Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana

For months, I toyed with the idea of starting this blog to document my family history research, discoveries, and experiences. And for months, I postponed and procrastinated. What would I write about? How would I write it? Would anyone read it? Which blog platform would I use? Do I have ideas to share that would help other people learn to love family history, too?

One of the parts I love the most about family history are those moments when something happens that is out of the blue, unexpected, or just plain miraculous that helps us along our discovery journey. I like to call it “serendipity.” To me, serendipity and family history are joined hand in hand. I decided that one focus on this blog would include posts about moments of serendipity in my research process.

And that’s what this first post is really about – a moment of serendipity. After months of hesitation, I finally began the creation process and selected a platform, theme, pages, and so on for the blog. As I worked on it, I remembered that I wanted to check out education opportunities in my area. I have lived overseas for the last few years and so my options to attend family history related conferences, seminars, and lectures were mostly limited to online resources.

Late one night when I should have been trying to sleep, the thought to look up family history conferences nagged at me until I decided just do a quick search and see what I could find. One item in my google search caught my eye – in just one week, Blaine Bettinger would be presenting four classes on family history and DNA as part of the Indiana Genealogy Society’s annual conference at the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. (For those who aren’t aware, Blaine Bettinger is an expert in the field of family history and DNA. The fact that he was presenting at a conference so close to home made this a fantastic opportunity for learning!)

I couldn’t believe it! I had no affiliation with IGS and I had no idea this event was happening so soon and so close to home. With a little restructuring of our weekend plans, I was able to make a day trip of it and attend the conference. I am intrigued by the use of DNA in our family history research and for some time I have been wanting to learn more than just the basics. This was the perfect opportunity to further my education on DNA and how to use it in my research. I absolutely loved attending Blaine’s classes. He was a great speaker and I learned a lot of helpful info!

What a great reminder that moments of serendipity in our family history research really do happen in a variety of ways and when we least expect it. I am so thankful I had the chance to make a day trip to Ft. Wayne and learn about something that interests me and can help me. If I had waited a week to search for conferences in my area, I would have missed out!

When you have an idea out of nowhere or a nagging thought that won’t leave you alone, follow through on it.

Who knows? Maybe it is a moment of serendipity waiting to happen!

Inside the Allen County Public Library