12 days of waiting

♫   On the 12th day of waiting, my mailbox gave to meee…

a clue for my family tree. 


It doesn’t sound like a long time; 12 business days. But when you’re waiting for a document to arrive – and hopefully help with a family tree stump – the wait seems so very, very much longer.

Throw in a few weekends and a public holiday, and the wait time adds up to…forever!

Impatient? Who me?


Most definitely…and possibly also quite spoiled.

Spoiled by the lovely people and organisations out there who have made it possible to access so much wonderful genealogy information instantly (and often for free) online.

Going through the motions of filling out paperwork, physically walking (gasp!) to pay and lodge the forms, and then waiting forever! was a timely reminder of just that.

It’s funny – I have no problem with traipsing for hours around a cemetery, browsing in a library, or visiting an historical society, but when waiting for information to come to me, I apparently channel my inner five-year-old.

More specifically, my inner five-year-old on a long car ride:

Are we there yet?!

How about now?

I only just fell short of stamping my feet.

I also discovered:

  • I can be very chatty when waiting in queues.
  • This also applies when I finally reach the counter.
  • Some people are not quite as excited about family history as I am.
  • The customer service person’s middle name is a family one, handed down over generations.
  • While I hesitate in paying $1.99 for an iPhone app, I’m quite OK handing over $46 for a record that ‘might’ turn something up.
  • It’s 40 steps to my mailbox from the front door.
  • I am prepared to check said mailbox multiple times a day ‘just in case’.


So what did $46 and forever 12 days of waiting eventually uncover?

That someone called William had a father named Thomas.

In a family that might not even be mine.


I know there are people out there who get it, though. Right?

When the bug bites, you just need to continue it through. There’s just something so satisfying about finding just one more (tiny) piece to the puzzle that might help solve a mystery. Just one more clue.

When it pays off, you want to tell people. To share your excitement.

I wonder if the same customer service person is working today…?

I’m sure they’d be thrilled by a random stranger who excitedly talked their ear off a few weeks ago returning to pay a visit.


But instead I’ll just tell you guys.

Someone called William had a father named Thomas!


I’ve been searching for any details on my 3x great grandfather’s parents on and off for about five years now – with little success.

He lived in the same tiny Tasmanian village as this William, shared the same surname, and his middle name was…Thomas!

Were they related in any way?

Maybe, maybe not.

It’s a long shot, but after five years of searching I now have another name, and another angle to pursue.

After five years of searching, 12 days of waiting now doesn’t seem quite so long.


Maybe I am a little bit patient after-all.

3 thoughts on “12 days of waiting

  1. I totally get it! I spent 4+ hours researching a family line for a lady from church, because I found it interesting. Most of it was on a tangential line… not even direct. They were more interesting, and I had to find out what happened to them.

    Liked by 1 person

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