Mary Thurman shares this wonderful story Feb. 17, 2012:

"Monday I was doing research on my grandma's oldest sister's family. Thought I was at a dead end a few months ago. thru ancestry and old newspapers, I finally tracked down a person who could possible be alive. Tuesday morning I did a white pages search for him. He grew up in California, but I found a phone number for him in Littleton. Called him and we were on the phone for an hour. I finally had to tell him I had things to do. So we will probably meet in person soon. What a hoot."

Please recall any stories you'd like to share with our readers and email them to me at I'll post them for our readers to enjoy!
True Miracles with Genealogy
Last year well-known LDS author Anne Bradshaw published volume 1 of "True Miracles with Genealogy". I submitted a short story that was included in the book. A few weeks ago Anne published Volume 2 of the book. I started reading it yesterday and made a wonderful discovery, while being drawn very emotionally into the 4th story in the book. Instead of repeating my story here, I'll direct you to the post I put on my blog that explains the value I've found in this story and in this book. You can read it here

Feeling the Land Where our Ancestors Lived
Last Sept Lureen and I took a trip, along with Jeanette and Leah and Leah's 5 and 2 yr olds, to North Carolina. The trip wasn't to gain new information but was just to feel and see the land that our ancestors lived on. We did get a lot of information about them but the trip was more our "Roots" trip. We found the cemetery where Abraham Rencher was buried and looked at many of the papers of Abraham at the University of North Carolina. We were able to copy 3 of the folders. Many of these papers were papers he wrote and were written to him while he was in the Government.
We also found a very small cemetery of my Radford family. The family still owns the property and the house and the church are still there. The house and church are about 150 yrs old. This is the fun of family history. Finding your roots and if possible going there and get the feel of the land a get a vision of what is was like when they were alive.

Ken Orchard, Oct. 24, 2011

Sacred Ground
This is an excerpt from an email we received today from Larry's 2nd cousin. We'd originally planned to accompany Kevin and his wife Sue on their journey to re-visit their homeland in Greene County, PA. We were not ultimately able to make the trip, so Kevin is reporting to us on the adventures they had last month. We post his words here for you to enjoy. Larry and Becky Jamison
"This brings me to our last day in Greene County. Friday, September 23, 2011. The plan was to get an early start and drive to the eastern part of the county and try, once again, to locate the Roberts Cemetery. Last year, we searched in vain for this place. We knew it was there, but we were just not able to find it. This year, we had a GPS device ( TOM -TOM ), but no coordinates. We again had the same accurate directions as last year. However, it is not so simple when we were out in the deep country side, in areas which are quite remote by any standard. The roads are gravel and mud. That's correct. Mud. That day, same as the day before, much of our exploring Greene County was done in a driving rain storm. Trails are overgrown and not so easy to distinguish and the weather added a level of difficulty which would challenge people much younger and more resilient than Sue and I. But we pressed on going back and forth and around and around. Sue even got out of the car and climbed a really steep, weed and tall grass-choked farm trail in the rain to see if this was the place, only to meet with failure. She even slipped in the wet grass and was more insulted than injured, but, injured, nonetheless. Now I was getting angry at this land, this mean and inhospitable place which kept my ancestors concealed from me. I decided to give up the search and vowed to never come back 
    And so it was, that Ashtree, Gilmore Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. would deny, once again, a descendant child the discovery of the sacred ground which holds the roots of his existence. After much searching, we just could not find the cemetery. I was convinced that it was not meant to be because I had asked the ancestors to lead me to this place and I believed they ignored my plea for guidance.
   But a voice kept calling out to me. I could hear it ever so faintly in the recesses of my conscious mind. " Don't give up! Don't quit now that you are so close, after you have come so far! You must keep trying! You will find a way ! " The voice kept pleading. It got louder and more clear. And then it started saying, in a really loud voice, " Open the door !! It's raining out here !! You locked me out of the car!". It was Sue. It was her voice and she wasn't too happy with me accidentally locking her out of the car after she had just slipped in the wet grass, jamming her shoulder and getting soaked and covered in weed seed and mud on the seat of her pants and I did not even see it happen because I was too wrapped up in my own little dilemma. HA!
   The male Y chromosome in me drives me to avoid asking for help or, God forbid, directions. But my wife, with her better judgment, convinced me to travel back up the hill about a mile to the farmhouse and do that which does not come natural to men. I ascended the porch steps and saw through the glass storm door,an overweight, middle aged man lounging in sweatpants, slippers and a gray angora sweater, watching television. There was a mounted twelve point buck head on the far wall staring at me without interest. When I knocked, the man turned to look and calmly waved me into the house. He smiled at me and straightened in the chair so as to better see me. It was then that I realized he was indeed not wearing a gray sweater. I was somewhat taken aback by the easy hospitality demonstrated by this man. You must understand. This area is very remote. Probably the only people who ever drive this road are the rural mail carriers because there were absolutely no other farm homes for many miles around. I know. I drove every last one of them more than once.
   This kind and helpful man, Mr. Charles Weaver, told me exactly where the cemetery was and how to get there. From the porch, he pointed to a split in the trees on a hilltop about a mile away as the birds fly. If I could not find it, come back and he would lead me to it. I could not help but wonder if this farm home was actually the home of our ancestors. He did not know. However, the home and farm were freshly and beautifully sided and metal roofed and remodeled and there were two new and beautiful metal barns on the property. Gas Company lease money, according to Mr. Weaver. He said the place is very old and "You should have seen it before we had it fixed up." I should have taken photos, but I did not want to offend this gentleman.
   We returned to the same place where Sue slipped and found the completely camouflaged trail leading up a steep hill on the other side of the road. Sue stayed in the car and I took the umbrella and camera and climbed the wet and muddy hill trail.
    Lo and behold !!! I found it !! The resting place of my Roberts ancestors. Success !! I took a few photos and tried to get into the serendipity mood, but the weather and the ordeal literally dampened that mood. No matter! I found them! As it was last year, I only found the King family cemetery on nearby King Sister Hill Road because a kind " local " pointed out the way to this total stranger. Same thing this year with Mr. Charles Weaver. Of course, the real hero in this story of discovery is actually a heroine - Susan Lorraine Bernhoft King. The voice that encourages me to keep going, to not give up. I would guess that the Old Ones, our ancestors, are quite pleased to see that I married a woman who is every bit as strong and determined as they were. A woman that they are so proud to include in the family tree." 
Kevin M. King, D. C., North Baltimore, Ohio

Cousin Connections Between the "Steps"
from Becky Jamison

My family, like so many others these days, is filled with "Step" relationships: stepmothers, stepfathers, step-children, step-grandchildren. Throw in an adoption or two and a quotation from one of my "step-granddaughters" comes to mind: "You don't have to be related by blood to be a member of THIS family!"

As I'm researching various family members, I'm blessed to have an uncanny ability to remember names and associate them with the proper family. I believe that's just a gift from the Spirit. Earlier this week I was looking at a post on a blog about a "Coffey" family and was reading it with keen interest, since my husband's grand-aunt was married to a Coffey. I saw the name of Gragg mentioned in the blog post and also remembered that my step-granddaughter had Gragg ancestors. I went to my RootsMagic database and reviewed the Gragg family members listed there. I noticed one was married to a man named Rittenhouse Baird. Now that's a name that will grab your attention! I also remembered that this Baird gentleman was related to my step-mother! I got to work and drew up a relationship chart that showed how my step-daughter's 5th great grandmother was married to my step-mother's 4th great grandfather! To put it in another perspective, my son can say that his grandma and his step-daughter are related through cousins by marriage. I think that's significant, but can be filed in the folder of "who else is going to care."