Wednesday, June 22, 2016

108 degrees or 114 degrees

Social Media is Motivating and 
Thought Provoking
     Here is what my friend posted on my time line by a friend from Illinois: “I have been watching the weather and it seems your area is very HOT! I sure hope you are staying "inside" with the A/C on full blast. We have been hot too and I stay in my lower level of our raised ranch house where it is cool because I don't have air!”
     My response: ”Yes, I'm staying inside. My "A/C" is window air conditioners... so I stay in my bedroom, mostly, keeping the other rooms warm but not 114 like Sunday, or 112 yesterday. It's supposed to be only 108 today! Won't go below 105/6 the rest of the week. When I was mobile, I'd go from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned store, etc. So it never bothered me much. Now it takes too much time getting from house to car into a store and I melt. Getting old ain't for sissies!"
My Illinois friend said: “ I hope you are alright! We have had 90's with no A/C and I think my dogs suffer more than me. I have a pool exercise class 3 times a week and that is very refreshing. My house is surrounded with big oak trees so always a breeze outside. Having a fence installed across part of the front to keep Jethro from getting on the road, about 230 feet, with a nice gate. Then "we" can all be outside when I want to do gardening.....Molly loves to lay in the green grass. Think of you often my friend!"

What to Do When it’s Deadly Hot

     It doesn’t matter whether it is 108 or 114 degrees temperature where I live or not. These six degrees are still deadly hot. I am not going outside. Keeping my house cool is very difficult. So what do I do when my internet connection, doesn’t function well? I watch Netflix…. Nope, can’t even do that without a wi-fi connection. Shoot. After a week of this imprisonment, I’ve decided that there IS one thing I can do. 
     Go through all my paper files and documents and start checking to see if they are online in Family Tree. If I find original stories or documents, not there, I am scanning them and will put them into the system. My own memory is getting worse, so reviewing notes that I took while interviewing people back in 1969 when I first began researching, is revealing more accurate versions of memories than I had misremembered. Guess I’d better get busy. 

 Picking a Surname
     Where to begin? I’ve always assumed that my children and grandchildren would absolutely love to have what I’ve accumulated over the years. WRONG! My daughter, who is adopted, simply can’t understand why people save objects that have only sentimental value. Her husband does, however and so does her son who is 9 years old and starting to make his own memories in Scouting. His mother does recognize that others have this need to keep “things” and agrees to ask permission to throw away stuff, before taking action. At age 29 she can’t imagine going through all of my “stuff” when I die.  So to make things easier on her I am taking action
My First Choice in Surnames Goes Awry
     I’d gone to my father’s Surname, Eckles, first and posted on Father’s Day, in Face Book, that I was going through all my years of research notes, etc. in order to pass the torch or baton, so to speak, to a younger generation. And the response that I got was startling. I’d already give the tapes of my interviews with my dad (taped in the early 1980s) to my half-sister, C. She didn’t want to transcribe them, but did, and they sit languishing in her closet while she travels the world. Her younger brother J, a financial type guy, responded to my post:
     “hi Bev!  Hope you are well.  Please don't add my name to anything to do with pictures of our Dad.  I have very, very, bad memories of him- he was an abusive, bigoted, alcoholic.  I spent years "unlearning" the garbage he taught me, so I would rather not see pictures of him nor have my name anywhere close to his.  Thanks, J“
     My response: “Oh, my, so sorry. That was kind of my impression of him, too, but no personal knowledge. I promise to not add you name again. I truly understand. He damaged C, too. I always blamed my poor self-image on him, but over the years have realized my memories were a bit off. So am on the forgiveness path; but I'm 72 so it's taken me a looooong time. Love that you're my "brother" even though your mom kept emphasizing that I was no relation. I've always admired you, so I guess you're doing something right. Keep up the good work.”
     His response: “Thnx. I get the forgiveness thing as well.  But the fact remains some people have no business being around children, he was one of them.  He is not someone I am proud to call my father, thus, the preference to avoid the association.”
     My final post: “I was lucky that I got him early before he let alcohol take over. He was starting to do that dinner-table-drinking thing when I lived with them in 1961 for six months my first year at Junior College. So okay he's no longer a topic... now... Let's think positive thoughts. Have a wonderful Father's Day.”
This is a Classic Genealogical Conundrum 
     Negative things want to be forgotten by people. When there’s a lot of that family drama, no one wants anything to do with it. Stories are buried and no one learns from the mistakes of their elders, and then seem to repeat or make the same type of mistakes over and over again. Call it cellular memory or cussed orneriness. Somehow, I missed that gene. I don’t care about all of that. I love the stories, love the research and putting together the pieces of my family puzzle. 

