Getting Started on Your Family History
A good place to start when gathering information about your family is to start with yourself. Make sure your own information about place and date of birth, blessing, baptism, and ordinations is correct.
Then record similar information for your parents and grandparents.
Check with any other members of your family who may be doing genealogy work to see what they have already recorded. Ask them to explain any terms or words they use that you don’t understand.
Call ahead and make arrangements to visit your stake or area family history library. You’ll find some nice people ready to explain things and help you get started.
It’s not as intimidating as you might think. Just give it a try, and you may find a fascinating new interest.
When student-body elections were held in Philomath, Oregon, Jason and Natasha Bushnell were chosen as presidents of their respective schools—high school for Jason and middle school for Natasha.
Jason has served as class president each year. He is a straight-A student and has earned all-American status as a cross-country runner. He holds the Oregon state high school record for 1, 500 meters. He has served as seminary president and is first assistant in his priests quorum.
Natasha has also served as a class officer each year and is a straight-A student. She was a regional science fair winner and is an outstanding cross-country runner. She is also active in 4-H and has shown grand champion beef.
Jason and Natasha are members of the Philomath Ward, Corvallis Oregon Stake.
Will Spurlock, Jr., is a real whiz when it comes to electronics. His determination and excellence paid off when he was awarded a first-place trophy and medal, along with a tool kit, in the North Carolina State Electrical Trades competition.
Because of his first-place finish, Will went on to represent North Carolina in the Electrical Trades International competition. His project placed fourth.
For his hard work and achievements, Will was awarded a scholarship to a technical institute to continue his schooling. He is a priest in the Dunn Branch of the Fayetteville North Carolina Stake.
A television commercial inspired Matt Bryant, 12, to make a light that could be turned on by the sound of a voice. In the commercial, Matt saw a light that turned on by the sound of hands clapping, and he thought he could produce a similar light and enter it in his school’s “invention convention.” Matt’s light that responded to the sound of a voice attracted a lot of attention.
Matt was chosen as one of 55 finalists in the statewide contest. He was selected to attend a reception with the governor, and his light was then put on display at the New York State Museum in Albany.
Matt is a deacon in the Fairport Ward, Rochester New York Palmyra Stake.
Ashley Aikens of the Ogden Utah 75th Ward is active in school, in church, and in community service.
Ashley was chosen to attend Harvard Summer School. She was also invited to be a Congressional Scholar representing Utah in the National Young Leaders Conference held in Washington, D.C. She is an Academic all-American, belongs to National Honor Society, and has a straight-A average.
Ashley volunteers at the local art center, for the symphony, for the Red Cross, and works as a volunteer for the congressman for her district. She also holds a part-time job.
Ashley is serving in her Laurel class presidency and as seminary secretary.
Service and Love
Service and love cannot be separated when you talk about the young women of the Badalona Ward in Badalona, Spain, a suburb of Barcelona. These young women serve one another, their families and friends, and people they don’t know with equal enthusiasm.
The Young Women take it upon themselves to see that each girl is contacted about every activity, a difficult challenge since most do not have telephones and live more than 30 miles from the chapel. When someone is absent, the others make sure that nothing is wrong.
Laura Ferreras, 17, learned of this love when she came to church one Sunday with her recently baptized mother. “The things that impressed me most were the love and caring among the members,” Laura said, “especially with the girls my age. I felt great joy in finding a place so full of unselfish love.” Laura was baptized a short time later.
Their service was not restricted to Church members. The girls agreed to help at a home for handicapped orphans (both children and adults). Sara Lopez Garrido, 15, said, “I was scared at first because I didn’t know how I would react, but once inside I realized how much love these people need. I am a better person for just giving my time to show I care. I’ll never be afraid to go back and get involved in their lives.”
The girls also regularly visit 102-year-old Ascunsion Baneras de Centeno, the “grandmother” of the ward. Their visits have expanded to include all the residents of the rest home.
The gospel has blessed the lives of these young women, and they are blessing the lives of others through love and service.
What’s in a Name
Young members of several Brigham City wards have been called to rather unique service. They have been called to work as name-extraction missionaries.
Jeff Wilks, 16, of the Brigham City 20th Ward, Brigham City Utah Stake, spends at least three hours each week copying names from microfilmed records onto standardized cards. His assignment is to work with Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish names. Jeff learned to read the old-style alphabet in special training sessions.
