The official dictionary definition or serendipity is: "the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this"
I began to research how this would apply to genealogy research and found the following definition from the Ancestry Ancestor - It is as though our ancestors want to be found. Uncanny coincidence. Olympian luck. Phenomenal fate. Tremendous intuition. Remarkable miracle. We call It, “Serendipity in Genealogy.” Now, I like that much better!
I kind of think of genealogy serendipity as a fancy word for going off on what I call "rabbit trails" when doing our genealogy research and forgetting what we were searching for in the first place.
In the short youtube video below preeminent family historian Helen Leary, CG (Emeritus), FASG, FNGS, reflects on why people do genealogy and on the comforts that people find in researching their ancestors. In addition she touches on the unique experiences that researchers often encounter when researching their family tree -- those little touches of unexplained serendipity.
Happy serendipity in your ancestor hunting.