Ask any genealogist about some of their great discoveries and eyes light up, smiles widen, and voices pitch higher and faster and are tinged with excitement. Whether you call them genea-gasms or serendipity or just plain old luck, everyone has those Ah HA! moments. It's what we live for.
It's what I expected to indulge in when I went to the Family History Center to pick up a film that had naturalization records for my 2nd g-grandfather, August Papstein. I'd ordered the index weeks ago because I'd found him listed in the Kankakee County IL court records in 1892 even though he lived his entire life in the this country in Peotone in Will County, IL. It wasn't a complete surprise, though, since Peotone is in the southern part of Will County and the trip to Kankakee was probably easier than the trip to Joliet.
I was so excited when I got there. Got the film, plopped it in the machine, started scrolling. I realized it was at the back of the roll so it took me five minutes of constant scrooooooolling to get there. I got to the index of Vol. E and started looking for his name, and Ah HA! There he was!
And then the roll stopped.
Yes, indeed. Whoever filmed the roll filmed half the index of Vol E on one roll and the rest of it on the next one.
So I sat there, experiencing the evil opposite twin of the genea-gasm that I call the Bleh Effect, or the blehs for short. It's when you just know you're about to see something great and then you have to either a) wait for it or b) admit that you thought wrong. I certainly got a case of the blehs last night.
The FHC ladies felt sympathy for me and ordered the next roll for me without charging me for it. But still. Two more weeks! Argggggh! It's at times like this that I remember how great it was to be a kid and if you threw yourself down on the floor in a tantrum you didn't look like you'd gone utterly mad. You know, I think if more of us adults just tossed ourselves down and kicked and screamed and yelled we might be a lot less stressed. Hah!
In the scheme of things this isn't a big deal. I'll see it in a few weeks. I'm a big girl and I have learned the virtue of patience (I think...how long will that take?) But I'd had my mouth all set for an Ah HA! and got a bleh instead.
4 hours ago