Recently when I've gone to Find A Grave there's been an amusing advertisement for a psychic's hotline. The tag line was something like, "Want to speak to the relatives who've passed?" Or something like that. I laughed and then got a little angry because it felt a little disrespectful. Then I moved on. Today I signed up for something called Genealogy Wise. I thought it was a sort of research site, and I guess it is, but not in the way I thought. My biggest problem with it is that it has a chat room that you're automatically logged into when you as a member go to the site. Yeah, no. I don't like chat rooms.
While on the site I visited the Forums page which is where people post questions and comments and information. One post jumped out at me: Genealogy Research and the Paranormal. Um, okay. I read some of the entries and comments. The original poster stated that he'd gone to Gettysburg with divining rods, the type used to find water. I guess they can also be used to find spirits. The poster has several entries where he describes his divining rods leading him to a cemetery and to a specific headstone of a woman named Rebecca Little. He posts about "talking" to her using a flashlight. Mildly interesting, but not really my particular cup of tea.
I wrote on my birthday how the phone rang once and didn't ring again and how I imagined it was my father calling from beyond the grave to wish me a happy birthday. I know that's not what happened. Someone dialed our number and then changed their mind is all. But between that, the ad on Find A Grave and the posts I read today, I'm just a tiny bit spooked by all the coincidences.
When I got back into researching family after not having done it for almost 10 years, I used to thank my Uncle Dick out loud for helping me find people. It was sort of a joke, but not really. Richard Lemon, my father's twin brother, was an avid amateur genealogist who was relentless in his quest to figure out our Lemon family tree. He died in 2003. He was a bit angry with me for stopping in the middle of our research and moving to another state after I divorced my husband. We were only in contact once after I left and before he died; he wrote me a letter telling me of his latest findings and told me he wouldn't tell me anything else until I wrote him back. I'm ashamed to say I never did answer his letter. I can say I was too busy starting a new life in a new state, but the real reason was that I had lost interest. During that time I was also busy learning to build websites and writing, writing, writing. The things I learned back then have been very useful now as I made a website for my genealogy research and I write in this blog.
I left Michigan in 1998. I started back into genealogy research in 2007, four years after Uncle Dick died. It hasn't been as much fun without him to share my findings with, but I do feel sometimes he's up there, watching me research and fleshing out his original theories. Sometimes it feels like he even helps me out now and then.
But probably not.