Friday, July 15, 2016

You Know More Than You Think - Ask the Right Questions

Recently, I was able to do some research for a very good friend of mine. Her mother abandoned her when she was very young and although she had limited contact with her over the years, she didn't know that much about her mother's family. She was no longer able to get more information since her mother passed away a few years ago. She had also lost touch with her mother's siblings and longed to reconnect.

Her mother had been adopted when she was a young girl, and I had done previous research on the adopted family, but she was eager to find information on the biological family. This summer I made it my priority to help her find out where she came from.

I would talk to her and gather information, do some research and call her back. Each time I talked to her, I was able to obtain new information. The key was asking very specific questions. Even though she thought she had given me all of the information she had, I discovered that she neglected to tell me certain stories because she didn't think they were important. There were also times when I would tell her what I had found, and that would trigger a vague memory, which in turn brought about new discoveries.

I'm happy to say that she now has information on two new grandparents and four new great-grandparents on her mother's side. I was also able to locate records on her aunt and uncle and used that information to track them down using social media. She was so excited to get this information and she has since talked to both of them by phone several times and has even reconnected with cousins she hasn't seen since she was very young.

Just goes to show that even when a person thinks they don't have much information, they usually have more than they believe they do.