Saturday, May 1, 2010

Family History Miracle

Tonight, our church announced a new local program focusing on family history, Strengthening Your Link. This will be a long term program, unlike the Elijah project we did a few years ago, which was fast and furious work. The Elijah project was my first dive into family history. When my dad passed away in 2002, he left me all his genealogy work he had done. I dug this out when we did the Elijah project and over the past four years, have added names to my file during two family reunions, when I went to my grandfather’s funeral and during a research trip back east. I gradually stopped working on research and let the file sit. Then my computer’s mother board burned up last fall. I was able to take the hard drive out and transfer the info to my new laptop, but seemed unable to find many files, including my PAF file. PAF stand for Personal Ancestral File. I tried not to panic about it, choosing instead to believe it was around somewhere. I should have it on a jump drive, too, but I could not seem to find that, either. Two weeks ago I felt strongly that I needed to stop wasting time on stupid things (like games on facebook) and use that time more wisely (like on family history). I deleted my games and prayed that I would be able to find the files. I couldn’t bring myself to start over—there was too much information that could not be gathered again easily.
As I sat listening to the wonderful talks on family history, I knew I needed to pick this hobby back up and make it a part of my daily life again… if only I could find my PAF file. I again prayed I’d be able to find the file.
I came home, read a book to my kids and tucked them in bed. Then I pulled out my laptop to try one more time to find the PAF file. I opened the program and directed it to search out any files, like I had done many times before, only this time I chose a directory where I recently found other files I needed. It soon popped up. I had found the one I needed! I know it was an answer to a prayer, because of a desire to reach back to find my ancestors and make a connection. There are 1,280 names of my family in that file. I’m doing the happy dance and saying a prayer of gratitude. Thank you!

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