Seeing the Whole Picture from an Eternal Perspective
     Christian’s believe that through Christ’s atonement all who accept Him as their Savior will be forgiven. Golly, we all make mistakes. Some of us make bigger boo boos than others. Mormon’s believe that everyone who has ever been born on this earth will have the opportunity to accept or reject Christ. Of course, millions have died without ever even hearing His name, much less His Good News!  That is why we research our own families and perform vicariously for them the ordinances, including baptism, for those who have died. We are responsible for our own family, no one else’s. God knows where to send us and into what family he wants us born. He knew us before and knew which one of us would actually do this vicarious work, if we had a choice. Guess He knew me. I don’t judge my ancestors, and when they are particularly naughty, I envision them as a seven year old child, without the stains of sin. Hope Heavenly Father will look at me the same way when I see Him again.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Speaking with the Tongue of Angels

The Spirit of Elijah Like a Fire is Burning Within My Heart

A letter I wrote to the Missionaries serving from my Ward
March 13 2016
     As missionaries you often speak with the “tongue of angels” when testifying of Christ and His church. Yesterday it was my privilege participate in this glorious, joyous, and sacred gift of the Holy Ghost while working at the FamilySearch History Center.
     I’d prayed several times in days previous that I might be helpful to the patrons who were going to come. Then I began to pray for people to be prompted to come that “needed” to be there. Finally, I prayed for a specific member who had called me saying, “You are the only one who has ever gotten me the least bit interested in doing my own family history,” so can we get together again? I met Rafael in my water aerobics class three years ago and invited him to begin working on his family history at the center; he came once. This time, I gave him homework (get a three ring binder, notepaper, pen to bring) and any documents he might have, and come to the center at 9 am, Saturday. His reply was, “He didn’t have any documents, and that we’d put everything he knew into FamilySearch already.”
     He came and miracles happened. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and never knew his father, who left his mom when he was about three. His dad was born in Puerto Rico. Rafael was there promptly at 9:00 a.m. when we opened. We always have a prayer with the volunteer workers before we begin. I was just sitting down with him at a computer, when in walks a non-member patron, Juanita, who had a microfilm she had been viewing for the past few weeks. Juanita is an expert in Puerto Rican genealogy. She helped found a Puerto Rican Genealogy group in New York City when she lived there!
     I introduced the two, left them together as she began teaching him the importance of documenting sources, recording and organizing his research, finding census, death and marriage records, birth records and even translating them in full for him for the next four hours. Just before closing, she rushes in to me saying, “This really is God’s work, I just found Rafael’s second great grandmother and she was born on March 12, 1890…. March 12th…. March 12th … Oh, my gosh!” “126 years ago exactly!”
     At this point I testified that this was true and that our ancestor angels attended us as we worked on finding them in the records they left on earth. Both Rafael and Juanita found joy in their discoveries. She never got to read her microfilm, but she didn’t care.
Now, this was not the only sacred event that happened at the center. Another woman, Darlene, a non-member that I’d also met at water aerobics and helped her to get started on family history several months ago at the center, came in to look for immigration records for her Swedish line. She’d told me how she’d just gotten hooked on this new hobby and couldn’t stop doing it! She’d say to her husband, “Just a minute, just one more thing, and an hour later….” I know the feeling. “It’s addictive, she said.” Yes, I know, and had previously told her about the Spirit of Elijah, and how that was the Holy Ghost testifying of the divinity of the family. She is planning a trip to Sweden in August with her son to go see their ancestor’s church and homeland!
     I sat her at a computer, next to another non-member patron, John, who never puts anything into FamilySearch but is an engineer who methodically has documented his family including sending away for naturalization records…via snail mail and ordering microfilms. I asked John if he would help Darlene find some immigration records. Four hours later, they were both so excited at having found what she was looking for and more. I apologized to John that he didn’t get to do much of his own work and he said, “Actually at the last minute I found a record that I’d spent years searching for. It was just right there!!!!” I testified to him that this was a reward for the generous help he gave Darlene, and that God was indeed helping them both! Both were uplifted and edified.
     I shared both these stories with the other volunteer workers testifying of the power of prayer in this work. And I “speak with the tongue of angels,” again to you, that I know if we pray diligently for patrons to come into the center, they WILL come. God prompts them to come, then prompts others who can help them to come. We are a Center for feeling the Holy Ghost as powerful as when missionaries testify in the homes of members and investigators.
     So missionaries, bring your investigators to the local FamilySearch Center. Arrange for special hours to visit with the Center director, if regular hours aren’t convenient. Listen to the promptings and include members who can help, youth who can help, to come at the same time. God will work miracles for you, too. It is all part of the Plan of Salvation and angels will assist.
With all my love,
Bev Field

