Sunday, March 2, 2008

I Felt Two Hands

This is another in the Ancestry Insider's series called Serendipity in Genealogy.

Hildo Rosillo Flores of Piura, Peru started his family history with just a four-generation pedigree chart. He started in the usual way, interviewing his parents and relatives.

"To find the death dates of my maternal great-grandparents, I traveled to the town of Zorritos, in northern Peru, where they had been buried," says Flores.

This Pisco, Peru Cemetery illustrates the mixture of older, below-ground burials and the above-ground vaults used for new interments.
This Pisco, Peru Cemetery illustrates a
mixture of older, below-ground burials
and the above-ground vaults  used for
new interments. Image © Alex Seeley.

The cemetery, on the outskirts of town, primarily contained vaulted compartments. After an initial search, Flores was not able to locate his great-grandparents vault, so he went into town to confer with a cousin. She assured him they were interred in that cemetery, so he returned determined to find their final resting place.

"I returned to the cemetery and began a methodical search, walking down every vault aisle and reading every inscription." Still, nothing. He knelt and prayed, then repeated his thorough search pattern. For a third time, he was unable to find them and now it was getting late. He would have to leave without finding them. He turned toward the front gate, ready to leave the cemetery when something wondrous happened.

"Just as I took my first step, I felt two hands take hold of my head from behind and turn it towards a certain spot. My eyes rested on a small, dirty headstone that was level with the ground. I looked behind me to see who had grabbed my head, but no one was there. I walked to the headstone, lay on the ground, and cleaned off the inscription."

Isidro Garcia Rosillo, died August 1, 1934.
Francisca Espinoza BerrĂº, died January 31, 1954.

To his amazement, it was the very marker Flores was searching for!

Adapted from "Who Turned My Head?" Hildo Rosillo Flores, Ensign, October-2007, p. 72.

1 comment:

  1. I had this same experience at an old cemetery in Buffalo, NY where I'd spent a long time doing the same thing-- walking round and round looking for the stone of my ancestor. My family was getting anxious; it was hot and humid, and a couple of them were freaked that a) were in a cemetery, and b) in a poor neighborhood where the residents looked different. I sighed, and turned to return to our rental car.

    While I didn't feel two hands turn my head, SOMETHING made me stop and take one last look. And just a few feet from where I stood, there it was-- the gravestone of my Betz ancestor!

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