Family History Moment: Photos in Auction Lead to Family History Discovery

Contributed By Glenda U’Ren Clyde, Church News contributor

  • 22 March 2017

Photos are used for preserving family history and can lead to new family discoveries.

Article Highlights

  • A purchase at an auction years previously yielded a family history discovery.
  • Glenda U’Ren Clyde discovered seven new families and 31 names from this experience.

After joining the Church in Wisconsin nearly 43 years ago at 18, I immediately became interested in researching my family history. I visited with my aged relatives and eventually completed much of my ancestors’ temple work.

During the early years of our marriage we attended church in a small branch in Platteville, Wisconsin. There we became friends with Glen and Joyce Alt. After living there for six years, we moved to Washington state. Glen and Joyce moved to Massachusetts.

Twenty-eight years later, with our never having communicated with one another during that time, Glen messaged me on social media. The reason for the contact was to let me know that he had acquired some old pictures and a paper with names and dates of a family by the name of U’Ren from Blanchardville, Wisconsin. He learned after several years of searching for a family member that my maiden name was U’Ren.

It was truly a miracle how Glen acquired the pictures and names. His parents had purchased a box at a household auction for a few dollars in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, and the auctioneer added in another box with the pictures as a package deal. Glen’s mother, not a member of the Church, unable to explain why, put the pictures in a drawer. She mentioned them to her son and gave him the pictures. Compelled and driven, he spent the next three years trying to locate a family member who might want the pictures and information. While on vacation in Wisconsin, he happened to ask mutual friends of ours in our former Platteville Branch if they knew of any U’Rens. What a blessing that after 28 years they remembered my maiden name!

When I received the pictures and paper with names, dates, and places in October 2014, I discovered that they were my great-grandfather’s brother’s family. I discovered seven new families and 31 names that I didn’t have before. After checking in FamilySearch, I learned that temple work had been completed in previous years for some. In one of the families there was a daughter by the name of Dora missing. Most of her family’s temple work had been done. I feel strongly that Dora, along with others on that paper, wanted their temple work completed so they could be an eternal family. These precious pictures and paper were bought in the Midwest, given to Glen on the East Coast, and then sent to me, a family member, on the West Coast of the United States, who had the temple work completed. Considering the incredible preservation and journey of this valuable information, to us, it truly is a miracle.

—Sister Clyde is from the Connell 1st Ward, Pasco Washington North Stake.