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stories That Only I Can Tell

The Stories Only I can Tell
     Some stories are about personal struggles, some are about family and some are about friends, but our stories are exactly that OUR stories. I've always loved the idea of HISSTORY (no that's not a misspelled word) this phrase or spelling came to me when researching my Hicks family. One of my relatives called his writings, Hickstory. So when I began to write about my husband, now deceased, I used the term HisStory. But it could easily be UrStory, Bevstory, Herstory, Theirstory, etc.The idea is that we've been asked to write them, tell them and share them.
     Cheryl A. Esplin, the 2nd Counselor in the General Primary Organization of the LDS Church recently told the women of our church to seek light to help us become what He wants us to be. She shared a story of her great grandfather's sister, Elizabeth Staheli Walker and a dream she had.

     Many years after having this dream and several months before she died at nearly age 88, Elizabeth received a powerful impression. She said, 
“The thought came to me as plain … as if someone had said to me, … ‘Do not bury your testimony in the ground.’”5 
 Sister Esplin challenged us to "Live it! Share It! Defend It!

Again I Begin to Blog Anew
     Watch what God can do and acknowledge it in your life...share it with others. It doesn't have to be a formal testimony. It can be just a simple truth learned or a tender mercy you've been blessed with, or seeing God's hand in your life. It is not always the big things that touch another's heart, but the little tender things that they've wondered about or experienced. We each come to our own stories by way of living our lives in the midst of others. This morning I reread my journal for 2015. The first quarter has passed into history... MyHistory. I've learned many things in this rereading. And there's one that I'll share here.
A Recent Healing
     I had become very aware that a certain percentage of people that I knew or had met, didn't like me. You've probably had that experience in life. I recently read a book, "Shakespeare Saved My Life" by Laura Bates. It was surprisingly engaging. Surprising because it is about men in prison and teaching them Shakespeare. This quote really touched me to the core because of what I had experienced when people didn't like me. 
     "A prison inmate who had not talked in more than two years said, "I think I had just developed so much hatred for everything and everybody that it just bled out to those around me too. Some of them guys I could look back now and see he was a good dude. He coulda been talking positive things, but I would hate him. 'aw that dude's so fake, man!' I' d have these conversations with myself: 'that dude's a phony!' So I wouldn't talk..."

