Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: When Has Someone Helped You Find a Record or Solve a Mystery?

I’m not sure how the weekend keeps arriving so quickly, but here it is time once again for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver.

Here is this week’s challenge:

1)  We all need, and usually enjoy, a little help from our genealogy friends.  This week’s challenge is to share a time when a genea-friend helped you find a record, or even solve a mystery.  It could be a recent help, or something from long ago.

I didn’t have to think very long about this challenge. Yes, like Randy, I’ve had a number of genea-friends and even some distant cousins who have helped me find a record, or two, or three. . .

However, I think of one friend often, who died almost seven years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Ruth Maness worked at the (then) Family History Library for many years in the Scandinavian department.

She “adopted” me about 2010, guided and taught me, step by step, how to navigate the Danish and Swedish records that enabled me to break through my brick wall – 3X great grandfather Johannes Jensen – given up for adoption right after his birth in the King’s Hospital for Unwed Mothers in Copenhagen, Denmark.

We became friends and I looked forward to seeing her every time I got to the Family History Library.

My earliest blog posts in 2014 were all about how that 30+ year brick wall was cracked open. The story of the Danish military records was possible only with Ruth’s help as I sat in the Family History Library. Step by step, she sent me off to collect various microfilms of Danish military records, told me what I was looking for and helped me read some of the more illegible pages.

Without those military records, I would never have learned the names of Johannes Jensen’s parents, as the “father not known” notation in his military file was the clue that led us to the Unwed Mother’s Hospital.

I was looking forward to visiting with Ruth in July 2017 as we were vacationing in Utah that summer and I planned to spend a couple of days in the library. Our visit never happened as Ruth passed away in June, about three weeks before we were to have our visit.

Ruth was truly one of a kind in the genealogy world and she is missed by many.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.

2 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: When Has Someone Helped You Find a Record or Solve a Mystery?”

  1. How fortunate you were to find such a generous person to help you! I’m so glad she was able to you overcome your “father not known” notation. Some of us are still working on those research obstacles.

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