[This post first appeared in the Genea-Tech Newsletter 28 Jan 2012.]
While writing my blog post on Mozilla Firefox Add-ons, I stumbled over another one, and I had a chance to play with it last night after helping with my son's robot for his Robotics competition today. [Scary thinking about me figuring out how to wire something and then showing my son how to do it, isn't it? Who knew I had such skills? Not me, that's for sure.] Anywho, after watching the video on this particular add-on, I decided to download it because one can never have too many tools with which to find one's dead ancestors and their stories so that one can write about the times their ancestors got it right and about the times they couldn't have been more wrong.
And? WOW. This search add-on found things I hadn't found anywhere like that. *snaps fingers* Seriously. I found my mom's older brother's [who I never met] obituary and his wife's [never met her either] obituary. I remember everyone talking about them dying, but I'd never known anything else about it. Way before I was born, my parents helped to raise their children, and with one search, I found their obituaries on the first page of results. Amazing.
Oddly enough, I'd been searching my grandfather's name when I was testing this search add-on to the Firefox browser and found my uncle because my uncle was named after my grandfather. And then I found that my uncle had married a woman with the same middle name as my grandfather's 3rd wife's first name. Of course, no one knew that my grandfather's marriage to this particular woman was his 3rd because no one knew that he had been married before and had at least one previous child when he married my Gran, who had been his 2nd wife. All because he'd kept it to himself. And I'm pretty sure he had no idea he'd have such a nosy granddaughter poking around in his business.
And, no, this is not Big Paw Paw, that's my Dad's dad. Yeah. This is my other grandfather, my Mom's dad. He was a bean counter. And his tagline that his children and grandchildren have given him is that "He always loved Gran. He just never was that keen on being a father." Sad because so far? I've counted his 8 children with Gran and 1 with his first wife in Missouri. He had so many chances to be keen on being a father and never took them. Of course, it's so much easier to sit on this side of the timeline and judge. But? I don't make the space-time continuum rules. I just abide by them. [Mainly because I don't own a TARDIS.]
So, go check out this awesome Firefox add-on: SearchGBY and here's a short video praising its virtues on YouTube. And it's available for Chrome and Opera. Go find some stories. They're waiting to be found.