Generous souls…friends along the way. I don’t know what to call them, but these traveling companions always seem to appear when I need them most. They’ve appeared out of the blue, oftentimes in unexpected places. And though the timing’s not mine, it always seems perfect. That’s why I welcomed with open arms the "search angel" who showed up for me last week.
This blog post, by genealogy expert Megan Smolenyak, is what drew me to the "search angel" in the first place. As I read this line of hers, especially, I felt like I was hearing an amen chorus for some of the work that I’ve been doing:
Although NBC’s celebrity roots series, Who Do You Think You Are?, is only about to embark on its second season (February 4 , 8/7c), it already has many diehard fans. Imported from the U.K. by executive producer Lisa Kudrow, the show appears to be on the verge of provoking a nationwide epidemic of roots fever.
The underlying question of this series – Who do you think you are? – plays a pivotal role in many of my Nancy Drew adventures. In researching my own family tree, I’ve climbed precarious, sprawling branches. I’ve tunneled my way through lots of tangled roots. It’s not for the faint-hearted or indelicate, that’s for sure. Still, and though I’m not an expert genealogist, I’ve collected a bag of tricks. And side-kicks. Have roadster, will travel!
Even Nancy Drew needs someone to hold the flashlight now and again, which is why this response to Megan’s entry caught my eye:
Feel free to contact me for help in searches. I have completed 200 searches/reunions in the past two years, some without even a family name. www.priscillasharp.org. […] Reuniting the world — one family at a time.
After reviewing her website, I felt compelled to contact Priscilla. We exchanged emails, and then we spoke by phone. To say that our connection was immediate would be an understatement. I explained what I was looking for, and why. And when she said, “I would be delighted to help you,” I cried. It’s so wonderful, not to be going it alone! When we talked a few days later, she ended our phone call by saying, “I’m with you for the long haul.” I leaned into her reassuring words, and the spirit of understanding behind them.
Unlike some genealogists, Patricia does this work for free—a generosity borne of her personal experiences. (It’s not my story to tell, but I encourage you to peruse her website. You’ll come away inspired, I promise you that.) She calls herself a search angel, a name that suits her, I think. Within days, she’s already uncovered new information and artifacts for me—this revival ad, among them. Several people made mention of this line of copy: “See visible miracles…” I believe this new partnership is a miracle in its own right. Can I get a witness?