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Thursday, March 09, 2006

'Genealogy Saved Our Marriage'

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
Hal and Linda Jessup were headed for divorce court a year ago. The Minneapolis couple rarely spoke, slept in separate beds, and spent their tenth wedding anniversary at the cineplex—watching two different movies.

Now, they're committed to staying together. And Linda gives all the credit to genealogy.

"Hal is a different man since he started looking into his family history," Linda says. "I think genealogy's given him a new perspective on marriage. Once he learned about the struggles his own ancestors endured, he could see that our troubles really weren't so bad."

For his part, Hal credits Linda with pushing him toward his new hobby. He now spends up to five hours a day researching his genealogy—often staying out until two o'clock in the morning tracking down leads.

"It's really an obsession," he admits. "Me and my research partner Kandi do genealogy together for hours. Cemeteries, libraries, park benches—we do it all over town."

"Sure," says Linda, "I know about Kandi. I think it's great Hal has someone to share his passion with. It's kind of like me and my French tutor Jean-Pierre. I never thought learning a new tongue could be so much fun."

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