Since I had not read this article originally, I found it very touching. I love to do family history, and if I had read it in 2015, I would not have known that I had pioneer ancestors.
I joined the church in 1976, and after I read this, it suddenly occurred to me that I had learned about them exactly 40 years after I joined. Since my life seems to emphasize 17 year cycles, I felt that it was quite profound that, for 40 years, I was wandering in a wilderness of incomplete knowledge of my personal identikit. I was very astonished when I received the information from Family Search, and it has been a wonderful experience to know this, after doing 10 intensive years of research on my grandmother's line, and extended lines.
Your article spoke to my heart. I hope all those headstone photos were logged with FindAGrave.com. It is incredible in helping bring family genealogies together. My mother had this desire to know her family, from early childhood. She gathered stories from her grandmother, that were stories from their grandmothers. We have precious and funny stories back to the Civil War and the struggle the southern women had before and after the Civil War. As a young child, I was taken on headstone hunting trips. This was long before computer genealogy research. Our ancestors were always buried on top of a brier covered West Virginia mountain. And, the graves were long forgotten and covered with bushes. So, it was truly a hunting expedition.
I have had experiences that are too long or too sacred to share here. I wish I could because they are dramatic, both while in the temple and while doing research. It makes those names and dates on paper come to life. You really feel it in your heart. You come to love these people just as you loved the grandmother you knew.
There is soooo much help out there now. Join a genealogy community like WikiTREE. Join facebook genealogy groups for your research region or surname. There is Free access to genealogy websites at public libraries. LDS have free access to partner sites. Then there is the LDS family history library near you. That is a far cry from tromping up and down steep mountains through thick ground cover to find long lost headstones. As a child, I could not understand why my mother’s obsession with collecting names and dates, had any real meaning. If it was so important for the eternities, we should have been born with our pedigree stamped on our foot. Now I understand that to do your genealogy is to learn to love your family members. You FEEL it. Get going! You are missing something very special in your life.
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