The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

They Accepted It Before We Did

Cedar City Utah Temple - Photo from Mormon Newsroom

"We often wonder if our ancestors will accept the gospel. Ironically, in many instances, they accepted it before we did. Their prayers and faithfulness have brought the gospel into our lives instead of the other way around. Officiating in the temple for them is a deep expression of our gratitude and helps bind us to them.”
 –  S. Michael Wilcox, House of Glory, p.106

Thursday, December 14, 2017

RootsTech 2018 Giveaway Winner - Gwen McClellan

Gwen McClellan
Congratulations to the winner of my FREE RootsTech 2018 Registration - Gwen McClellan!

Gwen first became interested in genealogy after she joined the LDS Church at the age of 18 while living in South Texas. She has been working on genealogy / family history for over 40 years and during that time has gained a real love and connection to her ancestors and family through doing the work. She is currently working on her paternal line; doing research in Oklahoma and Texas records.

She is a nurse by profession and she loves her family, including all her ancestors.

She is excited to be attending RootsTech 2018. She has always wanted to attend but has never taken the time to attend. She is interested in learning more about how to use her DNA results in her research. Lucky for Gwen, there are 13 DNA Classes Being Offered at RootsTech 2018! She is very excited to attend the conference and to make new genealogy friends.


Thank you to those who entered my giveaway contest here on my blog. I hope to have other fun giveaways in the future.

I utilized Rafflecopter to run the giveaway. To select the winner the Rafflecopter software utilizes Random.org to ensure true randomness. I shared my blog post organically via Facebook and received 960 Facebook views from the shared post on my Facebook page; I also shared via Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

For some more numbers, that may be interesting only to me:
696 people viewed the blog post
24 people entered the giveaway
107 entries from those 24 people

Two of the entry options of my giveaway were to come back to my blog everyday and read another post and/or visit the RootsTech website and identify another class; which resulted in one/two additional entries each day.

The winner had 5 entries. The most entries had by one person was 11.

Thank you again for participating in my giveaway! I look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2018!

***
I am 2018 RootsTech Ambassador and have received a free conference registration from RootsTech.

#RootsTech

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Incorporating Family History Into Christmas


This post is full of family history ideas you may want to incorporate into Christmas. It is not meant to overwhelm you. I hope that this post awakens within you the mindfulness of what family history you already do within your own family holiday traditions.

As I gathered ideas to share, I grouped them into 5 categories: Decorations, Activities, Music, Gifts, and Food.

Decorations

Christmas Stockings
- My father (Papa) crocheted Christmas stockings for us as children. As each child married he also made a sock for the spouse and as each grandchild was born they received their own. My mother also helped with some of the crocheting. The main photo above was from his funeral and the first time all the stockings were in the same place together. Three generations of my family have this special gift. Do you have special family Christmas stockings?


Christmas Village - My mother made village pieces that looked like our homes. The green house is the home I lived in until I was 5. We moved next door to the red house and I lived there until I was an adult. My family still owns and lives in these homes.





Ancestor Ornaments - to make a real "family tree". Include photos of current and past family members. You can also give these as gifts to your family. You can use all different kinds of materials for ornaments. Check out this Pinterest board for more Family Ornaments ideas.

Photo printed on velum - Pat Richley-Erickson

Ancestors Tree - Pat Richley-Erickson

Please read Gini's post about why and how she created this Ancestor Memory Tree:
Ancestor Memory Tree - Gini Webb
Photo tags - Gini Webb





Other beautiful family history Christmas decorations.
Family Photos on Lights - Pat Richley-Erickson
Glass Block with photo printed on velum w//lights
Pat Richley-Erickson
                Great Grandparents - Pat Richley-Erickson               










What other family history related decorations do you have during Christmas? Share in the comments.

Family History Advent Calendar - Check out this link for a free fillable PDF.
Track or plan all your family history related activities on an advent calendar; makes a beautiful decoration while it serves as a reminder of your plans.
Memories in Time - New Zealand
Activities

Relatives Around Me, FamilySearch Family Tree Mobile App
  • Use at a community, church, or neighborhood function to identify your cousins "around you".

