It's coincidence, hunch, synchronicity, fortuitous luck, guidance, paranormal, spiritual, karma, ESP, visitation, life-after-death, fate, divinity, genetic memory, providence, intuition, Deity, inspiration, psychic, revelation, the force, subconscious reasoning, numeracy, vision, sixth sense, collective unconscious, dreams, reincarnation, educated guess, inner voice, out-of-body journey, mystical, ghost, chance, acausal, non-mechanical reality, portent, omen, or "the sheer cussed awfulness—or wonder—of things." (See Henry Z. Jones, Jr., Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy, p. 81.)
We call it Serendipity in Genealogy.
And the Telly Goes to...
Congratulations to Roots Television, an online video channel covering all aspects of genealogy, which has been recognized in its first year with four Telly Awards. One Telly recognized "Roots Books: Psychic Roots," a talk show interview with Hank Jones. Host Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Jones discuss Jones' books, Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy and More Psychic Roots: Further Adventures in Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy.
I recommend you watch the program, as Jones shares several of the best stories from his books. Here's one of his favorites.
Serendipity in Genealogy
For years Reverend Shuster wanted to visit the hometown of one of his Shuster ancestors in another state, but his ministerial duties had always kept him too busy. After years of trying to find the time, he was at last able to make the trip. He hoped to visit the town's old graveyard and see if his ancestor's tombstone still existed.
Upon arrival in town Reverend Shuster's first order of business was to check out the cemetery, which turned out to be rather large. He found the sexton and inquired about the location of his ancestor's tombstone. Amazingly, the sexton knew exactly where that particular grave was located.
When the Reverend mentioned how surprised he was that the sexton knew the location so readily, the sexton replied that Reverend Shuster was the 5th person that day to ask about that grave.
Amazingly, the Reverend had finally made his trip to the town on the very day that a Shuster Family Reunion was taking place at a location adjacent to the cemetery! This serendipitous timing allowed him to make contact and establish relations with loads of extended family members.
You can view part 1 of the 5 parts above. To see the remaining parts (or if you can't view the video above), go to the Roots Television website: Roots Books: Psychic Roots.