They're the words each of us has always wanted to say. The words that are at the end of a long, long road of searching for an elusive ancestor--a road that has taken you years to travel. The words that tell the world that your research has finally paid off!
There you sat--at a microfilm reader or poring over a book or a sheaf of old papers in a Family History Center or a genealogical society research library or a historical society or the wonderful world of the court house. And there is that one precious moment when you see before your eyes the obscure reference that connects your known ancestor with the ancestor's father. You read it over a second time to make certain you weren't just dreaming and then when it finally sinks in, you declare out loud, "I FOUND him!!"
Of course, that immediately follows by a moment of embarrassment realizing that you have just disrupted the peace and quiet of the research room but when you look around and find everyone looking at you, you see that they all have smiles on their faces! They've all experienced a similar precious moment--or have always hoped to have one of them personally--and they're smiling in appreciation of how you feel. They are the smiles that show that they’re applauding you for your success and they are the smiles that let you know that they’re also members of that wonderful fraternity (or sorority) of genealogy. Non-members just couldn’t appreciate that moment if you tried to describe it to them.
Who knows but what all of us should put up a sign over our computer desk with only three little words on it, ”I FOUND him!!” Then when that feeling of defeat creeps over us that it’s a hopeless cause to continue trying to dig up that one ancestor who has eluded us for so long, we can look up at that sign and gain renewed determination not to give up. After all, if we gave up, we never would have the opportunity to tell the world that we finally succeeded.
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Belinda Melton Hughes