Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where We Start and How We Proceed

What follows is the beginning of an effort to learn more about our ancestral families in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times, where and how they lived in the Spring of 1820, then follow their lives and the lives of their posterity over the decades of the 19th century.  More detailed family history from the 20th century on is a separate collection.

This is intended to be a working document, with notes and questions and references and links to online resources, highlighting items needing attention, focused on encouraging much better use of FSFT to complete and refine the immense work to be done. 

“Family History and Temple Work” is so extensive that it tends to overwhelm.  It deserves more than 2% of members now contributing meaningfully, mostly FH consultants, to accomplish more sooner than later.  Dennis Brimhall, managing director of the Church Family History Department, has the goal of 10% participation.  He knows that photos and stories are the key to getting more hearts engaged. 

Since FSFT added features for posting photos and stories in mid-2013, I turned more time to that effort, eager for more people to post more stories and photos. 

This is a quick start to begin to gather, compile, synthesize, and edit more stories and photos and other source documents for vital data to complete ordinances for all the ancestors and descendants of 22 ancestral families (15 for Scott, 7 for Lorraine) living in 1820 organized around the “first converts” in our ancestry, and follow them to the present as much as possible. 

This will help us work more broadly and deeply on FSFT within the timeframe of this last dispensation, as well as extend back over prior generations.  Ideally, we identify and interact with more collaborating distant cousins now living as we all share stories and photos of common ancestry, anticipating still more hearts turning.

We long to do more research, writing and many other things, especially temple work.  We try to take to the temple each week more ordinances that need to be done.  We share baptisms and confirmations with grandchildren who serve in the temple.  We share much with the temple department for other temples while doing sealing ordinances in the Oakland Temple with people who do not bring their own family names and we happen to be short on temple names for proxy sealings. 

All serious researchers are of huge value to this work.  My wife is new to FH, and inclined to be a thorough researcher, as she learns the ropes. 

Her parents, Aylwin William Griffin and Mary Ann Forsyth Wilson, are the first converts in their family lines, joining the Church when Lorraine was five years old, so there is much less duplication and inaccuracy in her online database of family history than there is in the online database of family history I inherited as a 7th-generation Mormon, with 32 first converts in my ancestry, all 16 great great grandparents being members of the Church, a number receiving their ordinances in the Nauvoo Temple.  

We rejoice over the vast improvements in tools and resources available to us to do this work, especially compared to how prior generations did their genealogy. 

As FSFT shows more and more photos and stories as well as everything else it does and will yet do, and as more indexing and other digitizing is done, and as more people participate, we will gradually get more crucial source documentation for better clarification of important details, until the remaining “unknowns” will be made known during the Millenium as our ancestors introduce themselves and give us what we need. 

Those who are experienced know this, but for the many people who may not, we can illustrate the need for greater clarification from source docs with an email received from a newly found distant cousin (Fae Hepworth Winsor, 10/10/13), saying:  

I will start with John and Eliza Cox.  Just wondering on the baptism date of 1839.  I found where Daniel Browett baptized John.  But Daniel was baptized by Wilford Woodruff in 1840.  Daniel was a minister in the United Brethren and John was friends with Daniel and Robert Harris. 

1st question: Was John baptized into the United Brethren in 1839?
Of course I don't have that source. Church records have 1839. And since that is the temple work date does it really matter?  According to Robert Harris' journal they came to America together. 

2nd question:  The pension records for Eliza to get John's pension said they were married in 1836 by a parson in the Church of England.  Could this be where it was interpreted as him being a parson?  John's and Eliza's marriage license both have a X for the signing of their name.  Could John read even tho he couldn't write?

Also in the pension records she said she had 12 children.  I have birth records for Elizabeth chr in Apperley, Gloucestershire, England on 14 May 1837 where John was a laborer and Ann chr on 10 Nov 1839. She was born 13 Oct 1839 in Apperley where John was still a laborer. Deerhurst, England film # 099128 and #425393. I think these films might be on the internet now.

My mom said she remembered the people talking in Springdale about the baby that was buried at sea coming to America.  I have been thinking about this family for a long time and I have a lot of questions.

They came to America in 1841 on the ship Echo. They were registered as John, 35, Elizabeth, 33 and Ann, 7. This could also be wrong. Daniel came on the same ship.

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