Hunting from a Hamster Wheel – the final entry:

I wanted to let my readers know that there was a happy ending to the story of Hunting From a Hamster Wheel, and no, the hamster did not die.

As you recall, I was in search of an obituary from 1983. I tried calling the local newspaper, historical society, genealogical society, library, university, state archive, and funeral home. All of these resources proved to be dead ends.

I found that the newspaper where the funeral home posts its obituaries had been digitized and was now available through a few of the online, pay-for-use newspaper sites! Needless to say, I took this lead and ran with it. I found many pay websites that offer a free trial for a short period of time, so I registered, set my temporary password, and entered the site holding my breath and crossing all fingers and toes for luck. Of course, by this time I was ready to cross my eyes too!

I typed in the necessary information and hit “Search” and watched the spinning icon that reminded me of that spinning hamster wheel, when all of a sudden the spinning stopped and, right before my eyes, was the very obituary that I had been searching for through the other common resources. It just so happened that I had overlooked the online newspaper resource. Quicker that it takes you to read this, I hit the print and save command buttons. In fact, you have never seen anyone press those buttons so quickly!

There it was in black and white, the obituary of the man I was searching for! His birth and death dates and places aligned with my information. The obituary correctly stated that he was preceded in death by his parents, two other brothers and a child. Finally, it listed the “known” facts of the funeral home and the cemetery where interred.

The very last paragraph stated that he would be so dearly missed by his infant son and new bride… WHAT?!?!

Sadly, and with a bit of frustration, I realized that finding this obituary concluded my original assignment. It took all of my courage not to throw caution to the wind and continue to pursue this last, tantalizing lead out of curiosity, and so I must be content with the knowledge that you never know where the path will lead you when you start one of these searches, and you cannot always follow all of the paths.

– Genealogy Huntress


About Hunting Down History

Megan Heyl is a genealogist, researcher and teacher and has been involved in genealogy for many years.
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