Worldwide Collection of Astounding Personal Stories
Reviewed by author Laurie (L.C.) Lewis
I remember the first time I watched “Roots” on television and how Alex Haley’s triumph in rebuildin g his family tree resounded in my newly wed heart. My family tree was broken in so many places through divorce, deaths and estrangements that it caused much bitterness. After decades of hitting roadblock after roadblock, I beg an to think some of these breaks could never be bridged. If you’ve felt that way, then Anne Bradshaw’s new release, True Miracles with Genealogy, will inspire you to return to work on those lines with increased enthusiasm and faith.
Anne Bradshaw’s book is not a genealogical how-to manual. True Miracles with Genealogy is a worldwide collection of astounding personal stories that illustrate the remarkable assistance available to us when we combine diligent research with help from beyond the veil.
Still, each short, unique story is crammed full of invaluable research tips from the successes of Bradshaw’s contributors, nearly all of whom attest they found priceless information by listening to promptings and acting on the messages received. Some of these spiritual whispers inspired them to think out of the box, sending them to astounding, unlikely places like eBay and Amazon, or off on excursions where marvelous, miraculous doors opened for them.
Personally, I loved the story about the elusive ancestor who wanted his wife and children found, informing his genealogist-ancestor in a dream that once his family had been located, he would reveal his own information. His sensitive family-researcher followed that prompting and pursued a more obscure family line. In the end, it revealed the elusive ancestors’ entire family, and soon thereafter material emerged that revealed his life as well. There are dozens of similar, remarkable experiences.
A spiritual endeavor
Bradshaw has previous experience assembling diverse contributors on pro-family themes, (her previous anthology, Famous Family Nights, was released in 2009), however, Bradshaw drew from a far more diverse pool as she collected the stories included in True Miracles with Genealogy. Many of the contributors are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose doctrine on the eternal nature of families places theological importance on linking their generations through genealogy and temple work. But her non-LDS contributors’ stories are laced with spiritual threads as well, proving that the work of connecting to our kindred dead is a spiritual endeavor.
Whether your reasons for researching your ancestors are purely clerical—to create a historical record—or more spiritual, the inspiring true-accounts in this book will leave you with an increased understanding that the dead are not gone and lost, but near and aware of us. And more than that, you will hunger not only to account for your ancestors but also to come to know them personally.
On every family’s bookshelf
True Miracles with Genealogy should be on every family’s bookshelf, and particularly on the shelves of every genealogist—the impassioned and the dabblers. It would make a marvelous gift for the historian in your family. Its stories remind us all how near heaven we are.
About the reviewer
Author Laurie (L.C.) Lewis has written many novels, the latest of which was, Oh, Say Can You See?, volume four in her Free Men and Dreamers series.