Bear with me people! This is where synchronicity goes farther than you ever imagined. So.....if some one is hypnotized and experiences a past life, can genealogy be used to verify that remembered life?
The thought really never crossed my mind as a possibility until I first met my wife over 10 years ago. After being together for a short time she felt comfortable enough to share an experience she'd had several years earlier. She told me about experiencing another life, under hypnosis, that had some specific information that led her to believe I might be able to help her find out if this person really lived. She thought it was a long shot.
She described a woman living in probably the 1800's, based on her feelings of the time and clothing. My wife lived in New York City and had just moved to Boston shortly before we were married. Boston seemed to have a similar feel to the area that she remembered. She had a name, Rebecca Brown. Her husband, Charles, was a merchant of some type. She had two children, a boy and a girl, and was pregnant with another child when she died suddenly.
She relived a death by something suddenly hitting her in a field or park when she was with her children. They lived in a rural area, but her husband was always traveling to an area where he was conducting business, a big town (she surmised), possibly a nearby seaport. Her husband, Charles, was not a nice man.
That's not a lot to go on, BUT I was living in Boston with access to great vital records and I had just left my full time job as a researcher at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. So, off I went to the Society after some preliminary searching on-line that gave me some leads, to start. When I have a bone like this, I become obsessed! I spent the whole day finding every possible Rebecca Brown who lived in the New England area that possibly had a husband named Charles. I found a strong possibility, but hit a dead end when trying to find her death record. Everything else really fell into place. I just could not find a death record to verify her short life to seal the deal.
Going over my possible Rebecca deaths I had only one unanswered death record with a husband named Otis in the online database. I had already left the Society for the day after a long day finding great information that led me to conclude who my Rebecca Brown(e) was and that she indeed married a man named Charles A. Brown(e). With my suspected Rebecca Browne I was able to prove her lineage to Salem, MA, her maiden name being Andrews, and her middle name being Putnam. But, without a death record things could be challenged. So, I searched the online database at the NEHGS (Boston Genealogical Society)again. I blew up the death record of a Rebecca Brown with a husband named Otis. AHA! Someone had transcribed the name Otis when I could clearly see it was Chas, a common abbreviation for CHARLES! I notified the Society via email and they changed the transcription. The unknown death of this Rebecca Browne was not only found by me, but solved for generations of this families lineage.
Now that I had found a Rebecca Browne who was married to a Charles Browne I set out to verify any other facts that might prove this was the Rebecca Browne from my wife's past life.