The Ancestry Insider Blog defines "Serendipity in Genealogy" in the following way: It happens to individuals of all religious, cultural and intellectual persuasions. Almost all long-time genealogists have experienced it in one form or another. It can be as simple as a thought or feeling. Many times it is manifest as extraordinary luck or fortuitous coincidence. Genealogists have experienced guidance as simple as facts popping into their heads or as dramatically as post-mortal visitations. Explanations are as varied as those that experience the events, but their prevalence testifies of their reality.
I experienced "Serendipity in Genealogy" over 30 years ago. I was in the first years of genealogical research and on my first research trip to Europe. I knew that my great-great grandfather Theodore Lano was born in Kyllburg, Germany and decided to visit Kyllburg.
I arrived via train in the early afternoon and began to look for a hotel room before doing any research. As I neared the far end of town, I began to wonder if I would find somewhere to stay or if I would need to return to the larger city of Trier on the last train. As I was thinking this, I saw a small sign in a window stating that there was a room available.
The proprieter spoke English with a southern accent and after agreeing to take the room, I asked her if she knew anything about the Lano family. With a puzzled look on her face she said "I am a Lano." Within minutes she had her father-in-law, Robert Lano, on the phone and I was treated as a family member throughout my stay.
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