     Years ago when I asked a couple friends why they didn't like me at first. One said they thought I was a fake or phony person. Another said, because you are fat and I don't like fat people. Now I could see that peoples reactions to me came from their own prejudices and hatreds.  The best insightful quote from Laura Bates' book comes from an enlightened prisoner.
     "It is not our conscience that torments us over our image; that is our ego tormenting us. Our conscience torments us when we behave in ways that are contrary to our values. When you look in the mirror and cringe as a result of your shame, it is conscience. When you look in the mirror and cringe as a result of how people think of you, it is ego. Which of the two is more prevalent in your life?"
Are not we all prisoners? See Isaiah 61:1
A Dedicated Home Teacher
     I had been feeling that my home teacher who has visited monthly for over two years, didn't really know me very well. So I purposed to ask of him several questions about myself that I thought were important. He knew none of the answers. It turned out they were not important, but instead it opened up his very personal story of who he is and why he'd requested to become my home teacher. The bottom line was that he didn't like me and wanted to work it out. Yep there it was, right in my face. I'd asked God to let me know what I did that certain people didn't like because I wanted it gone from my life. I knew that Christ's atonement covered bad habits, weaknesses and learned actions or demeanor. Now I knew. 
     We had a very long discussion and I now knew what to pray about. He told me about a picture of an angel protecting Christ that his wife had painted that had a quote something like this on it: "There is no earthly sorrow that Christ can not heal." How much I needed that.
     This past few weeks have been spent in praying that the Holy Ghost would change years of the bad habit, removing that very problem, probably inherited from my parents when I was very young, that had been hidden from my awareness. It was revealed by a dedicated home teacher, and the resulting sorrow, tears and humiliation resulted in a heavy burden of depression for several weeks that was finally removed from my heart this morning by rereading my journal pages and praying for the gifts needed to overcome it. As Isaiah 61:3  says, indeed 
Beauty for Ashes, 
Oil of Joy for Mourning, 
A Garment of Praise for the Spirit of Heaviness
     These became evident in my life and when I read this next phrase, my heart sang and I felt His redeeming love:
"That they might be called Trees of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that
He might be Glorified."
     Sheri Dew's book "Amazed by Grace" and the notes I took in March when reading it, have lifted me up, empowered me to move forward to share the stories that only I can tell. I desire with all my heart to be called a Tree of Righteousness so that God will be glorified by my acts of discipleship.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Horses, Rodeo and Genealogy
    What do these three have in common?  I suppose the butterfly in China affects a tree falling in the Redwoods of California theory might come into play, but I propose that it is Memories vs Stories. This is the question that I’ve been pondering since last week’s RootsTech 2015
    My last blog questioned whether anyone would read my blog, much less care about what I said. The three day principle has blossomed in my life. What is the three day principle? It takes about three days to integrate a new concept into a person’s being. The scriptures have three day events such as the period between Jesus’ death and resurrection and Alma the Younger’s three day unconsciousness and conversion. 
    My mind is ready now to recognize the lessons that I learned during RootsTech. I now know the significance of stories vs memories. Here is an example of memories and my next blog will be about the power of Stories.
    China said goodbye to the Year of the Horse on Wednesday, and on the first day of the new lunar year revelers welcomed the Year of the Sheep or Ram, an auspicious year. (Oh, yes, by the way, I’m an Aries, a ram)
    Sometimes just recording a memory can be like saying goodbye to the horse year. Perhaps in the next cycle covering twelve years, horses may become more significant to a person, but now is the time to remember, see lessons learned, record and move on.
    Sometimes a memory becomes a story that only you can tell and it benefits others. That’s what a blogger hopes for. That is why I blog. RootsTech taught me that others feel exactly the same way.
    Tucson’s annual tradition of Rodeo begins this Saturday. When I first moved here in 2001 it was unnerving to find schools in session on President’s day and out of school for the Thursday of the annual Rodeo Parade and day after. Two days off school for a rodeo, go figure.

Headline in the Arizona Daily Star in 1925 reads:
“Cowboys are asked not to shoot up the town”
Tucson in 1925 was a frontier town:
    The first Tucson Rodeo was held in the middle of Prohibition. With so many visitors expected, decisions were made to clean up the town. Arizona State Prohibition Director Frank Pool led a force of federal officials to town two weeks prior to the rodeo. The Arizona Daily Star reported that 25 stills were captured and an estimated 3000 gallons of moonshine destroyed.
·         Taxi fare from downtown to the rodeo grounds was set at 25 cents for a party of four.
·         Prizes at the 1925 Rodeo Parade included a 750-lb. block of ice, 100 lbs. of potatoes and a “Big Cactus” ham.
    Leighton Kramer conceived the idea of La Fiesta de los Vaqueros to draw visitors to Tucson during the mid-winter season. Kramer was a winter visitor himself, and president of the Arizona Polo Association.
    In 1925, Kramer and the Arizona Polo Association created La Fiesta de los Vaqueros and the Tucson Mid-Winter Rodeo and Parade. The event would give visitors a taste of cowboy range work and glamorize Tucson’s Wild West notoriety.
From Kramer’s official welcome in the 1925 event program:
    Not so many years ago the first pony express came to a sudden halt on our Main Street, carrying civilization southwestward. Not so many years ago the first railroad whistled in. Gone is the past. The hitching post has been removed. A new civilization has put steel and concrete and built a mighty city where only yesterday horses grazed within the memory of living man. The Pioneer Spirit lives. Heroic memories never die. The Old Frontier will be revived-at Tucson, February 21, 22 and 23, 1925—as a community revival. We are proud to offer this attraction to the people of American as a glorious reminder of yesterday.
    Tourists, cowboys and cowgirls, local society members and Navajo Indians enjoyed a rip-roaring time at the Rodeo Dance at the Santa Rita Hotel the night before the first Tucson Rodeo. Wayne Hamilton and the 10th Calvary Band provided music. The next morning, thousands of spectators crowded the Downtown parade route and 300 people participated in the first Rodeo Parade.

