I believe in library magic. I’ve seen it many times in my sixteen years with the Seattle Public Library. Now some may wonder “What is library magic?” Well, its finding that newspaper article from 1937 that talked about your grandmother, discovering that movie you grew up watching over and over as a child and enjoying it now as an adult, chasing down the book your mom used to fall asleep reading and you would make sure to mark her page before turning off the light, and its tracking down a relative from searching family trees in Ancestry Library Edition.
My personal story with library magic was the latter. I had been playing with Ancestry off and on over the years, but it wasn’t until I started looking at the Ancestry Library Edition database we offered that I really got pulled in. I focused on my mother’s side because they kept the best records and slowly found our native home: Roscommon, Ireland.
But while I was tracking that information down someone had found me…my third cousin once removed.
Her name is Sarah and she lives in South Dakota. When I first saw her message that we were related I couldn’t believe it and then as we talked and found more evidence we were sure. Side note: our names rhyme, we were both born in December, and are two years apart. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!
I used the Ancestry Library Edition to kind of supplement the work I had already been doing. If you are familiar with Ancestry you’ll know that it comes with a price tag, which was something I couldn’t afford when I originally started looking. It was lucky that my cousin Sarah did have a membership cause that’s how she was able to contact me.
I connected with my grandparents to track down some photos to send to Sarah, then we found documents online, and actually ordered birth certificates to get more background on who are relatives were. It has been an incredible adventure! We’ve hit a few road blocks during our search these past two years, but one thing we remind each other when we get frustrated is we found each other and that is the most important part of this whole thing. And fingers crossed, I’m hoping to fly out to South Dakota next year to see Sarah face to face!
Access the genealogy databases and remember with Ancestry Library Edition you will need to use it inside one of our library branches to have access, but we have database specific computers available for all day research!
Another great service with the library is we have genealogy librarians on staff! You can schedule an appointment with them to help get your research started or just to help plug in some of those missing pieces.