Week #30 – Genealogy SerendipityWeek 30: Genealogy Serendipity. Every genealogist has tales of surprise findings or coincidences when climbing the family tree. What is your most memorable serendipitous discovery? Did it involve ancestors in your tree, living folks or both? How did this surprise affect your research and does it still impact you today?
Several years ago my dad, my sister and I went to one of his military reunions in Rockford, Illinois. Since his parents Anton Hansen and Anna Dillingham had gotten married in Crystal Lake, Illinois and his maternal grandparents Stanislaus P. Dillingham and Eliza Minerva Hellenbolt were buried in the Union Cemetery also at Crystal Lake we decided we would go there to find the cemetery and get pictures of the headstone of his grandparents. This is some pictures from the Union Cemetery in Crystal Lake, Illinois. We had checked to see when the library there was open hoping to get two part days in the library there researching, but our flight got in so late we missed the first evening. We did get there early next morning and found a wedding announcement, and an article on the wedding of pop's parents, and obits for his grandparents and his mom's sister. We then headed for the cemetery and it is a pretty large cemetery and we did not have a clue where the tombstone of his grandparents were, so we parked the rental car and fanned out. I was in a section with nearly all German tombstones. Soon my sister yelled she found it! The tombstone was about THREE feet from the rental car, but facing the opposite direction away from the road. How we got so close just by accident was serendipity or maybe they wanted to be found. We later found that grandma's sister was also buried next to her parents, but no gravestone, and when we told our cousins they paid to have a headstone made for Abbie Fredelene Dillingham, but we have not been back to get a picture yet.