AUTHOR SUNDAY – Do you believe our ancestors sometimes give us extra help finding them?



Nadine Nabors

Back in 1983 for my birthday present “to me” was going to the LDS library in Los Angeles Calif.


My father said…are you nuts?

My father, who could care less about genealogy went with me, because he didn’t want me to be alone in the down town L.A. area by myself and offered to help.

When we got there and got out of the car, I looked up and said out loud.  Nancy Key Glenn, I’m your 2nd great granddaughter and I want a birthday present from you. I want to find the Cemetery your sons and family are buried in.  ( Pontotoc co Ms. they moved from Tuscaloosa ala 1845). Well my father really said ….are you nuts?

He shook his head and said where do you start

Well after a few hours without any luck. Again with my father sitting across from me I asked again.  Great – Great grandmother help me I only have this ONE day!  Then I just sat there for a few minutes.. DAD had to ask now what are you doing?  Told him well I resting my brain, and go back  and will get more books on MS. that was index.on the way I passed a whole shelf full of old Magazines all not indexed. I just stopped with Dad right behind me, he about ran into me.  Dad who was helping said … you said there is no index so that means page by page…. not looking happy.  Told him to go sit and I will bring him some, with a smirk.  He shook his head and said where do you want to start.

I looked at the whole roll about 4 years worth.  I walked up and down looking at the years. Thinking I would never have the time to look at all of them. I notice one mag was pulled out more than the others. So I took that year of magazines.

Dad asked why that year, and told him that this one was pulled out more than the others.



I believe they (our ancestors) do help or are happy we are doing this.  It doesn’t happen often but it has more than once. Once looking for a Cem., and I was given the wrong directions and something kept me thinking NO it has to be OVER there not here and I found  it.,( I believe with help)

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources



  1. Yes they help. Sometimes without knowing the date til I find it, info comes on their birthday, anniversary or death day. I think some toy with me or do not want a secret found.

  2. They came to me in my dreams.

    1. Yes,they do come to you in your dreams and by moving things in your home for you to find.that there is absolutely no explanation of how something that has been put away for many many many years is in plain sight on the table

  3. I searched for my mother’s grandparents for years with no luck. In the early 1990s I made a trip to England searching for them. My family and I had been through several catholic cemeteries with not luck. We passed a church of England church and something told me to stop, so we did. I went looking for the vicar and my family spread out in search of Edward & Isabella. When I did not find a vicar I turned and the first headstone I encountered was indeed my great grand parents. My husband started his search in the same spot and swears that my ancestors wanted me to find them. My mother had a photo of that headstone in her nursing home room for years before she passed.

  4. Several times I have found new info on the person on their birthday.

  5. Yes and know who cares enough to find them.
    My 8th great grandfather is buried in Big Coon Valley, Jackson County, AL. He has a Revolutionary War headstone. He came into Alabama in 1819. My granddaughter and I keep flowers and a Liberty Bell flag on his grave.

    1. Where is this at in Big Coon? I Iive very close and love cemeteries

    2. Allen Cemetery, on the same County Road (can’t recall number) as Long Acres and Stevenson City Cemeteries but further down. His name is Annanais Allen.
      Two greats and a grandfather, the McCrarys, are buried at Long Acres. Annanais’ daughter, Sophia, married a McCrary. That’s my direct line to Annanias.
      Across the state line in the Crow Creek Valley, Sherwood, TN, are my other greats and my grandmother, Mountain View Cemetery.
      My mother lived in the area as a child, later moved to Bridgeport, and that’s where I was born.

  6. Yes I have. And the funny thing is, some days when I’m looking for one side of the tree won’t find a thing on any of them but will find info on a different branch of the family. Learned to use smaller notebooks so I could take it every tine I went. I’ve spoken with other researchers who have had it happen with them also.

  7. We absolutely do receive their help finding them. Some of them have been waiting a long time to be found, and they want to be found!

  8. Absolutely! No one had been able to find the will for my GG Grandfather, and a registrar for a lineage group told me I had to prove he was dead. I mean really, he was born in the 1820’s, wouldn’t we know if he were living?

    All thru the 2 hour drive to the county of his last residence, I talked to my grandmother in heaven asking her to ask him about it. Sure enough, there was a missing will index with the missing will mentioned. They do help and guide. My husband thinks I’m crazy,

  9. Everybody thought my ancestor James Norton White was married to a woman named Agnes Epperson, but it turned out he really married a woman named Agnes Lavender after he moved away from Alabama. We had a family reunion coming up, and a second cousin called me up to ask where I got that information. She said she left all her papers out on the table one day, and when she came back Epperson was scratched out and Lavender was written in. Nobody in the family knew anything about it – nor did she until I found the paperwork. Is that spooky?

  10. I was working in the Salt Lake city Family History Library one day, on a project for my cousin on the lines he and I do not share. I had a whole list of microfilms to read that day and was plowing through them. The library was crowded with several tour groups and the only microfilm reader I could find was behind the book stacks a floor below where the films were housed, so all day I trekked back and forth getting new films. Every time I passed a certain shelf, a particular book stood out for some reason–not brightly colored, in line with the others, and the title didn’t mean a thing to me. But every time, it somehow caught my attention. Finally I literally promised it I would look at it before I left that day. When I finally did and glanced through the index, there were the very people I’d been researching all day, with much new information! You can imagine that I believe that our people want to be found and identified!
    Sharon Jarvis

  11. I give a talk on questionable methods for doing family history research including birth order, personality from handwriting, ghosts etc. One thing I do believe is that some days you can find everything and other days you cannot find the floor if you are face down on it. The trick is not to give up after the bad days but to be prepared to make the most of the days when you can seemingly win every time.

  12. Sadly we lost our dear cousin, Sara Emma. She was a wonderful lady and she loved her heritage. She had done and collected all that she could in her lifetime on the Cox Family. After her funeral, my son and I stayed for a while at the cemetery. He wanted to see where the family was buried and the names etc. I remembered that once I had seen my grandfather’s grave. My mother told me that he wanted to be buried next to his father so they granted his wish. It was close to the wall but the wall was pretty long and I could not remember the exact location. My son searched along the wall and could not find the grave. We were about to give up when my son shouted out, “Sara Emma, help us find moma’s grandpa’s grave.” We laughed and I got into the car to go where my son was standing. I pulled up and stopped, got out of the car, walked around to the other side and there it was, my grandfather’s grave! Thank you, Sara Emma! I promise I won’t forget again and neither will my son.

    1. Amazing story!

  13. It is possible, though at times in a roundabout way. My brother-in-law is good at research and asked for the names and date of birth and location where my parents were born. Neither one was from Alabama and ever since I moved here at age 16 sort of felt like an ‘outsider’. Come to find out, some of my not so distant ancestors were born in Alabama and are buried here. This was something I never knew of before, so maybe in their own way, the ‘ancestors’ helped influence him to do all that research.

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