    One of the most striking costumes in the parade was worn by Lone Wolf, a Native American artist, in full regalia and flowing headdress, that of a Blackfoot Indian Chieftain. Local ranches were represented on horseback, mounted polo players wore their white helmets and bright silk shirts, and the 10th Cavalry and 25th Infantry bands from Fort Huachuca provided rousing music. The city leaders and the University of Arizona declared February 21, 1925 a city holiday.
Memories of Horses
    My memories of horses are varied and certainly not story material. The earliest memory I have of horses is about a house mom rented after her divorce when I was in fourth grade. Apparently she got a good deal (really cheap rent) because the owner kept his horses on the back half of the lot on Cooley Place in Pasadena. Mr. Watts was a Mounted Sheriff and they rode in the Rose Parade every year. The horses were big and very scary to me, but not to my sister Loni.
    I remember my Pomona neighbor’s two girls, Donna and Carol Uebele, on all fours prancing around the yard holding a scarf to their rear ends and rearing up, tossing their heads and waving their tails. They spent hours playing “horsey,” Loni often joining them. I thought they were nuts, besides it hurt my knees to run around on all fours. My friend Sandy Benjamin used to draw horses and horse heads all the time and I admired them; but she also drew models in fancy clothing and I admired them more.
    I remember during marching band walking behind horses and having to step over the very large droppings of poop.  Someone told the tale of a little girl furiously digging through a large pile of horse manure, and when asked why, replied “There must be a pony in here somewhere.” The eternal optimist. Are you getting the picture? I too am an eternal optimist.
Horses and My Genealogy
    You must be wondering about how a horse figures into my genealogy. Nine generations back William Hicks of Baltimore, Maryland (died 1710) and his wife Jane had a daughter Elizabeth. Her brothers were all mentioned in his will, but she and her older sister Rebecca (who married John Armstrong on 26 August 1714) were not. How did I find the two girls? In court records where Elizabeth in a Legal obligation gives her mother, Jane (widow of William who married Thomas Cutchin) Cutchin/Guggin, a horse.
    The document is dated 30 Jan 1723 and reads: Baltimore County, Maryland. This instrument of writing doth oblige me, my heirs and assignees to make over unto Jane Guggin one bright bay mare with a star in her forehead and the first colt that this said mare brings is to be given unto William Armstrong sons to John Armstrong which said mare shall belong to the said Jane Guggin during her natural life and after death to fall unto Elizabeth Hicks with all her offspring except the forementioned colt in case the said Elizabeth Hicks should go to Virginia after her marriage and return unto this County again then the forsaid mare shall be delivered unto the said Elizabeth Hicks and her husband at once. As I witness by/my hand this thirty day of Jan 1723 Elizabeth (E) Hicks, John Harscock(Hancock?),   Samuel Deson
The Big Mystery about Elizabeth Hicks
    The Big Mystery about Elizabeth (born about 1699) is WHO DID SHE MARRY and WHERE DID THEY END UP LIVING?
    This document gives me Elizabeth’s signature too. How cool is that? But can I show you? No because it is in PDF format and this blog won't accept that. So you won't get to see it unless you go to her personal page at and look under memories for Elizabeth Hicks LD33-FSP
    This of course is not a memory of mine. But it is the beginning of Elizabeth’s story and my absolute delight in discovering a female ancestor and the excitement of possibly discovering who she married and who her descendants are by sharing this in my blog. Now that would be a horse of a different color, wouldn’t it?
    My next blog will be about a story that only I could tell and how it came about during the weekend after RootsTech 2015.

