Once upon a time, I came upon a blog called Hesch History. I did a double take when I saw someone else researching Luxembourg and Minnesota just like my Lenertz ancestors' path. Like a good social blogger, I left comments and my information. Larry replied with a gold mine including the Luxembourg birth record of my third-great grandfather. Larry and I weren't ancestrally connected. He just did this to help me. He saved me hours of searching page-by-page in a foreign language, and bolstered my faith in the kindness of genealogists.
Fast forward a few months to yesterday. I decided to finally transcribe and translate the birth record written in old German. After about an hour, I knew that the document was dated 1826 and not much else. I put a call out for help, which was immediately answered by Gini of Ginisology.
Bless her heart, she got her mother on the phone who patiently guided me through the document and the nuances of the German language.
Without the generosity of others, I would still be searching blindly through Luxembourg. Now I have a town, a name, and roots across the pond. These friends asked for nothing in return, but you can bet I'll be paying it forward any way I can.
So to those who don't quite see the value of blogs and networking in research, I present Exhibit A, and Larry, Gini, her mother and all the kind folks out there willing to lend a hand.