My favorite part of my family quest has been something that has led me to many discoveries. These have been more important than probate, deeds, vital records, etc.. What I'm talking about is "synchronicity"! I have found some of the most profound information and spiritual connections through...yes...the guidance of something unexplainable. What you want to call it is up to you. Whether to believe me is also up to you. I know many of my colleagues in the field have had similar experiences. Have you?
The more I follow these experiences and trust them the greater the reward. For instance, I have been an avid used bookstore follower for years. One day I was in a used bookstore looking for ancestors that crossed histories paths as I always do. I browse the indexes of any book that may be of the right time and place and see if my ancestors are mentioned. One in particular that I have always identified with is Jean (John) Louis Badollet 1757-1837. He was the land registrar for the Indiana territory and later for the state of Indiana, being on all the committees that decided the constitution for the state in 1816. He was also the closest friend of Albert Gallatin (both Swiss and college friends in Geneva).
Long story short, I was unsuccessful in this bookstore in finding anything of interest for Badollet or any other interesting ancestor. As I was walking out the door something told me to look down. Weird...below the bottom shelves were curtains. I slide one curtain down and there before me was the book "Tecumseh A Life" by John Sugden a British author. I knew that Badollet had been very involved in witnessing Tecumseh speak in Vincennes, IN in the early 1800's. I also knew Badollet had written about how impressed he was with Tecumseh and how William Henry Harrison was trying to do everything in his power to cheat the "Indians" out of their lands. When I opened the index I found gold. No more information that I really already knew, but more validation of his progressive beliefs and attitudes.
Several years later, this synchronetic event led me to search even more for the connection between Badollet and Tecumseh. In searching for Badollet and Tecumseh's names in old newspapers I was able to find an article in the Indianapolis News dated Tuesday Oct 27, 1874.
"The 'pipe of peace' used by General Harrison and Tecumseh at Vincennes, is now in the possession of Mr. Badollet in that city. It is a beautiful red color, mottled with dark and lighter colored spots. The bowl is about three inches long, and the stem six, both about the same size. It is probably a mound builder's pipe, and was first smoked thousands of years ago."
Ok...who has that pipe!