November 3rd is my Dad’s birthday. Dad was made a sealer when he and mom were on a mission in the Philippines. When they returned I invited mom to start coming to the Family History Library with me. I’d started to go once a week and was working on her Scottish line. Mom joined me and we searched for quite some time and tried to understand the programs and trace family names so we could do temple work. It was like looking for gold but finding only coal. Most of her line had been researched and temple work had been completed.
We really wanted to find some ancestors whose names we could submit for temple work. That is when we decided to branch out to Dad’s line. Neither one of us spoke Dutch but we plowed ahead. I remember the first day we found a family name that really needed to be done. It was so exciting, I shared our joyful news at a ward dinner that night with friends. It was monumental to me. It was a gold nugget. We eventually were blessed to cull thousands of names from Dad’s Dutch ancestry and he was able to perform the sealings for his ancestors with us, his children and mom, as proxies in the Jordan River temple. It was one of the sweetest gifts we could have shared. It was gold.
Today the 4000+names for which Dad’s father had researched has grown to almost 40,000 names. To celebrate Dad and honor him on his birthday we will do a sealing session on the greatest single genealogical discovery we have made in the past 17 years. It was not panning in a river for gold but a direct hit of a marvelous vein of precious metal. But, it happens to be on Mom’s line. Hastening of the work is in full swing here. It took almost years to come up with the names we have from the Netherlands but in months we have compiled thousands of names of direct and collatoral lines.
The day we discovered the parish record for extending her father Melvin Burt’s line I imagined a conversation between Dad and Grandpa -“Tom, would it be okay if Lila went to the library on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays? There is something she will be able to find with the help of two experts there- before she can work on my Polish Rositsky line she will find that my German line is incorrect and once she discovers that there is a book recently published that will unlock the door for multiple generations.”
I think Dad not only said yes, but is helping with the conversion of not just one congregation but centuries of a parish’s families who are now offered the fulness just like the early congregations in England. This experience has been and will continue to be mined for a long time. It is pure gold.