Monday, January 20, 2014

Gift Giving

Today someone posted a link to a devotional address given by Pres. Eyring when I was a freshman at BYU. I wonder if I was as touched by his words then as much as I was this morning. Anyway, here it is so I can find it again: Gifts of Love.

"Well, there it is—a simple theory. When you’re on the receiving end, you will discover three things in great gift givers: (1) they felt what you felt and were touched, (2) they gave freely, and (3) they counted sacrifice a bargain."

"Gift giving requires a sensitive giver and receiver. I hope we will use this little theory not to criticize the gifts that come our way this year, but to see how often our hearts are understood and gifts are given joyfully, even with sacrifice. There is something you could do this Christmas to start becoming a better gift giver yourself. In fact, as students, you have some special chances. You could begin to put some gifts—great gifts—on layaway for future Christmases. Let me tell you about them."

You can read his great examples if you follow the link above!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Baby Willie

Yesterday I was working on some family history in preparation for our temple trip tomorrow and made a couple of exciting discoveries. I figured this would be a good place to record them, so here you go.

Putting together clues from the 1900 and 1910 censuses, a few years ago I figured out that my great-grandmother's sister had 10 children. After some more searching I was able to find information on nine of them, but the last one - which I figured was really their second child - remained shrouded in mystery. The temple work has been mostly completed for eight of the children, and this week I realized that their youngest had passed the magic 110th birthday (he was born 2 January 1904) and so we could proceed to do his work as well. That made me feel even worse about the missing child, so I tried looking again.

I had narrowed down the possibilities to between 1881 and 1884 in Connecticut, but all the search parameters I tried led to dead ends. So, I gave up and went back a generation to see if there were any holes there that needed filling. Great-great Aunt Alice married William Simpson, so I looked again at the information for his parents George and Nancy.
Underneath the picture of this headstone was a little notation that read:
George born 1820. On the side of this stone is Lizzie Rand b. 1851 d. 1882, and Willie Simpson b. June 1884 d. Aug 1884.
I've looked at this picture many times before, but for some reason that little line about Willie Simpson jumped out at me this time. Findagrave.com notes that Willie is the son of George and Eliza (the parents on the headstone), but that doesn't make sense because they would be in their sixties in 1884. (Yes, I know it's possible, but not probable. In addition, Lizzie Rand is their daughter, but she couldn't be Willie's mother because she dies before he is born.) 
The pieces have all fallen into place. William and Alice did have a baby boy between Caroline in 1880 and Joseph in 1885. They named him after his father and he only lived for three months. He was buried in the local family plot with his aunt, and a few years later his grandparents were buried there as well (even though by then they had moved from East Haddam to Hartford). I was able to find the record of his death in "Connecticut, Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934" as well. I'll admit that this isn't solid proof, but it just "feels" right, and so I'm going with it. Aren't we supposed to get help from the Holy Ghost as we do this work? 

The next thing on my list was to look at the name I was planning on taking through - Blanch Cole - to see if I could find any more information on her. Well, imagine my surprise when I found this death record. Everything matched - her father, Albert Stevens (or A. S.) Cole was born in Wentworth and her mother was born in Epping - and she was born 6 years and 4 months before 19 June 1990. 
Although it's sad that she died at such a young age, it's a good thing I found her death record this week instead of next, because now I can do an endowment for someone who really needs it, like Dora Friedel. Although we don't currently have a death date for her, we do know she 
lived past the age of 8. We'll hold off on Blanche's sister Mildred, because we don't know for sure how long she lived. 

So many interesting things to discover! Hope you're having fun with family history too!!