The Joy of Genealogy

Yesterday, I had a great genealogy find. I haven’t felt that happy about finding a record in a while. And it wasn’t even my family; it was for a client.

We had a small window of opportunity and a bottleneck to overcome. The FHL has a new restriction on a certain group of films in the catalog — a limit so new, it’s not mentioned in the catalog, but suffice it to say, I can’t order a lot of cataloged films because of it. Just before this particular client contacted me about the work, I had learned about the limit trying to research for another client.

Checking the catalog anyway, I noticed three films in just about the right time frame at the FHL and not in the vault. Quickly checking the drawer last week before I could do the research, I saw the films were there and not recalled, so we were in business.

Yesterday, I started the research. We had the birth and death records and needed the parents’ marriage, so that’s what I was looking for. On her birth record, her father’s name was crossed off, leading me to believe that her parents were married after her birth. I started with the last of the three films because it started some months after her birth.

Then, 583 pages into the film, I found the marriage record. I was ecstatic. This is the best part of genealogy to me: searching for a record and finding it. That sounds obvious, right? But a lot of records are indexed, so all you do is search the index, pull the film, find the year, the record number, and scan it in. Or it’s online, so once you find it in the search results, you get the image.

But truly, searching through un-indexed films and finding the one record you need, especially with the restrictions of no more filmed records, that really is the joy of genealogy.

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