Monday, October 19, 2009

Done Any Family History Lately? It's Actually Fun!

So, to follow up on a previous post about family history, I found out that the temple work has been done for my great-grandmother, who was orphaned at age 12. This was a painless procedure. I didn't have to leave my home to go to a family history center or even finish taking the family history course at church or read the accompanying booklet from cover to cover.

I simply went to the new family history website for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is new.familysearch.org. This site is sooooo cool! You can sign in and in a jiffy you can see what ancestors of yours are in the Church's database as well as what temple work needs to be done for your people. From what I can tell, the old family history website doesn't show what temple work needs to be done very clearly. I am a novice to family history and even I could use this site very easily! It is totally user-friendly.

I had to go far back in the generations to find out where some temple work needs to be done. I am descended from the famous reverend John Lathrop like over half of Utah Mormons and I was surprised to see that for some of his family, temple work still needs to be done.

One of the amazing things about this site is that you can see who else is out there, working on the data and instantly connect with them to send questions if you see discrepancies arise over dates and names. Email and the Internet were just made for family history work, I'm telling you.

I feel more connected to my fourth great grandmother. i have this book about Sudweeks (my maiden name) family history but I never knew exactly how I was connected to the different people in it. It tells the story of Mica Martina Margretta Katrina Pedersen. She joined the LDS Church in Denmark back in the 1850s because she gained a testimony from hearing the missionaries. She was persecuted for this. She would walk down the street and get pelted by eggs and rocks for becoming a Mormon. Still, she persisted in her new faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. When she heard the Mormons were moving to Zion, she told her husband she wanted to go to. Her husband didn't want to go. She begged and pleaded. He refused. Finally she insisted that she go and he said he didn't want to be married to her anymore or be part of this new religion. She left, taking their baby. She gave up her homeland and her husband for her newfound faith in Jesus Christ.

By looking at the pedigree charts at new.familysearch.org I was able to quickly figure out that this rock of a woman was my fourth great grandmother. Wow! All these years and I never knew I had such amazing female heritage.

I encourage you to all set aside your excuses and go do some family history work. It's as close as your favorite blog or website. It's a huge blessing that we can do it right in our own homes now from our favorite entertainment device, the Internet. This is a prophecy fulfilled. My sister-in-law, the family history guru extraordinaire, showed me this prophetic quote from Archibald Bennett from decades ago. He remarked that someday there would be a system that we would all use that would connect people from across the globe and generations in order to do family history. That time has come and you can give up some of your blogging and gaming on the Internet to do it!

A great story in the Ensign appeared a few years ago. It told of a busy mom of a large family who took time every day during her youngest child's nap to do family history. She was extremely blessed for this. I'm not ready to give up naptime every day to do family history but I'm going to shoot for once a week and hopefully still get some blessings.

1 comment:

  1. I will have to come back and read this full post tomorrow or the next day as I'm so tired--dealing with my stuff--but I wanted to tell you that the sixth ward has a woman who does genealogy for a living and she is teaching us how. I am so very grateful and so many people are taking her class.

    Bless you, Celestia. You are so very loved by so many.

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