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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

The Personable Genealogists

By Jen

Last weekend was our first out-of-town event, our first event with both of us present and first event that finally felt like a return to normal life. We had heard about the Mason City, Iowa, Antique & Craft Show and were intrigued. I drove down from the Twin Cities and Holly drove up from the Omaha area. Our husbands both grew up in that area and went to kindergarten there together, so we know the area quite well. As every genealogist knows, once you catch the genealogy bug and the thrill of this detective work, you research your spouse's family. It doesn't matter if they're interested or not, but you will meticulously tell them everything about their family back to the dawn of time.

Me: Did you know that your 2nd great grandfather had a horse named Cow? I just found this newspaper article that mentions the Cerro Gordo County fair and-"

Husband: It is 3am. Please stop.

I kid. Somewhat. What I'm getting at is that we know Cerro Gordo County, the neighboring counties and every resource that is available for people with ancestors from the Mason City area, so it was a natural fit. Our husbands' ancestors were very early settlers in the area and there's some intriguing history around there.

During the event, we have to have talked to at least 100 people who approached us to find out what we do.

Holly: We are genealogists. Are you interested in family history?

Lovely patron: Not really.

Holly: We can help adoptees and others find biological family through DNA, find where your ancestors came from and make these pretty family tree wall hangings.

Lovely patron: Well, now that you mention it, my wife is adopted and has always wondered about her family, my grandparents were either German or Dutch immigrants and no one knows their story and I'd like to order these wall hangings for my entire family.

A lot of people don't even realize they're interested in family history until you get to talking to them. We had so many delightful conversations with people and that moment when they realize they actually kind of ARE interested in family history gives a little spark to their eye as they say, "Well, actually......" Every story and mystery people told us was incredibly interesting and I can't wait for our next in-person show.

Our senior genealogists, with the help of our junior genealogist, are eager to help with family histories and mysteries.


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