Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free Genealogy Course

Genealogy Lesson #1
Why do family history? 

As a young girl I enjoyed hearing the stories of my ancestors. My mother read to me from a book called, “Jeremiah Woodbury & His Family”. It contained rich accounts of her father’s family and even included my mother’s name. There were tales of the early Mormon pioneers who crossed the ocean to come to America and then pulled handcarts across the prairie to join the Saints in Utah. These stories of those who are long gone, are a part of who I am. When my children were small I read these stories to them. Now they have a copy of the book to read to their children and I no longer have a life because I am a genealogist.

In the Foreword to the book Ethnic Genealogy: A Research Guide, Alex Haley wrote: “Tracing ancestors as far back as possible has brought to many people great satisfaction and pleasure. Even documenting one's family thoroughly for but a few generations can prove just as exciting and fulfilling as a more sketchy documentation across two or three centuries. Each individual ancestral relative previously unknown and genealogically discovered is its own special thrill! No less thrilling is the discovery of records rich with information, which would have remained untouched, which would never have come to light, unless you had gotten caught up in the multiple, magnetic lures of genealogy.”

Who doesn’t like to solve a good mystery puzzle? Many books and TV shows are plotted on an intriguing mystery. TCasteel, who writes the Tangled Trees blog says: “Genealogy and mysteries, they go together rather well.” Solving who your ancestors are and how they are related to you can be very satisfying. Finding their stories and pictures from their life not only keeps their memory alive but brings you great piece.

When you search for ancestors, you find great friends! 

If you have any questions or you need help getting started or if you are stuck pushing at a brick wall, please contact me and I will help you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Autobiography of George Plant Ward

Written in Salem, Idaho on January 31, 1899

The biography of your humble servant commences at the early dawn of January 1, 1828, at Newborough, Northamptonshire, England. I am the son of John Ward and Ann Woods, who were born at Eye, Northamptonshire, England, and North Lufnaham, Ruthlandshire, England, respectfully. My parents were in humble circumstances and the common education of life was not attainable, in consequence of which my education was limited. I spent the first twenty years of my life on the farm and at the time of the inauguration of the Free Trade Law, which proved to be very detrimental to the renters, my father was compelled to leave the farm. In consequence I turned my attention to the bakery and grocery business in which I was successful.
I was married March 28th , 1849 to Sarah Ann Plant who bore me four children. At this time we were living in West Walton in Norfolk County. There were no Latter-Day Saints in the vicinity until late in the fall of 1850. My wife and I first heard the Gospel preached on the first Sunday in January 1851, and were baptized on the 23rd, of the same month. I was ordained to the Priesthood in February following, and ordained an elder in March of the same year. I commenced my missionary labors on the day I was ordained an elder and was successful in the work, as we had a new branch of sixteen members: my father, mother, youngest brother, and two sisters being among the number. We had much joy in our labors for the Lord was with us.
At a conference held at Bedford I was called as a missionary, sold out my business and left on Nov. 1st , 1851, leaving my wife, child, father, mother, brother and sisters. I was appointed to labor at New Market and vicinity. After two weeks of continuous labors I was unable to get a meeting in the great town of New Market. I then directed my labors to the surrounding county and was very successful in so doing. In a small town called Seahim. I baptized sixteen unto the church, and a very successful branch was organized. After this I was appointed to labor in the Southampton conference, in the branches of which my labors were abundantly blessed in the bringing of many souls to the truths of the Gospel, and the building up of the various organizations. I labored in this conference during 1853 and 1854. In 1855 I was called to labor in Scotland and was appointed by the presidency to labor in the different branches of the Glasgow conference, in which I was blessed in the counseling of my brethren and the Saints.
In the reformation of 1857 my president (the president of the Glasgow Conference) baptized me after I had first baptized him, We together baptized forty of the members of the conference and continued our labors in this direction throughout the different branches, in which was manifest to us that we were all accepted of the Lord. During this year I was called by Apostle E. T. Benson to labor in the Dundee Conference; while laboring in this conference, I was up to hold a discussion for three nights at Airbraugh. The subjects were arranged by Apostle Benson, which ended in a perfect victory for the Gospel, my opponent having given up and was satisfied in two nights, he being incapable and not desiring to continue longer. After visiting the different branches, we went to old Bonie Aberdien where I received a call from the Liverpool office notifying me that I was appointed to preside over the Liverpool conference. A short time after commencing my labors in Liverpool I had the misfortune of losing my wife who was called by death; two weeks after the death of my wife, I also lost a daughter in death leaving me with two children to mourn the loss of our dear ones.
I had the good luck in getting Sister Clegg at Stockton (of Stockport) in whose tender care I placed my children, and by whom they were given every attention possible.
Continuing my labors with much pleasure and being blessed by the power of God, we labored diligently in the up-building, and bringing many to the cause of truth. In the fall of the same year I was called to preside over the Irish Mission. In connection with my brethren we labored with much satisfaction and with the blessings of the Lord. I was pleased with the opportunity to labor in this part of the Lord’s Vineyard. In the fall of 1858 I was appointed to labor in the Manchester Conference, having much pleasure in visiting the branches, and was an instrument in the organizing of branches that had become disorganized.
In July 1860, on July 21, I was again married, taking to wife Martha Monks, daughter of John and Alice Monks, and who was born Sept. 14th, 1839, near Bolton, Lanchestershire, England. (She bore me ten children. She died May 8th, 1899, after a useful life.)
I was appointed captain of the guard on the ship Manchester. We were 27 days and nine hours coming from Liverpool to New York. After a long and tiresome journey, we arrived in Florence, Nebraska and stayed in camp here for six weeks, leaving with ox teams under the care of Ira Eldgredge, arriving in Salt Lake City, Sept. 14th, 1861. Our riches consisted of fifty cents cash. My wife and two children had no shoes. All was well. We visited father and mother (John and Ann Woods Ward) at Ft. Herriman for six weeks and then started for Wellsville, Cache County, and arrived there October 25, 1861.
In November, my wife and I enjoyed the privilege of receiving our endowments in the Salt Lake Endowment house.
In March 1862, we moved to Hyrum, Cache Co. I was appointed president of the teachers quorum shortly after arriving, which position I held for fifteen years, acting on many occasions as bishop of the ward and was called as one of the (members of the High Council previous to the reorganization of the Stakes of Zion) appointees of organization of the Stakes of Zion. I had the privilege of being a member of the School of the Prophets. Shortly after this I was ordained a Seventy of the 64th Quorum.
During the epidemic of diphtheria there were seven of the family stricken, but by the blessings of the Lord we lost none.
On August 18, 1867, I married a plural wife, Sennie D. Nielsen, (daughter of Seron and Elsie Marie Nielsen, and who was born Sept. 25th 1846 in Yerring, Denmark) by whom there are nine children (Six of whom are living).

