Serendipity...genealogical discoveries with a little help from above.

Lucky Camera Break

by Walter Mayer

My e-mail address is
and I live in Montgomery, AL.

This really happened to me I was on at least my second trip to Crestview, Florida in search of my Great Uncle's grave site when I finally found the small church he was supposed to be buried in. I walked past all the grave markers in the cemetery and used white powder on several in an attempt to read what was left of old etchings.

I was hot and tired and finally ready to give up when I discovered a sign post with the phone numbers of people to contact if information was needed or permission was needed to conduct burials. I pulled out my camera to take a picture of the sign and discovered the camera battery had failed. I didn't think it was a problem because I would just pull out my backup camera. Well, it failed too!

I've been using camera equipment for years and this had never happened before. At this point, I was pretty much exasperated and more than ready to "express my displeasure" at these recent events when a lady drove up and asked if she could help. I asked if she knew if the church kept records of those buried in the cemetery back to around 1950. She told me she did and she would go home and get the record.

As it turned out my relative was buried there and she took me right to two slabs with no family names on them. She then asked me how I was related to that part of the family. When I told her, she got the strangest look on her face, then told me to turn at the next road and go to the brick house, the woman who was married to my relative had a sister that was still alive!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon with her and her family - it was wonderful. If my camera had worked the first time I would have just taken my picture and left, never knowing what lay just down the road.

Submitted:  Mar. 10 2001

Continue to the next story

What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
click to view original photo