Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wednesday morning meanderings of the mind ...

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As you all know, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons as we are often called because of the Book of Mormon which is one of the scriptural cannons of our faith, along with the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants.  One of the things which first drew me to the church was their obvious love of family and all things to do with families.    We believe that families are the most important unit in time and all eternity and that families are indeed forever, an eternal round.  We are all encouraged to do family history work.  This can be really fascinating and time consuming to say the least.   I don't think we are alone in this however.   There seems to be a general resurgence of interest in wanting to know ones roots in these latter days.

Television programs on the subject abound.   Programs such as Who Do You Think You Are, etc.  Normally these are programs in which they research the family histories of celebrities etc.  I find them to be very interesting.  There are lots of resources available to family historians these days, not the least of which is

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I don't know about you, but . . . I have always been deeply fascinated by my family history and where we came from.  (this is a photograph of my Grandmother (middle top looking down) Aunt Freda (young girl to her right) Great Grandmother Best (front sitting down) etc.)  I think it's wonderful to discover who we are by where our ancestors came from, etc.

In church a few weeks back we were given these booklets to help us to catalogue our family history by going back just several generations.  (See top photo)

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Inside it are spaces for you to put in all kinds of information about our families.  Photographs.   Memories.   Stories, etc.   You can find out more about that here.

We were encouraged to try to spend our family history time now in "Fleshing out" the family history we already know.   Adding children, cousins, etc. of our extended family to our family trees instead of attempting to go as far back as we can.

I have a totally fascinating family tree.  I can trace lines of my family all the way back to Alfred the Great,  the Plantagenet's,  William the Conqueror and even further.  There are kings and queens in my family history, in fact some of the first kings and queens of England.  King Ferdinand III of Spain is in my family tree, amongst many others and this is really fascinating.  Once you hit royalty, discovering who you are is really easy . . .  the lines open up like rows of dominoes falling.  Todd is quite green with envy as he struggles to find anyone.

I was struggling a bit with the idea of fleshing out the more recent family lines however.  I can't get anywhere at all with the French side really . . .  there is a huge language barrier there.  I really need to sit down with my father sometime and pick his brains.   On my mother's side things are a lot easier, but I still could not tell you who here cousins were, or anything else.  It is fun finding Kings and Queens, etc., but it's a larger challenge at times to find the rest and the ones who should be within your own lifetime of memory.

So I was thinking about this and wondering how I was going to do it all . . .

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(from left to right, my Aunt Freda holding me, my mother and my Great Grandmother Best)

My Aunt Freda was our family historian and always doing research on who was who etc.  We used to have many discussion on this subject with each other, but she passed away some 7 or 8 years ago now, and with her went all of her research as nobody has been able to find any of it.   Supposedly one of my cousins had borrowed it all so she could type it up for my Aunt, but it was never seen again.  

I don't know why, but last week one day I was inspired to go and check one of my old e-mail accounts.   This is the one which is associated with my Etsy account and I check it off and on to see if I have missed anything.   This one day I happened to notice a folder called Important Stuff, and so I clicked on it, thinking to myself, I wonder what I had considered to be important stuff.   I found about half a dozen e-mails from my Aunt Freda.  There were photographs of one of the last times the three sisters (my mother and Freda and Thelma) were all together.

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(My Aunt Thelma foreground, Aunt Freda grinning in the corner)

How precious these are.   My mother is the only one who is still alive from her immediate family.  I knew she would be so excited to see these and I had forgotten they were even there.

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(my mother)

These were sent to me in 2005, so not too long before my Aunt Freda passed away from Cancer.    I was so happy to find them . . .  but what was even more exciting was an e-mail in which my Aunt had given me a ton of family history information, with cousins names and birth dates,  second cousins, third cousins even . . .  a wealth of family information.   Exactly what we had been asked to search for to "flesh out" our family trees.  I was instantly humbled.   This had been there all along, since 2005 and I had completely forgotten that it was there.  It was like my Aunt Freda had reached down to me from the eternities and given me a big boot in the bottom!  I spent three days cataloguing it all and putting it into my family tree.    

Mostly I was amazed.   To me it was like a little miracle to find this wealth of information which had been right under my nose all the time, just waiting for me to rediscover it and do something with it.   Life can be so amazing sometimes.  It really can.

What interesting things have you been able to find out about your family?  I would love to hear them or any stories about your ancestors.  Please share with us!   

A bit of inspiration to carry with you through today  . . .  

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"Never suppress a generous thought."
~Camilla Kimball

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Hot Dog Roll Ups!  So good!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!  

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  1. What a find (or rediscovery)! Good for you. Family history fascinates me too. I spent a lot of time researching and going over old photos with my grandparents in 2001 before they died and became the informal family historian. It's beautiful to have this kind of information.

    The photos are treasures too. 'So glad you found the email. :)

  2. I would love to dig a little more but we have the sad tale of the stolen history too. Then we have the even sadder tales of modern events being misrecorded. My ex MIL is/was quite adamant the no one should know that side of the family's history.

    I am sitting McDonald's while Pip is rehearsing. Tonight I am so tired. I have handed in three assignments today and driven my daughters all over the place over the last few days. Could you please pray for a safe trip home?

    God bless you all.

  3. Happy rich finds I would say..Your aunt in the foreground looks a lot like your mum:)

  4. Me too Val! I was thrilled to come across it and almost ashamed that it had been sitting there in my "important things" folder for 9 years! xxoo

    I will pray for your safe trip home Suzan. I don't know how you do it all. ((((hugs))))xxoo

    You are right Monique, they did not look a lot alike in their younger years, but they sure looked a lot alike in their elderly years and most especially now! Funny how that goes! xxoo

  5. Thank you for your prayers. I am safely home.It isn't the longest drive but it is a narrow and very dark road. I drove home a little slower than usual as I knew I was not reacting as fast.

  6. You really must take care of yourself Suzan! ((((hugs))))

  7. My mother's family knew very little about her father and his family. My uncle, who has since passed away, gave me two names and said that he thought these were my great grandparent's real names. After much research, I found out they were and discovered their family. It turns out, we had an old photograph, which no one alive could identify anyone in the photo, that was my grandfather at an early age, all his siblings and my great grandparents. I then turned to my father's family and found that my third great grandfather had fought in the American Civil War in Gettysburg. He was captured after the battle, and died in a prison camp. We are regular visitors to the battlefield now.

  8. Christie! That is so fascinating! KNowing a bit of background about your ancestors really helps to bring them to life! Thank you so much for sharing! xx


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