Friday, February 13, 2015

James Tanner, a blogger friend, says "Laura Bush and her daughter, Jenna Bush Hager. She says every child in America should learn to read. Reading is not just a cause, but a passion of her life. Talks about the National Book Festival. You need to hear her account of September 11th and time following. When all is said and done. We as genealogists need to embrace a more expansive view of what we do and why we do it. We also need to adopt a more inclusive, rather than exclusive attitude towards history and our own history. Laura Bush is an important part of our history. Let's embrace that history as we learn about our individual heritage."
This quote about Laura Bush's address as a Keynote speaker at RootsTech 2015 this morning addresses the central question of What are we Doing and Why are we Doing it? I go back to the church's main reason for changing the name of what we do:
Family History from Genealogy
It is not the "study of...genes" and we are not professionals. Instead we ARE experts of our own family. Now we have the tools and resources to add the LIFE to our own histories. We can add the spoken or sung word, we can attach documents that have been digitized, we can add photos, obituaries and tombstone data, we can learn about the places, times and customs of our ancestors. And now in the new Family Discovery Centers we can even see ourselves dressed in the period clothing worn by our ancestors. So Cool.
The Idea of Asking Yourself Five Questions
The concept of Everyone can spend just 90 seconds asking themselves to write the completion of this sentence:   
"I Remember...."
Now, complete the sentence five times. I fell asleep last night thinking of dozens of I remember when and I remember what, and I remember who, and this is what bloggers do. They tie their past to the present by remembering. That's why I've named my blog Malachi 3:16 so that I remember and I communicate often to others who love the Lord.

Also, Devin Ashby, from FamilySearch, in his talk on what's new, said when he asked his very young daughter to do this by drawing a map of the five things she remembered, She did this amazing drawing. Then he recorded her explaining her drawing on his phone. Oh my gosh. This tiny little voice captured for all of her descendants to hear. Wish I'd had my mom's voice on tape.

I remember my next door neighbor, Donna Belle Uebele, writing a poem about me 1956.

This is me (age 12) and the window on the right is my bedroom
Donna Belle's dining room window is to the left
Donna would buy me books at the Goodwill store..."The Beverly Gray Mystery Series" and we could borrow any of her kids books, too. Did I adore this woman? Yes. I love a good mystery to this day.
Winner of the Innovators Showcase is StoryWorth
I have questions sent to me every so often from Legacy Stories and do I answer them? All this for free, and we've been asked to write our own story for posterity, so did it motivate me? Did the jar with little questions on slips of paper motivate my husband to tell his story? NO 
Now, would I pay for this even if I could answer by phone every week? NO
How many descendants do I have... one daughter and three grandchildren under 8. Are they interested in my stories.... NO

Why Do I Continue to Record my Thoughts and Stories here?

Guess I can't answer that but with other questions. Do I have the gene that urges, no compels me to keep a journal? Is there a record keeping gene that is passed down? Am I so conceited that I think others will care what I think or write?

It is these questions and concerns that probably have kept me from writing online in my blog consistently during the past year. Yet, I return, determined to repent and get busy again. I resolve to TWEET, BLOG, post on FACEBOOK, keep a Pinterest account and prompt me to buy a new SMART PHONE to replace my dumb one. Will I keep my landline? Yes. Why? Probably nostalgia because even though he was just a room away, my husband Bob would call me once a day to say hi with his sexy voice right in my ear. Sure wish I had a phone line to heaven and he could talk to me again.

Day Two of RootsTech 2015
A disappointment that after a short talk from D. Joshua Taylor of FindMyPast that part of the live streaming went dead, ON PURPOSE. What is this all about? So I don't get to watch Laura Bush and have only one quote of her talk via a blogger there in person. It is:
"Walk on the beach any chance you get."
I've found a quote from my favorite blogger James Tanner, too about yesterday's keynote:
"Keynote by Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International. I note that they are using the name of the corporation including the "International" part for the first time. This is a change. He is getting a degree in family history from BYU Idaho. This year we will have about 21,927 people registered so far. They have people from 35 countries, but their graph had no dot for Australia and I am sitting next to three very nice ladies from Australia including famous blogger, Jill Ball."

I'd noticed this too, but a day FamilySearch International. I've been very interested in Mexican Records since my husband and I lived in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico from 1995 to 2001. 
Bob Field with Family History Center Staff and first box of films

The photo above shows a DAR lady who was searching at the center. Guadalajara had many expatriots living there, so we were the first bilingual center south of the northern border states of Mexico. 

