More accurately, the thrill and satisfaction
that comes from solving them.
Jigsaw and crossword puzzles?
The bigger the better.
Tangled necklace chains?
Piece of cake.
No surprise then I would apply the same
passion to locating long-dead relatives.
Genealogy (or the less-scholarly sounding "family history") is like cocaine. One is either addicted to it or has absolutely no interest in it. Like being pregnant. You either are or you aren't. No sorta, kinda, or maybe.
At a social gathering, it's easy to determine who is and who isn't a genie simply by dropping the word "ancestors" into a conversation and noting whose eyes glaze over and whose light up.
The non-afflicted will suddenly announce there's someone across the room they "absolutely must say hello to" and make a hasty retreat. Genies, on the other hand, will move closer.
You see, unlike with coke or alcohol, there's no such thing as an ex-genie addict or a recovering genie-holic. And definitely no 12-step Genealogy Anonymous! Might as well hand the key to the wine cellar to a bunch of winos...
Even without laptops, notebooks, purses, or writing instruments of any kind, it's a given that ten minutes into a GA meeting (if they existed), each person present would know how they or a friend or a neighbor was even remotely related to every other person in the room. Genies were experts at Kevin Bacon's "six degrees of separation" long before he was a sparkle in his father's eye.
Genies and cold case detectives have much in common when it comes to finding elusive ancestors. Both are starting with facts and impressions recorded by others. The only difference is a cold case may only be decades old, whereas an ancestor may've died a hundred or more years ago. But both have much in common when Fate or diligent legwork finally delivers the piece of the puzzle that solves an "unsolvable" case.
And so it was, after 20-some years of fruitless and frustrating searching for "Vorhes" CONN, youngest child of my 2nd great-grandparents Hezekiah and Lucinda (KENNARD) Conn, I finally learned Vorhes was his middle name.
His first name was Carson!
Once I had this key piece of information, everything else fell into place.
In 1898 Carson married (as his second wife) "Carrie S." and that year or the next they had a child, gender unknown. Sadly, the child had died before the 1900 census, and they had no other children.
Carrie, born in Indiana in Aug 1867, died somewhere in Montana on 22 Sep 1918. In 1930, "Vorhes" owned and operated a berry farm in Bass Brook Twp, Itasca Co, Minnesota, but died in Carlton Co, MN on 17 Sep 1942.