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Record Type: Review   ID: 233

Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy

Jones, Henry Z., Jr.

 There probably is no profession, long-term hobby, or art or craft that is not moved forward on occasion by an exceptional human experience. This volume is written by a professional actor whose hobby, genealogy, is admittedly his "obsession." Here he describes his own experiences and those of others. Helen Hinchliff, in the Foreword, notes that many of the book’s contributors "know of Old Soul ... [or] the Great God of Genealogy, fate, Providence, God. ... all who sense this force report that it empowers them to get in touch with and to learn from their ancestors" (p. ix). Jones began by polling 300 noted genealogists worldwide regarding factors and forces beyond the logical that may have assisted them in their research. Exceptional experiences such as synchronicity and serendipity play an important part, but also described are following advice that panned out, only to discover the advisor did not give that specific advice; asking a stranger where the Catholic cemetery was even though sought for grandparents were Protestant. And walked straight to their grave. A head stone that was illegible suddenly was lit up for 3 minutes, during which it was quite clear and was photographed twice. Thereafter it remained unreadable. Many genealogists say they often ponder whether it was they who found the lost dead or vice versa! One suggested that "the dead sometimes invade our minds and guide us to the objects or documents we are seeking" (p. 49). Examples are also given of hunches, prayers, and dreams. There also often occurs a sense of déjà vu when visiting an ancestor’s living place. Jones says: Several times, I literally knew what was around the next bend of the road ... even though I had never been there before" (p. 147). There also are accounts of materializations, watches stopping, apparitions, or deliberately contacting deceased ancestors themselves; reincarnation, and "being led." A total of 316 people contributed accounts to this book, and all but one are identified by town and profession. Jones reports that he is writing a sequel.
Publisher Information:Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993. 236p. Bibl: 223-225; 16 illus; Name Index: 227-236
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