Yesterday, I received this email request (abbreviated for this blog message):
We are second cousins, connected by the most wonderful…
However, it occurred to me that we might be connected geographically and genealogically. There was a fellow in the next town over, named Johnny Frantz. He was a farmer’s kid and I roomed with him in college for a year. He was great guy and I just wondered if he might be related to you.
He lived in Hartley, Texas in the Texas Panhandle in the 1960’s. His family were farmers and that’s all I know. They were pretty well off (at least compared to me.)
“Yours truly” laughed and said (to herself) “No suggested birth year? I’m supposed to search on this limited information?” I went to my Ancestry.com database and found seventy-four men named John Frantz. Going down the list, I found one man born in Kansas (not too far from Texas). Clicking on his name, I made the assessment “Too old.” Next: Check for his immediate family, and search Google to see if Hartley County, Texas, is in the “panhandle.” Location OK, and son named John Ray Frantz. (Bingo!) Shared the information with “cousin” and received this reply:
Dear Shirley, (because I referred to myself as “Shirley [Sherlock] Holmes”)
That was him! He was an only child of a farming family in Hartley, Texas. I remember that when I roomed with him in college, he didn’t know how to act in a group setting. He wasn’t exactly spoiled but it was easy to see he was accustomed to the life of the only child. It was great that you have been able to find an 8th cousin.
Cheerio, Dr. Watson
Curiosity prompted me to THEN look at the Frantz ancestry of John Ray. To my astonishment (seriously!) he is on the same branch of the “tree” I was currently documenting for the “cousin” who contacted me two days earlier. What are the odds of such a “coincident”? Her pedigree chart was (at that moment) “up” on my second computer.
Wow, Lorraine that is eerily cool! Two requests for the same lineage from two separate locations. I bet you felt like you were in the twilight zone, same thing showing on both computers. Talk about synchronicity!