So we this week has been full of new things to do. I've just been called as the Young Women's secretary. For those of you who are not of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, this means I keep the records for the young women 12-18 in our ward congregation. (Yes, this is a genealogy/family history post... keep reading). There are about 30 girls. Not a HUGE job, but for someone who has all boys, who has for the most part served in Primary (president & teacher), Relief Society (counselor and teacher) and in the Scouting organizations in various jobs ... this is a bit scary. The last time I served in Young Women's, Brian was a toddler!! Brian will be 27 this month, so it's been well over 20 years since I've served in the YW organization.
Add to that, the fact that I've NEVER been a Secretary in any organization (kept some scout records), and this figures into a huge learning curve for me!
A few weeks ago while getting things in order for my mothers' last few days/weeks/months her with us, I recalled her serving as a secretary many times in many organizations. This remembrance came to me as I was organizing some thoughts to put in her obituary. I mused on it for awhile and that's when I realized that I'd never served as a secretary in any organization... and then I thought "boy, I bet that would be a fun calling"!! HA on me!!! The Bishopric counselor came last week and asked me to serve as the secretary for the YW and I could hardly believe I said "YES" before I knew what was coming out of my mouth.
With these new thoughts of my mom and with a new set of digital books Greg bought for us to read as "bedtime stories" (yes, most of the time we read bedtime stories together!), (it's called "True Miracles With Genealogy"), I did as one contributor suggested: TALK with a deceased relative. Kinda weird I thought, but why not, nothing else has given me the answers I'm looking for.
I've also told Greg on occasion that I'd like to "slap some dead people"... this is usually when I obtain a record on someone, and the person (usually deceased by this time) who filled out the form or record left a big BLANK in the spot for the part of the record I was looking for an answer to. So if I feel like slapping a dead person for leaving information off a record, I guess I could also TALK to a dead person!
So on Thursday morning I left for work with the intention of talking with some dead people! I first started when I left to go to Salt Lake City (I drive there twice a day from Springville). I had to go to the Orem store, so my plan was to first have a prayer to my Heavenly Father for all my blessings (one of which was that we got Ole Blue running after 9 months).
Then I called out Minnie Rhea Adams, who married Alfred Erwin Wooley. I told her I knew her life was hard too. That she raised 3 children after the death of her 40 year old husband when she was not even 38 herself! She then got in an ugly marriage and divorced, and then a 3rd marriage. Poor little lady was all worn out at the age of 46. So I reminded this sweet great grandma that She had her children sealed to her and that she was also sealed to HER mother, Elizabeth Anna Joseph.
Then I called out Elizabeth Anna Joseph, my great great grandmother who married George Washington Adams. I told her what I knew about her. She had 13 children!! She also died young at the age of 43 shortly after the birth of her 13th child. I reminded her that her children were sealed to her and that she was also sealed to her mother Elizabeth Henrietta Booz.
Then I called out Elizabeth Henrietta Booz, my 3rd great grandmother. She married William McGowen Joseph. Elizabeth became a mother the instant she married William. William had 2 children from a previous marriage and Elizabeth raised those boys as her own! Then she added to her family, 3 children, one child died early and the other two were girls. Elizabeth worked for a time as a "chambermaid" in the Clarendon Hotel in Zanesville, Ohio. Times must have been tough for a married woman to work outside the home in 1890 at the age of 40! I also reminded her that she was sealed to her children, and her mother Mercy Ann VanHorn.
Then I called out Mercy Ann VanHorn, my 4th great grandmother who married Charles Booz in Pennsylvania about 1837 and traveled to Ohio about 1838-1839 before her 2nd child was born. I'll bet this wasn't easy. It also wasn't easy to give birth nearly every other year for 30 years!!! Yes, she had 15 children spanning a 30 year period. Not only that, but in 1880 one of her children had TB. Louisa (her daughter) survived and had children of her own, but Mercy Ann was her caregiver in 1880. In 1892 Amanda Booz (another daughter) died of TB and only months later Amanda's daughter (Mercy's granddaughter) Lillie died of the same dreaded disease... Lillie was living with Mercy Ann when she passed away! In 1893 John Booz (her son who served in the Civil War) died of TB as well! 3 other children died early as well. Mercy probably nursed all of them during this time... how in the world, grandma Mercy, did you survive 4 children with TB and still outlive them? What kind of mother was she??? Well one of her nicknames was LOVE! Does that give you an idea? So again I reminded Mercy Ann of the trip to the Salt Lake Temple to seal her to her dear husband Charles Booz and then we spent the next hour sealing all of her 15 children to her. What a day that was... But then, for the first time in my "calling out" of my moms I had to pause and with a sad heart reminded her that although she is sealed to all 15 of her children, she is NOT sealed to anyone. Not because the desire on my part to do the work is not there, it's because I don't know who her mother and father are. And I called out Charles for the same reason: I don't know who his parents are either.
So EVERYONE was asked to help with this mystery.
My gratitude grew for each of my grandparents in each generation. As I recalled all I knew about each one, all their joys, sacrifices and heartaches, my appreciation for each of them grew.
No one has come to "visit" me, and I don't expect them to. But I know they are there to help me find the sources I'm going to need to finish this puzzle. Someone needs to step up :}!! I really don't want to get to the other side of the veil an have to "slap" any of you!