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A genealogy miracle - finding ancestors with Mom

by Geoff Rasmussen


I never thought this day would come. After what my mother just told me, my genealogy career just became completely worth it.

Mom has always supported me even when she wasn't that interested in what I was doing. She watched my sporting events, helped me through scouting, and patiently taught me the piano. She loved me even when she probably shouldn't have. She has even shown her love by sitting through one or two of my in-person genealogy classes. I think she has always been happy to let others (like myself, her mother and sisters) work on her genealogy.

Last week she surprised me by asking for help with navigating the site. I initially thought she was just being her loving self again and showing interest because it was something I enjoy. We searched census records, vital records, and even explored together. I was having the time of my life. AND we had genealogy success. We found and documented a new family together. We concluded, had dinner, and visited with my grandparents. A good day.

Fast forward two days when we got together for my 13-year-old son's birthday party. We while casually talked, she told me something I never thought would leave her lips. She mentioned that she found an ancestor, on her own, on purpose, without my help or coercion. She applied what I tried to teach her and she had success! If I were done recovering from this recent back surgery I would have got up and enjoyed a genealogy happy dance, and so I enjoyed it from the couch. My mother found an ancestor. Wow.

I don't know that my mother will continue this pursuit, but I sure enjoyed the time with her. I've even got a nice picture of the memory. And isn't that one of the good things in life - making memories with family.


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That's really wonderful Geoff. That will be a cherished memory. Are you wearing a tie while recovering from surgery? Just askin :)

Get well soon,

What a touching post. Keep up the good work Geoff and hope your health is better soon.

Loved your story Geoff and I have so appreciated your Books, tutorials and videos. Could not agree more with your conclusion. All the best with that back recovery.

I listened belatedly to Chris Staats' webinar and wondered about your not being there. Hope the surgery went well and you will soon be hosting.

Has she read your book? That alone would inspire many people to move forward on finding their family. Glad the two of you could share this experience. That is one of the best memories I have with my mother before she passed on. She was always supportive of my endeavors, especially doing family history work.

The icing on the birthday cake of life!

Geoff, I hope that you're taking care of yourself (as a retired RN). We just moved from our winter home to our regular home so haven't had much time for webinars.
My mother got me started in genealogy or at least really helped me in writing details that she had and in finding information for me. She and her cousin's wife visited family cemeteries together gathering infomation.
Many years later I connected with a cousin-in-law of my mother's. My mother was in Ontario, I was in Michigan (newly moved from California), and the cousin-in-law was in California (10 miles from where I previously lived. She gave me information that she had received from a cousin (my mother's cemetery buddy). Genealogy is a small community and our mothers definitely help us.

Thank you for all that you do to help all of us.
Shirley Crampton

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