Family History Moment: Finding Aunt Rose

Contributed By Daniel Bradshaw, Church News contributor

  • 21 November 2017

Taking the time to learn about the lives of each ancestor as we perform family history work will bring their stories to life for us.

As grateful as I am for the wonderful pioneer history of my father, whose family was very much a part of the early Church, I am also grateful for the history of the family of my mother, who was a convert to the Church. Not only does it give me a different perspective; it gives a wonderful opportunity to open many new doors as I search their history as well as complete their saving ordinances.

In the many years I have been active in family history work, I have probably submitted and completed the work for hundreds of family members. As I find enough to do, either my ward or my wife and I complete them from baptisms through sealings. As much as I would like for each individual one to be a special experience, I must admit that with the majority of them, I seem to simply go through the mechanics of doing the vicarious work. Once in a while, though, there is indeed a special communion of one sort or another.

One such experience began when I was still new to this great work. I had found and copied the marriage certificate of one of my great-grandmother’s sisters, Rosalie Corn Foster. I was just enamored with this record. I thought that maybe it was just that this was one of my first finds, but I held it and checked it over again and again, realizing that this was an important document for a very real person who lived, married, and was part of a real family. We went on to finish the work for them, along with many others.

Recently I decided to read the life histories that my mother made sure were done by her parents. In my grandmother’s history I came to a seemingly simple part where she mentions a visit with her Aunt Rose and Uncle Tom in Alabama for a few days—a visit that apparently made an impression on her. She records, “Uncle Tom was very religious; he and his family gathered in a circle after supper every night in the living room and read and studied the Bible and said prayers before they went to bed.”

Tears came to my eyes as I realized that this was the Rosalie that I had come across all those years ago. I felt certain that she was with me then and even more excited than I was at my find. I am sure this family was close to the Lord and quickly accepted the restored gospel and desired to be a part of it as soon as possible.

How grateful I am to be a part of this inspired work that brings redemption to those that have passed and truly does bring families together.

—Daniel Bradshaw is from the Lakeview Trails Ward, Gilbert Arizona Highland East Stake