  • Everyone in my family (mother, siblings, spouses) has played this 10 question game and reported our scores to each other!

Home Movies

  • Record new and watch old home movies of Christmas celebrations.
  • Create a short video using Adobe Spark (free and easy to use). You can incorporate old family photos and do a voice over to make it very personal. You could make a few of them to play on a loop at a family get-together or make them into DVDs to give as gifts.
Personal Interviews / Spontaneous Family Storytelling / Personal History

  • Use recording apps or digital recorder.
  • Record your memories of Christmases past, or interview a living relative about their memories.
  • A Memories App by FamilySearch - Capture photos, stories, audio and load direct to FamilySearch.
  • JoyFLIPs app - Scan old photos and have relatives tell their stories of the photos by recording them right along with the photos in the app.
  • StoryCorps App
  •  #52Stories - One story each week for a year. Or use the prompts to ask family members questions.
  • Check out Emily's list of questions for a Childhood Christmas Memories Interview.
  • Mariah has a great idea regarding Story Jars and how to utilize them.

Photos

  • Collect all the vintage holiday photos from past years and create either a paper scrapbook or digital book and have each family member share their memories.

A Christmas notebook full of ancestor photos
Pat Richley-Erickson
Family Christmas Letters / Photos

  • We have nearly 50 years of family Christmas / New Year letters. Each year my parents send a letter listing a few of our personal and family happenings during the year. This year will be the 18th year my own little family has created our own family letter. Keeping these together in a binder provides a great family history of our family.

  • Family Photo cards from close and distant family also provide a great family record over the generations; keep a copy of the one you send out too!
  • Write letters to living grandparents (instead of Santa, or as well as Santa if you must).
  • Reach out to distant living cousins. Send a Christmas card with photos of your family and introduce yourself.

Traditions

  • What were your ancestors' religious beliefs and practices and how they might have celebrated this time of year? 
  • What traditions are unique to your specific family cultures or historic countries?
  • What were your traditions as a child and as an adult?
  • What traditions have been passed down for multiple generations?
  • How was Santa (or similar figure) celebrated in your family's historic countries?
  • Do you do have specific things you do on Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning, Christmas Day?
    • We have a special coloring book that we color in each Christmas Eve. My parents started it when they were married. As adults, my brother gifted us each our own copy of the Christmas coloring book so that we could continue the tradition with our own children.

1st page I colored all by myself - 1976
Service

  • #LightTheWorld - 25 ways to share the Savior's light with those around you.
  • Visit lonely people and let them share their memories with you. Record them.
  • Do service in honor of a loved who has passed away. Particularly one for whom you may be grieving.
    • Make their favorite treat and give it away. 
    • Donate time or money to a charity they preferred. 
    • Sing their favorite songs at a shelter or nursing home.
    • Visit a cemetery and leave flowers. 
    • Index records from where the person lived.
  • Make every Christmas a White Christmas by starting a tradition of performing at least one LDS temple ordinance for an ancestor during the holidays
  • Give a busy mother or father the gift of time to research their own genealogy by offering to watch their children.

Concentration Game
Pat Richley-Erickson
Games


Ideas From Others
Christmas Traditions: 12 Writing Prompts, Laura Wilkinson Hedgecock
Adding Family History to the Hectic Holiday Season, Amie Bowser Tennant
Holidays, Lisa Louise Cooke



What other family history related activities do you do during Christmas? Share in the comments.

Music

  • How does Christmas music make you feel?
  • Are there songs that have been shared through generations of your family?
  • Do you go Christmas caroling? Do others carol to you? 
    • When I was younger the Robinson family of Enoch, Utah were regular carolers to our home. 
    • In my community today the Carter family of Clearfield, Utah are regular carolers to our home. (Just after I added this comment about the Carters to this post, they showed up and sang. Serendipity!)
  • We have a special Christmas Family Home Evening each year in our home.
    • Opportunity to share our musical talents. 
      • I remember one year when my Grandpa Darrel Peterson and my sister Jenny played a saxophone duet. Do you have musical talents passed through the generations?
      • The men in our family all sing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Some years they even conference called in to sing together.
  • Nicole learned about a Christmas song that her grandpa's family sang. Check out the neat story here: I Wonder Who Is Santa Claus – A Christmas Song Tradition


What other family history related music do you enjoy during Christmas? Share in the comments.

