same land once owned by my fourth-great-grandfather.
Deborah Morinello » Pittsburgh

I once traveled to West Virginia for a living history rendezvous. I walked around the vendor area and came to one specializing in teas. A label caught my eye: “Brewed Especially for Isaac Carey.”
I asked, why Issac Carey? The vendor replied, “He was my great-grandfather.” I inquired whether Isaac’s parents were John Carey and Lydia Jones Hollingsworth.
“Yes, how did you know?”
My answer: “Hello, Cousin!”
Karon Farmer Lamb » Chattanooga, Tenn.

I decided to spend the day after Patriots’ Day 1990 (commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord) at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records. I wanted to find the marriage record of my paternal grandparents, Antonio Costa Felix and Philomena Reis, whom I knew wed around 1922 or 1923. I found the record quickly: They were married April 17, 1922. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I’d found the record on my grandparents’ 68th wedding anniversary.

Antone C. Felix » Bridgewater, Mass.
From the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine