As I look back, my interest in family history has percolated for years. Each summer my parents loaded the Chevy for the pilgrimage to Utah. I spent the trip assigned to three major duties: read the road map and tell the parentals which road to take (I realize now that they knew the way....rascals); record each "Li'l Stinker billboard joke along the road through Idaho; and sleep to hurry the trip. The trip took two long days with an overnight stop at LaGrand, Oregon with the first destination in Utah at Uncle Parley's and Aunt Lucille's in North Ogden.
Then we would drive up the canyon to Peoa, until Grandma Brinton passed away. I remember her unusual home with clarity. We walked directly into the front room with its bevy of truly gorgeous wood furnishings and treasures behind glass. To the left was the kitchen with its eating area, and the back mud room with a door to the fields and chinchilla cages and Weber River lane. Back in the front room there was a door back to the "bedroom complex" an large room with one large bed ruling in the middle of the room. To the immediate right of the door was a little bed cubby that was always mine, a lovely cocoon in which to sleep. Grandma slept in a little bed room directly through the large bedroom, her favorite place to sleep. In 2013 my sister and I drove to the Brinton home only to see an empty field, the house sinking into the ground long ago. Nonetheless, the elderly man next door even remembered the Brintons and our mother, "Ruthie" Bates who married our father. The drive to Wanship did not include family as our Grandpa Bates lived with alternate children, until he passed away in our care in 1957. Their home looked a bit forlorn, but since has been improved and remodeled to still welcome a family today.
Then came the coupling of italic calligraphy and the "four generation project" of the eighties (it is back). I scripted my five generations so that my parents could simply submit mine to the Ancestral File in Salt Lake City. It was fun penning the names and dates and places associated with my ancestors. My mother showed them to all her friends.
It's December 9, 2018 and past time that I finish this entry. Before helping my parents submit our 4/5th generation sheets, I enrolled and enjoyed Religion 261, Beginning Genealogy, at Brigham Young University. The dizzying resources at the Harold B. Lee Library on campus and the resources of the Genealogy Library (Now the Family History Library) in Salt Lake City helped me conquer the class in a way that would have taken so much more time at home. The reason was that the search was done through books, letters, magazine articles, compiled lists by local genealogists, and preserved by exact note taking and photocopying. Now we luxuriate in miraculous online databases of digitized parish records, birth certificates, draft registrations and so much more that volunteer photographers and volunteer indexers make available to us. Our notes are saved on thumb drives, and our family trees on online repositories.
I just finished my term of service as the local Family History Center in my town, and I miss it terribly. Well, outside of staffing substitutes! I am currently cleaning up a family in Wales, 1700s, with 42 children. No, that was not a typo. Thus far I have removed 16 of said children who were conveniently born miles and miles away in other parts of the UK, and have removed children who were born when the mother was 82. It has been a labor of love minimizing this hardy woman's family down to a handleable and deliverable number. Bless her Welsh heart!