It’s not easy to go from retirement to full time working and studying hours. There’s so much to learn, and no afternoon nap. It was said jokingly by someone here on campus, (campus is actually an area of family history classes spread between the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Family History Library), that the Mormons (a nickname for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) don’t put their older folks in a rest home, they send them on missions, were they work themselves to death. We have been so busy, but have learned so much about the new systems and programs available for searching our ancestors. I’ve found dates and places and family stories I’d never heard before. I found some connections to the colonial McKean settlers, and Danish Nessen immigrants. It was as I always suspected, we are the “poor cousins”. It doesn’t matter exactly where we fit. We have a linage of great and interesting people. I didn’t find them in “one sitting”. I actually had to start by finding some grandparent’s and great grand parents names and birth dates in order to start my searches. I hunted through Ancestry, Family Search, Google and the new Wiki (which is the Family Search site for information about different places and how the people lived in those areas in different time periods as well as people-search. (The Wiki department is also searching for folks to become contributors to the information on this site. I hope to do that some as well.).
I have also searched the books available at the library and found the old parish-church records of our ancestors settling the New Jersey area. They came from Scotland. Through some dedicated book searching, I found one man’s journal of his and his father’s memories of life in the area of Allentown, Monmouth, New Jersey. In the mid 1800’s, the little village town was marked with the Scottish coat-of -arms banners, hanging on the houses and stores. The Scottish people kept their traditions of music and celebrations strong within their families and the town limits for over a hundred of years after they settled there. Even though in the 1770’s, after the Revolutionary War, it would have been illegal to show loyalty for their home countries in the United Kingdom of England. A new country needed American patriots.
Immigrants settled in groups of people who spoke the same language. The old church records I read also spoke of “an invasion of Mormons that came to the area, disturbing the peace and minds of the people,” taking some away it reported. My family seemed to have left the area not long after, came the Handcart Stories.
I searched another web-site that tells of the passenger voyages and some of the ship’s logs about the conditions. Some early immigrants traveled with cattle or in conditions less comfortable than that of the animals. On one voyage from Ireland to Liverpool, the ship line had over-sold so many tickets, that when the weather turned bad and people crowded inside, 79 of the passengers suffocated to death. The information there is like finding a window to the past.
We have now been on our church mission at the Salt Lake Family History Library for two months. This will be my last entry, er….a… news column article. During the training I’ve had plenty of time to search for my own ancestors, but soon I will be working on the floor stations helping others get started on their searches. I regret not being able to tell you of my experience as an eagle when I finally learn this stuff well enough to fly and soar with it! Instead, I’m still struggling to learn it all, but anxious to help others get started. It’s quite an experience!
My last article, I will give MY BEST WORDS OF ADVICE:
I’ve thought a lot about what profound words I might say as my last “Slice of Life”
Save the best for last! Last the best of all the game!
I’m much too tired to be very profound! (Is that where the word “profanity” came from?) I do, however, have advice I believe is very good:
There are things in life that are hard, but worth it! I’m going to list a few of the ones my tired brain thought were profound!
In my humble opinion, these are WORTH IT!
Skipping frequent cheap chocolate for a once-in-a-while piece of delightfully wonderful piece of rich expensive chocolate. So worth it! Even if you have to walk around the block three times to wear it off.
Reading the instructions before beginning the project. Don’t you wish you’d thought of that before Christmas?
Hanging in there to be a good parent! I can’t explain it! Just believe me! You’ll be glad you did!
Forgive someone who has hurt you! It doesn’t make all the pain go away, but it does take the horrible weight off your shoulders.
Getting an education! Somehow it broadens your mind and gives you more dimension as a person, and you can charge more for your services later.
Cleanliness is worth it! Brush it, floss it and wash it! And when in doubt…Wash it out! (Flossing is worth it, even if you have to wash off the bathroom mirror every time.)
Trying something out of your comfort zone. Most everything is out of my “comfy zone”. Really glad I’ve tried doing something that wasn’t easy.
Try very hard to enjoy life a moment at a time! Happiness is all about enjoying the moment. If you’re always waiting for things to get better, you can be unhappy a lot.
ABOUT THE SLICES OF LIFE…
Most times you don’t know if you’ve sliced off something healthy that is full of protein and builds muscle, or if you’ve sliced off a hunk of gristle and will be choking and chewing for a long time. You just take it as it comes, and make the best meal of what you’ve got on your plate.