Marion Koebner contributes her essay "Digging for Roots" (PDF, 2000), describing her search for ancestors in Poland.

She begins,

Scrape  some  soil  from  the  ground  and  rub  it  across  the  worn  inscription  on the  tombstone  and,  like  one  of  those  children’s  magic  boards,  the  name suddenly becomes legible and there it is:  one of those family names which we have  only  ever  encountered  in  the  family  tree...