Monday, March 9, 2009

Every Tom, Dick & Harry

I don't think that I've blogged about my new church calling yet. My new church calling isn't so new anymore but I've been asked to help people in the ward with their family history. I was trained by this sweet 80 year old woman who knew everything there is to researching geneology and hugged me every time I asked if we need to verify our information before writing it down as fact :). I'm pretty sure I'm one of her favorites, but then again, I'm thirty years younger than all the other consultants, and I knew how to use a computer before I came to her! Training took several months because there is a suprising amount of resources not available yet on the internet and she wanted me to know what was available and where to find it. Things like the Census. The Church has only a limited number of Census-es to search. Hey, would you call more than one census "censuses" or "censi"?

A couple of weeks ago they asked me to speak in sacrament meeting using a Sister Allred's conference talk on temples from the fall conference last October, but to use it to speak about family history work. They're related, but I had to use other general conference talks and articles from the Ensign to help me. I was nervous, nervous, nervous to give my talk. In fact, I made a little mistake that I was able to turn into a joke later, but I was talking about the three-fold mission of the Church: Proclaim the gospel, Perfect the Saints, and Redeem the dead... except that I couldn't remember the middle one and I couldn't find it in my notes until later :). I had to turn around and the Bishop had to tell me! Oy!
Anywho, my point was that I found a talk by Elder Oaks about three principles to follow and that one of those is that you shouldn't feel guilty. How cool is that?! I hope you read the talk because it really makes you feel good by the time your done. Of course, the other two talk about how we should be doing SOMETHING, so you know that no guilt thing only goes so far :).

After my training was over, I decided to volunteer at the Family History Library on Saturdays so that I can try to apply all the millions of things I learned. Or rather, try to remember a couple of the things that I had been taught :). The shift is from 9am to 1pm. I think it still shocks Chris that I'm awake before one o'clock on a Saturday but I usually come home after and take a four hour nap so it turns out that I'm still pretty lazy on Saturdays. This last week I've been trying to verify or correct the information I have on my family and I've been looking for the correct spelling of Granpa Brown's grandmother. Family tradition is that she's Anna but in Ancestrial File it's Ane and on the 1900 Census she's Annie. You wouldn't think it would matter, but it's really hard to research someone if you're checking every Tom, Dick, and Harry. I mean, every Anna, Ane, and Annie.

Oh! And just for fun, it turns out she was a second wife. His first wife's name is Ane. Or maybe Anna. Heaven help me and wish me luck!


  1. Family History has always seemed so hard to me for all that name reason. (this name, and then that name, but maybe this name)

    I love the genealogy quote on the wood historians seem to love those cheesy little sayings. Since you love them too...I think you have found your life calling!

  2. You are so funny! You.... one of the Brown girls gets nervous when they give a talk???? Brianna said that when she taught Sunday school in the singles branch, she was so grateful to have you Brown girls there because you knew the answers to everything. That helped her so much because she was always so nervous to give the lesson.

    That is such a great calling Cindy. I bet once you learn everything and do it over and over again, you will be the pro every one goes to. I know there is a Sis Hedberg in our ward that knows so much about genealogy. It personally scares me. Good luck with your calling.


  3. Michelle, I hear you on the its all so confusing part. That's why I loved Elder Oak's talk. The first principle was don't feel guilty and the second was that there's lots of different ways to do family history. He specifically talked about mother's teaching their children the gospel and an important work. So there, you've got it covered. Nice going!

  4. Yeah! Now you can train me! No offense meant to the cute little old people at the family history center who keep trying to help me, but THANK GOODNESS FOR CINDY'S NEW CALLING! I have a feeling you will make family history much fun and far less frustrating.

  5. Thank you Sweet Cindy for your words of encouragement. I forget how amazing you are. We needed to hear that. Things have been so much better now that we've absorbed the news.

    Love you, Sayda