Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are Your Ancestors Guiding You?

Labryinth, Westport, Kansas City
There Are No Coincidences!
All genealogists have been overwhelmed at some time or the other by brick walls in research. Our underlying thought may be that "this ancestor does not want to be found." Perhaps they don't want their story to be told.  But really, do you believe they put up these roadblocks purposefully to prevent being uncovered?

Psychic Roots and Genealogy
Contrarily Hank Z. Jones published Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy, that was "dramatized" on NBC's Unsolved Mysteries. More Psychic Roots: Further Adventures in Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy is the sequel. The theme of both is that some, perhaps the lucky ones, are led to genealogical research by "intuitive nudges and serendipitous events." I don't deny the possibilities of this, but as a type A scientific type, I would theorize that good genealogy research leads you to the next possible step where of course you will sooner or later be surrounded by other's who have the same goal.  It's a small world after all!

Genealogy Labyrinths©
At the 2011 Missouri State Genealogical Association 30th Annual Conference banquet, Jones gives numerous of examples of genealogy researchers who were led by "coincidences" (my word not his). Metaphysically speaking, "there are no coincidences." For this reason, one must believe that some of the unsolved genealogy mysteries are also spurred by an external energy.  My question is why are the majority of my ancestor's obstinate? Instead of easily guiding me to the answers, they set up elaborate labyrinths. 

Either way, through Psychic Roots or Labyrinths, the traveled path to illuminating our ancestors would never be possible without the "I just happened to...." exclamation. 

Kathleen Brandt

Note:  Biography information on Hank Z. Jones, 2011 Missouri State Genealogical Association 30th Annual Conference syllabus


  1. I think my ancestors deliberately BLOCK me from finding out about them. ;-)

  2. I think my ancestors help me find them but I also think they block me from finding them until they are ready to be found.

  3. There have been several times when I checked something out and didn't know why I was doing it - and found some amazing information. On the other hand, I agree that some of our ancestors like to hide from us.

  4. This is an interesting post. I could argue both sides of this debate.