In the year 1871, I was again called to fulfill a mission in England, during which I was appointed as president of the Manchester conference, in which position I filled with pleasure and satisfaction to my brethren. On my return I was appointed captain of a company of 3 50 Saints sailing on the ship “Wisconsin.” In September 1872, I arrived home in the full blessing of health.
On reaching home in Hyrum I received a kind reception from my families who were all well, and from the saints who were glad to have me back. I employed myself on the farm and in the fall of 1873 I made up one thousand and fifteen gallons of sugar cane syrup.
At the time the Utah Northern railroad went through, I was cook for the company. Our quarters were at Richmond and Logan. After this I was agent for the Hyrum Lumber Co. in Logan. It was afterward called the Cache County Lumber Co. I was also secretary and treasurer for the Seventies of Hyrum, Paradise, Wellsville, and Millville. We employed two men to work on the Salt Lake Temple.
On March 30th , 1874, I again married, taking Jane Ashworth to wife. She was born Oct. 4th, 1853 and was the daughter of Edmond Ashworth and Alice Ashworth. She is the mother of four children. I left Hyrum in 1878 and moved to Randolph, Rich Co., Utah. From here we moved to Meadowville, Rich Co., Utah, and from there we moved to Snake River Valley, arriving in the latter place September 21st, 1884, and settled in Salem.
I have had a family of 27 children; 18 living and nine dead. I have 30 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.


Here we go again.
(I wrote this blog back in January, 2010, when we began talking about building our "Legacy Locators" business. It is interesting to go back and look at how different our life was at that time. We worked 8 days on and 4 days off with little time to spend on genealogy. Now we get up in the morning and get on our computers and go to work, in our casual clothes, consulting with those who hire us to find dead people.)

All we did was go to tithing settlement (like we always do at the end of the year) and all of a sudden we are setting out on a new adventure. We met with Bishop Dunn and asked him what he wanted us to do? It had been suggested by our Stake President that we go on a mission and then one Sunday the Ward Clerk had us make out some forms to be submitted for us to be temple workers. We were becoming kind of confused as to what the Lord was going to have us do next to justify our continued existence. Bishop Dunn said that we needed to get our finances in order or we couldn't do any of those things and asked us what we would like to do. Bill told him that he likes to do his family history. The Bishop jumped on that and said, "You can do a family history business! There are lots of clients that will pay you to look up their history and tell them they are related to the guy who invented the toaster." Bill and I just looked at each other and smiled. We had thought about trying a business doing genealogy but we did not think anyone had the money to pay us to look up their ancestors. Bishop Dunn assured us that there are still folks with lots of money who will spend it on things that they truly desire.
The Church declares the importance of temple work for all people. What an opportunity to be a part of the great work of linking all of our ancestors together into one big family. Just think of the blessings that this could bring to others as they are added to the giant family tree.

Bill and I got on our computers to learn all we could about doing family history work so we could start our business as quickly as possible. It was challenging to do this while working and taking care of 10 girls but we would squeeze in a few minutes here and there to read books or ponder internet lessons.
Our focus was to be on completing family history projects for customers. We wanted to search out their 4 generations and compile the genealogy and stories into a published book for them to share with their families and friends. We have the capability to link everyone to royalty as we are all related in some way as cousins, whether once, twice or three times removed.