On a road trip across Missouri, my husband and I visited two county seats, a local cemetery, and a small-town library––all in one day––in search of Daniel Brown’s grave site. The librarian informed us my ancestor could have been buried without any official record, on a farm or in a back yard. Great Great Grandpa has by now returned to dust. His fears eased. His ambitions moot. Soon enough his name will also evaporate.
After that fruitless hunt, my obsession fizzled. What fueled it in the first place?
Sitting at my laptop hour after hour. Poring over handwritten census records to verify an address from a century and a half ago. Sliding names around to plug holes in the picture. My sister Michelle added her husband, daughter, five grandchildren, and great grandson.
Who will play when we are gone? Perhaps a great grand niece of a cousin-in-law will pick up the game in fifty years. Seeking to fill an empty spot, she'll run across the name Dawn Downey. Nothing more than a puzzle piece in her obsession.