The Joys of Family History and Genealogy Work
I have always enjoyed working on a good project. I was a hospice nurse for seven years and held a position as the Quality Assurance Director. This required that I develop quality assurance projects and bring them to completion. I have had church experience where I have learned to start and finish projects. Through the years I would occasionally think about diving into Family History work but I knew this was not the time for me. I had a fear that if I started into this, I would be consumed by it.
I have always enjoyed reading histories of fascinating individuals and I especially like those of my ancestors. I have kept a journal for 34 years and these journal entries are my life memories that I hope to develop into my own history.
For a few years I lived close to my parents and I found out that my mother had been writing her history. When my mother was at the age of 89 she could not longer continue writing her history, so I asked her if I could help her complete it. The following year was so sweet because I started typing what my mother had written and I was amazed at the interesting life she had lived. There were so many beautiful experiences. Her thoughts would bring joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. During the last year of her life I typed her last thoughts and memories. She came to live with me for those last months. We had such a good time looking at pictures and going over her history. I worked very hard to complete this project. The pictures that I added flooded my mine with so many memoires. I also found in her belongings a short history of my father. I added his history to my mother’s history and was able to publish it for myself and my two brothers. About a month before she passed away, I was able to read this entire history to her and she was so thrilled. This was a moment that I will never forget.This history is a treasure to our family.
I have presently been working on the history of my Aunt Della who is now 97 years old. I visit with her each month and it has been such a delightful experience to type her stories. I feel so blessed to learn more about her and I treasure these visits. I told her that she could not die until I have finished her history. I feel like slowing down so she can stay longer. Our relationship has blossomed and I can’t bare the thought she might leave me. I have gained a strong testimony of the value of family histories from these experiences.
I have search on the internet for histories of my ancestors and in the process have connected with cousins that I did not know while growing up. This has been an added blessing to my life. The histories of our ancestors are filled with hard work and difficult circumstances. These hardy pioneers persevered and went forth building their lives with great hope and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. These stories give me hope in my own life’s journey.
The Family Search internet site has opened up a whole new world to me. For those of you who do not know a lot about family history work you can go in on this site. Here is the link – http://familysearch.org.
As you browse through this site you will be amazed at how easy it is to find one of your ancestors. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the largest depository of micro film in the world with information on birth and death dates of your ancestors. A vast majority of this information is now available on this internet site. People from all over the world are searching for their ancestors through familysearch.org.
The following is a quote from our past President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley; “Only a handful of our people used the modest family history resources of the Church around the turn of the century. How things have changed! During each of the last five years, more than 750,000 researches have used the main library here in Salt Lake City and the more than 2, 650 family history centers scattered across the world. Approximately 40 percent of those using the Family History Library and 60 percent of the patrons using local centers are not members of the Church. We offer a tremendous service to those not of our faith. “– Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Spirit of Elijah”, Liahona Magazine Nov. 1996, 19.
Here is a link to articles that will help you understand how to start genealogy for your ancestors. These articles will also help you have an understanding why the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find great joy in doing genealogy and family history work.
If there is an LDS family history center near you (and there are more than 4500 family history centers around the world), you can also get personalized help with your family history. See if there is a family history center near you.
Take the plunge and find the joy in this great work!
LeAnn is a wife, mother to 6 children, 30 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the occupation of nursing but most of all being a mother and grandmother. She presently serves in the Jordan River Temple one day a week. She enjoys writing histories and pursuing her ancestors through genealogy research. She loves to enjoy the moments of her life. She blogs at Http://lgwilliams.blogspot.com/