Gifts
  • Anything family history related can be given as a gift.
  • Histories
  • Family tree designs / charts
  • Photo Books
  • Framed photos or collages
  • Calendars
  • DNA kits
  • Ornaments 
  • Gloria Larson shared:
  • "For Christmas last year, my sisters and I put together a family newspaper made up of articles about our ancestors. We even put in some old newspaper ads. It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about our family history. There was one short article about one of my great grandfathers who was having a party that a drunk guy crashed. There may or may not have been some punches thrown. We found the articles in the newspaper archives and screenshot them.  Then we pasted them in a word document with some of our own headlines and stuff.  It was a lot of fun."
    • Not only was this a great activity - this would make a great gift for any family.
  • The year my father passed away I made stuffed bears, from his shirts, as a Christmas gift for all 27 family members: Papa Bears

  • One year, I also made small wrap quilts from my grandma's shirts for her 9 grandchildren: Grandma's Hug



    • I have the Quad-City Memories, The Early Years - covers from the mid 1880s until 1939 - the time my direct family lived in the Quad Cities.
  • Help others with family history
    • Temple and Family History Consultants - give a coupon to your neighbors to redeem in the new year for 2 hours of help.


What other family history related gifts have your given for Christmas? Share in the comments.

Meals / Food
  • What are your family food traditions at Christmas?
  • Christmas Dinners
  • Christmas Breakfasts
    • As a child we had to eat breakfast before we could open any presents. 
    • As teenagers we would get up really early and make breakfast for our family.
    • In my young family today, we make a special breakfast casserole each year and this year my daughter has also requested cinnamon rolls.
  • Use blank family trees or family photos as placemats.
  • Try food dishes from your ancestor's countries.
  • Make and share family recipes with others.
  • Share family recipes on FamilySearch as a story and / or via the FamilySearch Recipes campaign.


What other family history related traditions do you have regarding food at Christmas? Share in the comments.


I have cookie recipes from 3 of my 4 great grandmothers. When I make the cookies I tell my children things I remember or know about each great grandmother. We also have taken time to look at their photos on FamilySearch while the cookies are baking. Here is one of my favorite great grandma recipes:

Alice Alvey Pierce
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
By: Alice Alvey Pierce
My Great Grandmother

Mix in order:
1 cup shortening
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups flour
1 TBS hot water
1 tsp vanilla
6-9 oz chocolate chips
3 cups oatmeal

Bake at 350* F. for 9-10 minutes.


This post was created for a presentation for the Logan FamilySearch Library Training on 13 December 2017.

Special THANKS to my genealogy friends and family for sharing their ideas: Pat Richley-Erickson, Sarah Poe, Julie Judd, Gini Webb, Sumer Andreason, Amie Bowser Tennant, Nicole Dyer, Rhonda Anderson Lauritzen, Emily Schroeder, Melynda Valgardsson, Dave Dowell, Amy Johnson Crow, Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, Paula Quesenberry Iniguez, Helen Smith, Tami Osmer Mize, Mariah Bishop Hudson, Lisa Louise Cooke, Katherine Duquette, Christine Fisher, Gloria Larson, Maggie Daugherty, Linda Stufflebean, Laura Wilkinson Hedgecock, Devon Noel Lee, and Carol Barnett.

#FamilySearch
#LightTheWorld
#FHforChildren


Sunday, December 3, 2017

An Individual Responsibility

Photo from LDS Media Library
“Much more must be done in our personal genealogical research. We have an obligation to do temple work for our kindred dead. This means that we will do the necessary research in order for the names of our progenitors to be sent to the temples. We have an individual responsibility to see that we are linked to our progenitors.” 
– Ezra Taft Benson, “Our Duty as Latter-day Saints,”
Springfield-Burke Virginia Chapel Dedication, 15 October 1982.