Beyond History Blog

When the impossible happens

Andrea Bentschneider - 19. March 2017 - Archives, Societies, Museums, General

This week was a good week. We had the opportunity to experience a rare ancestry research sensation.

For more than four years we have been looking for information on a client’s biological father about whom she only knew the name and his place of residence in 1945/1946. Not even the date of birth was known. Hearsay in the family indicated a connection to Austria, but we were not able to verify anything about this for a long time.

Where to start with this little information available?
We checked the last know place of residence – no success.
We followed the trail to Austria – no success.
We looked into the register of births, deaths and marriages, talked to archivists and registrars in every known and assumed inhabitancy of the sought-after man – no success at all.

Ultimately in a last-ditch attempt we inquired in an archive with which we often work closely together, that generally can’t perform any research without at least a date of birth. We gave an account of our case in the minutest details and conveyed even unproven facts to the archivist there.

Fast forward to this week the sensation: The wanted person was found! On top of that all the hearsay in the family and the circulated stories turned out to be true and thus our client could learn after 70 years from whom she descended.

It goes to show that it is always valuable to include every little bit of information in your consideration toward ancestry and to maintain a close relation to the staff of archives and authorities. Out of respect and consideration for the already enormously high number of requests they face we will not disclose their name. Nevertheless, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude for the excellent and uncomplicated support we have received.

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