The dream is coming true!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because my passion was family history and it WAS difficult to research US records from so far away, I organized a bilingual Family History Symposium with experts from Mexico and US. My husband, as Center director participated in delivering papers. One of the main suggestions that came from that conference was to digitize and index the millions of Mexico records that have been mircrofilmed by the LDS Church over the past 40 years. The dream is coming true!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bob listens to expert presenter in Spanish with headphones
Yesterday CEO Brimhall said that with Ancestry's help, over 50 million Mexican records would be indexed and 
online by the end of the year 2015.

Today Josh Taylor displayed this overhead projection during his speech.
This says it all. When I moved to Mexico twenty years ago, I found only one place with online accessability and that was BYU's Family History Center. So we got an internet connection. But the technology just wasn't there. Now, even in Africa.....well maybe not Australia, according to James Tanner, thanks to the collaboration of Ancestry, My Heritage, FindMyPast and FamilySearch International, ANYONE, ANYWHERE, can find the DATA to connect with the family's ancestors, and feel the joy of discovering, the excitement of solving their own mystery. Love it! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

RootsTech 2015 Kicks Off with Great Speakers
Listening and watching the live stream at home is certainly an intellectual feast as well as an emotional and joyous occasion. Who would have thought? My trip two years ago to RootsTech 2013 was expensive, exhausting and wonderful. But I always felt that I was missing something...making wrong choices of which workshop to take and simply not having time to see everything in the Expo Hall.

Here I am with FamilySearch support team in 2013. They knew my friend Cecelia Welch who helps answer patron's questions sent via email to FamilySearch. 

RootsTech 2013 
The Miracles and Magic 

Today's Opening session at RootsTech 2015 reviewed how much the power of working together can bring about miracles and magic. FamilySearch has partnered with organizations who are doing some pretty amazing things. Because of this patrons, especially LDS members, will have access to billions of records with more being added every day. For example, if just FamilySearch were indexing the 80 million Mexican records that have been microfilmed, it would take 40 years to index them all. But with the cooperation of Ancestry these will be finished by the END OF 2015!

Another Organization, who is responsible for the Tuesday night PBS, "Genealogy Road Show" is collaborating to index the US War if 1812 Pension records. These are located in our National Archives. They are being put online so we can actually see bible records, statements by widows and children of veterans and land warrants issued to them in the comfort of our own homes.
Joy of Discovery
There was a wonderful presentation including a video by My Heritage that shows how we can engage more people in the joy of discovering their past. We all have a curiosity of  who we descended from and now using all of the websites:  FamilySearch, My Heritage, Ancestry and Find My Past, a person can have a more complete experience finding their ancestors immediately.
This has all come together in the Church's new Family Discovery Centers. Yesterday, Feb 11, 2015 they cut the ribbon for the first one located in downtown Salt Lake City at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. The next one is to be in Philadelphia next to the history museum; another is hopefully to be located in London. Many smaller ones are also planned, the first one being near the temple in Seattle Washington. 

I loved the concept presented by CEO of FamilySearch, Steve Brimhall. In order to engage grandkids the use of photos, digital costumes and My Heritage's immediate gratification search software, selfies are turning this center into a MUSEUM OF ME with exhibits about parents, grandparents their stories, photos and even voice recordings. 

Museum of Me hits Home with this Former 
Museum Director.
The Downey Museum of Art was small but reached many people located in a city park in Sourthern California

Here I am advertising a workshop for the Downey Museum of Art where I was director from 1969 until 1976

Blogs are also a bit of this same type of experience.
 They are exhibits in the Museum of Me. 
This is a photo taken of me 1973 reflected what the photographer thought a museum director should look like. 

This was before Computers, before cell phones, before i or e anything. Now is the time to step into the present. I just love this quote from Arthur Clarke:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Now I am following the wonderful speakers in real time, streaming online sitting in my recliner with my laptop reflecting on all of the wondrous advances in technology in only the past two years . It would have seemed like magic to me in 1973. But even then I was interested in art and technology, planning several exhibits on that topic, with one even touring the US under the auspices of the Smithsonian. Even Small Museum director's can dream BIG. I've kept up with technology ever since, marrying a former IBMer and raising a "techie" child.
Our Daughter Brianna in 1987 with a Texas Instruments computer
Now is the time to step up my skills. RootsTech 2015 is just the place to get motivation, inspiration and experience the Magic of Discovery.