Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vol. 2 No. 18 -- Surprise! Surprise!

Surprise Surprise!!

 Greetings All....May the FORTH be with you!!

Now you know I couldn't resist that one!!  I know this is after the forth, but maybe you could use a little chuckle today!!  Just as a side note, it's always said, "third time is the charm".  Today I am going to differ because this is my fourth attempt at the newsletter this week.  So maybe I will save the other newsletter for a different week.  But something has happened over the weekend and I feel this is what I should focus on.

DNA Testing.  When I mentioned I was going to do a DNA test a week ago, my friend who is a nurse looked at me rather suspiciously.  I saw the strange look on her face and said, "Oh it is for Genealogy!"  Her response was something like, "They can do that??"  The prices used to be a couple hundred dollars, but they are coming down.  For the last weekend in April, Ancestry ran a special for $79 and by using a special code you could get free shipping.  So I did one as well as my cousin Burney. 

It is a pretty simple test.  You spit into a tube, mix it with some stuff and you send it back to them.  Ancestry tests for different markers and enters then into the database and see if you have any matches with anyone else in the database.  They also encourage you to put your family tree in their database so others can connect with your tree.  Others who have also had the DNA test done can check for matching markers and see where you may connect in their tree.  It also will give you a background on your ethnicity.  I will be anxiously awaiting to get my results back.

As many of you know I love FAMILY HISTORY!!  If you have never explored your ancestral line, WHY NOT?  There are no such things as skeletons in the closet, only CHARACTERS!!  And trust me, we all have them!!  Now you are probably asking yourself, "Laura you have talked about all this before, why rehash it?"  Cuz it gets better!!!

Just yesterday I was able to gain access to Ancestry with my LDS Church Membership account.  That means I have access to the records on Family Search (alot of indexes!)  AND Ancestry (lots more records)!!  That makes a huge difference!  In the past I would simply sign up for Ancestry for a month at a time and get what I could out of it for a month.  But now as a Family History Consultant and LDS Church Member, it is one of the perks and benefits.  Now I just have to do better on my end in helping with the indexing of the records. 

Another cool thing it allows me to do is to connect the person in my Ancestry Tree with my Family Search Tree.  What that means (I hope) is the records I attach to my Ancestry tree through Ancestry will be attached to my Family Search Tree as well.  Time will tell. I can also email those I find in Ancestry who may be related.  It was a Snoopy Dancing kind of day is all I can say!

Now you may think I am silly for getting so excited over a DNA test and access to Ancestry, but guess what??  It GETS BETTER!!!  To recap a bit of my family history journey, I started in July 1977 and on my Moore Line I had my Dad and my grandfather's names and they were born in Texas. That was it.  I did not even know my Grandmother's name other than Granny.  It took me 32 years to learn my great grandparents names.  I really thought if I could just find their names I would be happy.  But nope, there was something more and I needed to find it.  Slowly I began to work on my grandfather's siblings and look for descendants.  That led me to find additional cousins. Each one on a journey of their own to trace their own lineage.

What has been amazing to me is the gathering of the cousins, and the gathering of the information we have.  Each one brought something different to the table.  With our Great Grandmother, we finally had a picture of her and three of her four children. We do not know her full story, but we are getting there.  With my Moore family, I had pictures of four of the five children...until this past week.  I got the fifth!!  And shhhh but I have not even shared it with my Cain Cousins yet!!  They are seeing it for the first time here with all of you!!  My apologies to my Cain Cousins (I know I am a stinker!)

This is Grady and Anna Moore, the youngest brother to my Grandfather Vernon D Moore. This is all thanks to Cousin Sherri Moore who bless her heart FOUND ME!  Grady is her Grandfather.  So yes Family History was the highlight of my week this past week. 

It truly amazes me how now more than anything it is getting easier and easier to trace your history, and yet others say they have no interest.  I think back to 1977 when I was 18 and remember being turned over to the volunteer who helped me fill out my first pedigree chart. I felt so lost and helpless.  I had only five names, two dates and two states.  When I wanted to pursue my Moore line and found my grandfather with his grandparents, I will never forget the words of that volunteer. "You may never know who your great grandparents are."  What if that was you?  Can you imagine being told you may never know who your parents or grandparents are?  I had to find them and I couldn't give up until I did!

Part of our journey is all about family.  You all know my story and my past.  My ancestors have always been the ones that seem to have pulled me up when I fall.  And this week I felt like I finally got my reward.  A picture of Grady.  I was so thrilled when I got the picture of Nathaniel and Minerva because it took me so long to find them.  Then to see the resemblance to me and Minerva.  But there was always that empty spot in me as I would look at Grady's name and wonder what he looked like.  What was his story?

Seeing this picture of him, reminds me of my Grandfather.  The picture I received from my cousin Gila of my grandfather made me cry the first time I saw it.  I never knew him as a happy man, but he obviously was here. You can see the similarities in the smiles and faces between him and Grady.  I think what this week brought me was that sometimes it is so easy to feel sorry for yourself, get down and wish life's loads were a easier to carry.  But seeing this picture of Grady brought back the last almost 37 years of researching and the journey we had been on together.  The ups and downs and breakthroughs when you just feel their love and know you have truly been blessed in your life to have such a love of family history.  I wish I could pass this love and passion on to all of you.  I didn't get to know my grandfather when I was younger.  His life had been hard and sometimes you get to the point you are just done with life.  I think that is where he was at when I knew him.  But I truly believe because of the trials he endured here and me beginning to understanding them and him, I have come to have a greater love for him I never knew possible. 

Thanks you to all who have stood by me through the years.  And a special thank you to my Cain Cousins for accepting me into their lives when often times I have been rejected.  Today my heart is very full as I remember the blessings and not the trials.  My earlier newsletter was on what makes one happy as Provo was just listed as the "Happiest Town in the USA".  The writer thinks it had to do with more ice cream parlors than bars, but I don't think so.  It is things like this, finding out who you are and why you are here and going after it.  Times get hard but I look at this family I have been able to FINALLY pull together and my heart is happy.  I know looking at their faces and learning more about their stories will help keep me grounded and carry on!!!  Have a great week everyone!!  When life gets too hard to stand any longer, remember to kneel! 

Hugs Laura