Are you wild about Harry?
Harry Potter, that is. The countdown to the release of the final installment in the wildly successful book series is approaching the zero hour, as virtually anyone with a pulse is aware. I’ve never read a Harry Potter book and have seen just one of the films so I’ve managed to avoid being swept up in this latest round of hyper-hype.
But it did get me wondering: What about the real Harry Potter? I did some checking.
In an unscientific, non-exhaustive search, I learned that there is only one Harry Potter listed in phone directories in Iowa or its contiguous states. In addition to the Harry Potter in Omaha, there’s a Harold Potter right here in Iowa, in Sibley.
Although I have little interest in learning the fate of J.K. Rowling’s fictional Harry (whose life has been bared in some 325 million books so far), I’m more interested in the life stories of the actual Harry Potters. Or Harry Lehmer, my paternal grandfather. That’s just the personal historian in me, I guess. Although there’s always room for a little escapism and fantasy, reality trumps fiction for me just about every time.
What about you: Would you rather read the exploits of a carefully crafted fictional character or the real-life exploits of a person of interest?
Genealogy blogger extraordinaire Randy Seaver offers a reminder that, although the Internet has made genealogical research quick and easy, it is far from complete. To uncover the real gems in your family history project, you’ll likely have to go elsewhere, Randy points out.