AUTHOR SUNDAY – Serendipity – For some unknown reason, I went to the center

Serendipity Story


Mynda Holman McGuire

While searching for my namesake, a great aunt who had died 20 years before my birth, I visited a small town. She was Arminda, aka Minda, Holcombe.Georgetown_Cemetery

While in Pike County, AR, I learned at the courthouse in Murfreesboro that she was married to a Thomas McLaughlin, and was buried in the Pike City cemetery. My friend, Iva, was with me, and when we arrived at the rural cemetery, we decided I would go to the extreme right and she to the left and we would meet in the middle as we searched for her grave. As we walked off, I for some unknown reason decided to move toward the center…and walked directly to her grave! We were both greatly surprised and shaken.

This event started my passion with genealogy that has taken me many years, and to many places such as Boston; the Puritans of Maryland, ca.1650; the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia ca. 1700, many areas of Georgia, south Alabama, and southwestern Arkansas, and northeastern Texas.  Still need to explore the PeeDee River area of South Carolina, and all of North Carolina.  So many ancestors, and so little time!

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

Do you need some guidance in your tracing your family tree? Genealogy is a fun hobby that can include the whole family.

Save time and avoid pitfalls in your research. WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources is filled with simple, no-nonsense instructions to set you on the path of your families’ ancestry with the following information:

  • WHERE TO FIND – on-line resources, experienced genealogists will not be aware of many of these.
  • COURT RESEARCH – how to do court house research, where to find birth, death, social security records free on-line.
  • EIGHTY – ONE QUESTIONS – you should ask your elderly loved-ones before it’s too late.
  • TIPS ON BREAKING DOWN THE WALL – Everyone faces some difficulties in research, often called a ‘brick wall’ but WHERE DO I START? provides suggestions for overcoming them.


  1. I, too, have experienced many unusual occurences while searching for my ancestors. This is just one example: After finding the cemetery record online indicating the burial site of my great great-grandmother, my husband and I made the 75 mile trip to confirm. It was a small, well-kept country cemetery with maybe 50 or so graves nestled in the piney woods of east Texas. My husband would look at one-half of the graves and I the other. It was misting rain and cloudy as I finished my assigned half and no great great-grandmother to be found. Frustrated, I said, “Okay Almira….where ARE you?” Across the way, my husband replied, “What?” I repeated my rhetorical question loudly across the tombstones. And then…..there she was! I was standing on her grave! My beloved Almira. I had followed her through her early widowhood in Georgia with three small children to a newlywed in Texas with many more children and finally to an early death. With that kind of dedication, my dear Almira wasn’t about to let me leave without finding her!

  2. My great grandmother’s name was Arminda, as well. Very cool

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