Jeff says he realized the importance of his calling when he participated in baptisms for the dead. “When I go to the temple, I feel just wonderful because I feel I am doing both ends of the work.”
Nancy Francis, 17, of the Perry Second Ward, Willard Utah Stake, has been a name-extraction missionary for two years. She can record 100 names in a three-hour sitting, and she believes the Spirit is there helping her while she works.
All of the young name-extraction missionaries have felt the Spirit while they work, because they are doing the Lord’s work. They not only feel they are helping those who have died, but they feel they are helping themselves as well.
“If I were to die right now, I would meet hundreds of people who are terribly joyful at what we have done for them,” says Jeff. “But even if it had just been one name, it would be worth it.”
Three talented Laurels from the Schenectady Ward, Albany New York Stake, wrote, produced, and directed an original play which was performed by the Young Men and Young Women as entertainment for the ward and community.
Not Quite Cinderella was a modern-day twist on an old fairy tale. Katherine Woodbury enjoyed the opportunity to use her talent and write the play. She has performed in high school productions and worked as stage manager for others.
Kendra Barber was the director. She gained some experience which could help her in her future career. She plans to study cinematography in college.
Producer Kim Berg brought the production together, including scenery, lighting, costumes, and refreshments. She has also performed in high school productions.
Mindy Seamons knows what to do for an aching head. That was the subject of a talk entitled “Take Two Aspirin and Call in the Morning,” which she presented at the Montana 4-H Congress. Her excellent performance earned her a trip to the National 4-H Roundup.
Mindy is a member of the Bozeman Second Ward, Bozeman Montana Stake, where she served as Laurel class president. She also played on her high school basketball team and represented her school at the state track meet in the long and triple jumps. In addition, she also sang in the school chorus.
Steve Henricks, 16, of Polk, Nebraska, was named high school basketball player of the week for his accomplishments in three games within one week. He scored 40, 28, and 35 points and rebounded in double digits in all three games.
Basketball is not the only sport Steve excels in. He led his football team to state playoffs as starting quarterback. He received all-conference honors as first team quarterback, first team kicker, and first team defensive back.
In addition, Steve is an outstanding student and served as student council president. He enjoys drama and had the leading roles in his school’s one-act plays. He also sings with the show choir, in a male quartet, and in honor choir.
In church, Steve assists with Young Men activities and has taken home-study seminary.
Jennifer Joyce Richmond made a goal during the summer before her freshman year of high school and kept it. She decided she would attend seminary every day throughout high school and graduate with a perfect attendance record.
Even though she and her family moved during her high school years, she achieved her perfect attendance goal and became the first person in the Hurst Texas Stake to achieve four years of perfect seminary attendance.
Jennifer also served as Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel class president. She is a member of the North Richland Hills Ward.
Although few in number, the youth of the Wamsutter Branch, Rock Springs Wyoming Stake, are strong in spirit. There are six young people in their youth program, and all are outstanding in their own way. They attend three different schools and live in a branch that covers more than 110 miles.
Jenny Kidd, 12, is active in both basketball and band. She plays the clarinet and keyboards and is on the honor roll
Shelly Kidd, 16, is the student-body vice president of her high school and on the honor roll. She is captain of her basketball team and a national qualifier for the Junior Olympics in cross-country running.
Jason Horsley, 12, is active in band. He is also on the honor roll and enjoys basketball and Scouting.
Rich Horsley, 15, is a varsity letterman in diving and is in the band. He is on the honor roll and enjoys Scouting.
Angela Trefethen, 15, participates in cross-country and track. She wrote poetry that won first place in the state Young Authors contest.
James Trefethen, 17, is on the honor roll and has received his Eagle Scout Award. He has read the Book of Mormon twice so far in preparation to serve a full-time mission.
Art on Display
Jared Ikihega, 16, and Tony Ikiua, 17, both of the Wellington New Zealand Stake, were among youth from the Porirua College invited to display their artwork at Parliament buildings. A member of Parliament visiting the high school was so impressed by their art that he extended the invitation. The exhibit featured designs with a Polynesian influence.
Both young men plan to study art at Polytechnic and are eagerly preparing to serve missions. Jared serves as second assistant in his priests quorum, and Tony serves as quorum secretary in the Porirua East Ward.