Now here is a strange coincidence – and most family historians probably have these slightly odd experiences.
My sister and I were looking in my parents’ loft late one evening a few weeks back, and in a pile of framed prints I found an original drawing by the local artist Mercy Hunter. It was a name that I knew, because she had been a notable character in the ‘boho’ Botanic area of Belfast when I was a student; she could often be seen walking an ancient afghan dog. My sister took a fancy to the drawing, and I did a bit of research on the artist, finding a site run by one of her extended family. My sister emailed him a scan of the picture and I emailed him because my husband’s aunt had been an art teacher in Belfast at about the same time as Mercy Hunter. And got an email back with a photograph of my husband’s aunt in the 1960s! How strange! The dead speak to us. It is as if by focusing on it we call up the past and awaken it. I know that Carl Jung wrote about this type of experience; as a librarian I became used to strange coincidences as I researched things.