My Friend the Celebrity

I met Marion several years ago at an AAGHS conference and we’ve been “genealogy buddies” ever since. She’s one of the first few people I call when I have one of those “guess what I found!!!” moments.

Marion is researching her Shakespeare ancestors who were enslaved in Spotsylvania County, VA. Marion had traced them back to the slaveowner Elijah Wigglesworth, but the trail went cold after his slaves were split up amongst his children in the 1840’s after his death. Marion does much of her research at the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center, which is sort of a regional genealogy smorgasbord of data. She has always told me about how wonderful this placeĀ  is as well as their outstanding volunteers.

Recently, a journalist wanted to do an article on the Center, and the volunteers gave her Marion’s name. That is how Marion got to be featured in a great story in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star on May 26. I keep teasing her and telling her she is a celebrity now.
Marion Woodfork Simmons
The photo is Marion in front of one of her ancestor’s headstones. That is fabulous enough, right? Well, it gets even more fabulous. Wouldn’t you know that a descendant of the slaveowner walked into the Center after reading the article and contacted Marion? WOW. They plan to meet soon and exchange information. Talk about crashing through a brick wall.

This is the kind of story that inspires me. You never know where your next genealogical miracle will come from.