Feb 20, 2014

Family History Detective

I have a new, extremely addictive hobby.  Family history research.  After my friend, Rachel Waddell, went over how to use a couple wonderfully helpful websites, ancestry.com and familysearch.org, I feel like I'm on a roll!  It, no kidding, is addictive.  I'd compare it to putting together a puzzle, but the pieces are hidden and you have to find them by solving clues.  I almost feel like a detective.  And, in a way, I am.

It's truly incredible to find a great-great-great-great grandparent and get a glimpse into their life and the world they lived in.   Once I find one person, I can't help but keep searching for more clues into their lives and more clues into ancestors even further back.  I discovered a heritage I never knew I had by finding a great times three grandmother who was from Quebec Canada.  I had no clue my family was part Canadian, even if it is a small part.

Furthermore, I found that a large part of my family immigrated to America from Czechoslovakia to escape the communist Soviet Union.  This truly fascinates me as I majored in Russian Area Studies.  I studied the history of that region for years and developed a strong interest in learning more about Eastern Europe only to find I have roots there.  Now, that desire to learn has intensified.

It's hard to find a stopping point while researching my family.  I want to keep going and hunt down every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, child, etc.  Every time I can find a historical document, record, or even better--journal, I feel like I understand myself and my family more completely.  Malachi was inspired, indeed, when he said, "He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." (Malachi 4:6)  As I delve further into my genealogy research, I feel my heart turning toward my ancestors.  At times, it seems like those very same ancestors are helping me find those clues needed to find them so we can be linked and sealed together as an eternal family.

I felt the best way I could honor my mother's memory yesterday was to do family history research on her side.  Within three hours, I found 20 family members yet to be linked to us.  Additionally, each and every one of those ancestors are now, on my end, prepared and ready to go through the temple to have their saving ordinances performed vicariously for them.  My brother and his girlfriend are going to take those names through for baptisms tomorrow.  I really can't think of a better way to remember mom than by serving her ancestors in this fashion..

Familysearch.org is free to anyone.  Ancestry.com has a yearly fee.  Both are incredible websites that can get you started today on finding your own ancestors.  Family history research is a wonderful activity to do on your own or with your family.  It also make a wonderful Family Home Evening.  There is no better way to bring a family closer than by spending time together finding your lineage.

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