Of all my accomplishments with research, I am most proud to have been able to locate one of my previous manager’s birth certificates. He had infrequently tried in vain to locate his birth record.
He was born overseas due to his father being in the military. I knew that some sort of record had to exist, even if a series of unfortunate errors had transpired.
After 4 + decades, he still didn’t have his birth certificate and wasn’t certain that one existed. That he made it so many years avoiding the necessity of showing a birth certificate is quite a surprise. In this modern age, it is nigh on impossible to obtain a passport without one, even when trying to use the alternate route to obtain a passport. The fact that he had been a military brat was both the cause and the reason he could move around in society without a birth certificate.
As is often the case, I had a eureka moment on ancestry.com after making an error researching something else entirely. Like so many errors, it occurred to me that the error was actually a useful way to look at my manager’s problem differently. From there, it was absurdly easy. I learned a lot of things on during this process. Without the initial error, though, the process would have taken much longer.
After locating the record, I was certain that it would be difficult beyond measure to actually order an original birth certificate from overseas. I registered on the United Kingdom website with my crazy name and paid for the document.
Within a couple of weeks, I had a strange, exotic envelope in it with someone else’s birth certificate.
The look of surprise on my manager’s face when I handed him his own birth certificate was priceless.
…and it reminded me yet again that sometimes errors are the only way to look at problems in such as a way as to see them differently enough to solve them.