Do you have that happen when you're researching? - You're sat looking at a random ancestor and the date corresponds with something that happens in their life too?
I wonder if anyone has ever worked out the odds of that? - I know I wouldn't want that job. Coo, just think of the variables!
For me, I'm more struck with how often it seems to happen.
Today, of course is no exception, but it started yesterday.
Yesterday was one of those days that just reinvigorates the spirits and just gives a little fan to your genealogy flame.
Out of the blue I was contacted on facebook by a woman with a mutual surname of interest (LOMBARDI - for those not in the know, Lombardi is to Italian Genealogy, pretty much what Smith is to English. ...only unlike Smith, there aren't really many folks looking into disentangling the family lines).
She encouraged me to return to a facebook group and ask for some more help (since I've been sat stewing on that particular brick wall on paper for about 18 months and with DNA since roughly last October).
That led me to encountering a lovely lady named Faith, who was able to dig somewhere out of the bowels of Antenati, not only THE document to smash that brick wall, but documents to make light work of the next 2-3 generations too.
It was a great day!
In the back of my head though, I still felt a little guilty. I've been mulling on a blog post for a while, but an approach would not be easy. Firstly, because I couldn't think of a way to tie a few things together, but then also because of a key issue of the moment.
Ten days ago my sister and her boyfriend of ten years got married, so I knew that I wanted this month's post to be a tribute to that. After all, why celebrate, track and record what went before if we don't equally celebrate the now and the yet-to-come?
Just one problem. Sis is a school teacher and in this digital day and age, we have to be particularly careful about anything online that relates to her, so unfortunately I can't share with you loads and loads of photos though it was a really beautiful wedding - very them. Right down to the ground though.
However, she did look amazing ...and this is my baby sister - and anyone who has a baby sister knows how ridiculously proud you always are of them, so while I acknowledge and celebrate my bias, I do want to show you this one shot that one of their guests was able to snap (it feels weird not to credit them, but we can't risk an accidental reveal) this lovely shot which should be safe:
Isn't she a beautiful bride?!
The skirt was her own and our Mum made the bodice piece for her. I saw the look on his face when she came in. It was all very much worth it.
I needn't have worried though. Inspiration struck this morning.
April 16th has always been a bit of a seminal date in my mind anyhow. Ever since we moved to the first house our parents owned on 16th April 1986 (while Mum was expecting my baby sis who just got married!).
Being only little at the time, lots of my memories jumble around that couple of days, but one of the handy little side effects has been that I've never forgotten that Mum and Dad's own wedding anniversary is the next day:
Keith S Laity & Ann Riches
17th April 1976
Central URC, Sheffield, Yorkshire
Marvellous - two events, both marriages, in the one month. On the way to a blog post I guess, but still...
...and then this morning I received a batch of messages on MyHeritage.
I don't know if anyone else gets this periodically or if I'm just the lucky one, but every now and again, I'll log in for something, typically after a few quiet weeks and find a string of messages from folks that I never got alerts about.
On this occasion this morning it's letting me have a clutch of messages dated back to mid-February.
Among them, there was one from a lady I'd been speaking with back around Valentines day. She'd reached out because we have a DNA match of some flavour between about a third cousin point to something vague out from there (originally it was 3rd-5th, but oddly on there, as they've brought in all the awesome new features over the last several months, that guide has got to being a bit less handy than it was I reckon).
Anyhow, she and I match about 3% of our DNA and crucially, she also has a match with my mother, but not with my female second cousin who also tested (that side of our family having very handily placed identical twins along the line that really helps with narrowing the field!).
So we set out looking for a match around about second great-grandparents - fourth great-grandparents in the first instance. There was nothing immediately obvious, but we did seem to share a common surname: Brown.
The only problem was, 'our' Brown was Sarah and she was my Mum's 5th (and therefore my 6th) great grandmother. Given the shared DNA, that's really a couple generations out for a straight <any degree of> cousin relationship, but it does give us clues that we possibly descend through siblings. At that point though, all I had on Sarah's upward family group was a father's name: Thomas Brown.
I don't know if you've ever tried looking for entries for a Thomas Brown, or a Sarah brown for that matter - or, indeed, for a Sarah Brown daughter of Thomas (or vice versa) in England, but if you ever have two-three hours to kill and no paint to watch dry...
I had thought the trail gone cold since we couldn't at that point be sure, but then, through the two messages that arrived this morning (which would have been the next day had we received them sequentially), it turns out that her nearest Brown ancestor, Grace Brown, also had a father Thomas, for whom the dates looked good.
A few hours on, across multiple platforms, and it looks as though we have a strong contender. What's even more astounding is, it was 273 years ago TODAY that Thomas Brown, the possible father of the sisters we seem to descend from, married Mary Frith.
Sadly there is no extant document currently publicly available online that covers their marriage, but they are indexed in the Nottinghamshire, England, Extracted CoE Parish Records, 1538-1837:
Thomas Brown & Mary Frith
16 Apr 1745
Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire England.
He was 26, she was 24.
Now how's that for a coincidence?! ...and as himself just pointed out, my horoscope for today did say to look out for surprises in love. I'd say that qualifies.
So there we have it. Three different couples from the same family, over a span of 273 years, all choosing an early April wedding.
There must be something in the air!