True Miracles with Genealogy: “ordinary people with extraordinary experiences”

Review by James Pylant

True Miracles with Genealogy: Help from Beyond the Veil, Volume One. By Anne Bradshaw. Softcover (2010), 139 pp.

Welsh-born Anne Bradshaw puzzled over what became of her grandaunt, Lillie Tozer. Lillie, who was born in London in the late 1800s, didn’t seem to exist; her name vanished from records. Then one evening Anne received a phone call from Winifred Collins who explained that she had been listening to a radio program and decided to make an on-air call to the show’s host with a plea for information about her own mother—Lillie Tozer. A listener happened to have the answer to her question. He called the host to ask that Winifred Collins get in touch with his distant relative, Anne Bradshaw. During a phone chat between the two women, they realized that Winifred’s mother was Anne’s long-lost grandaunt. Winifred, as it turned out, is the mother of famed singer Phil Collins.

Anne Bradshaw’s genealogical puzzle—unexpectedly solved by a radio show—is one of more than 50 examples of similar incidents she shares in the 139-page book. “True Miracles of Genealogy is a collection of family history research stories written by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences,” says the author, an award-winning screenwriter.

Although True Miracles with Genealogy is written with an LDS perspective, many non-Mormon family historians will relate to the book because they have had at least one genealogical research mystery solved due to chance encounters or strange coincidences. Hank Jones chronicled similar stories in two volumes of Physic Roots.

Some of the family names discussed in True Miracles with Genealogy include Counsel, Cummins, Ernspiger, Fosmark, Garland, Gaze, Goodwin, Guerrant, Harbrecht, Jollow, Langham, Mason, McRae, Messner, Overton, Shutt, Smiley, Taliaferro, and Weir.

True Miracles with Genealogy: Help from Beyond the Veil is available from Amazon.com (affiliate link).

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