Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why were You Given Your Name?

Another topic to write on for your personal history is:

Why were you given your name?

There are many reasons why parents may choose names for their children.  Names go through times of popularity and some studies suggest if you have a popular name you will be more popular.  My name is quite uncommon, and I have never been popular; but I really like my name.  My mother heard it in a song on the radio, and she liked the sound of it.  

When I named my daughters, I considered the names their fathers suggested, looked up the meanings and picked a name that I like the meaning of.  

My parents both went by their middle names.  They didn't want to be called by their first names.  My father's first name was his grandfather's name.  His middle name came from the name of a church leader at the time he was born.  A few years ago I heard a current church leader talk about his parents growing up in the same are my father's parents lived in.  He told about a meeting being held in that area the year my dad was born.  One of the speakers at that meeting was the man my father was given his middle name from.  It would be interesting to talk with my dad's parents and find out why they gave him that name.  Were they so impressed by meeting the man or hearing his talk that they wanted their son to become like him, or did they just like the name?  My father was never called by his first name.  One time a government official came by my father's farm and asked if he knew someone.  My father stood there thinking about it and was about ready to say he didn't know anyone by that name when he realized the name was his.  He wasn't used to hearing his first name and without hearing his middle name too he didn't even recognize it at first.  

My mother's first name was also her mother's and her grandmother's first name.  Her middle name was a longer version of a common name.  She preferred to go by the shortened version of her middle name.  I looked up the meanings of her names, and they meant princess, lady, and beautiful--all wonderful meanings.

Write down why you were given your name.  Put down any stories behind it.  Write down the meaning of your name or if you were named after someone.  Write down why you named your children their names.  You may also want to include any nicknames and why you got the nickname.  My parents never called us by nicknames.  Some nicknames come from names of endearment, but some may come from negative or embarrassing moments.  Names definitely affect our lives and are a very important part of our lives.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Do You Appreciate About Your Father?

Another idea to help you write your story:
What do you appreciate about your father?
 I've been asked to give a talk on Father's Day about fathers.  I have been thinking about my father and the things I appreciated about him.  My father was not a perfect man, but he was a very good man.  He taught me to work and to think about others.  He set an example by working hard himself.  He was very considerate of my mother and helped her.  My parents were joint partners in a family business.  When my mother died, my dad felt he couldn't continue the business because she did so much for the business.  Even though my brother and I tried to step in and do many of the things our mother had done, Dad still felt overwhelmed without our mother there.

I am often amazed at what my Dad did in his life.  He didn't go on to high school after finishing eighth grade.  I think he felt he needed to help his sister and her husband on their farm because they had given him a place to stay.  The high school was fifteen miles away and during the depression it would have been difficult for Dad to have traveled back and forth or he would have had to board close to the high school.  Dad wished he could have gone on for more education, but he accomplished a lot even without further formal education.  Dad built the home I grew up in.  It started out as a four room house.  Dad added six more rooms on to the home.  He did the plumbing and the electrical himself.  He built a cistern to store water for our use in.  He built chicken coops, corrals, and a grainery.  He fixed his own cars, trucks and tractors.  He was a successful farmer and a businessman.
Most of all my dad was a friendly person.  People called him "Smiley" because he always wore a smile.
When you think of your father, what do you remember most?  Write down your memories and what you appreciate about your dad.  You can keep adding to it and soon you will have your family's life story written down.  Your dad is an important part of your story.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Scaled Model Provides Salt Lake Temple Open House Experience - LDS Newsroom

Scaled Model Provides Salt Lake Temple Open House Experience - LDS Newsroom

The Salt Lake Temple is an important part of my family's story from ancestors who helped build it to attending the temple myself. It is a different perspective to see the model of the temple and how the rooms are laid out as compared to walking through it. It is also awesome to think about how it was built. I am so appreciative of those who sacrificed so much to see it was completed. My mother's great grandfather hauled one of the cornerstones for the temple with three yoke of oxen. The temple is a very special part of my family's history.

When you write your story write about the buildings that have been important in your family's life. There are many buildings that affect our lives--our homes, where we were born, where we went to school, where we were married and where other significant things happened. Include pictures and describe what happened in these buildings as part of your story.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Searching for Family Records

Today I was searching for how to find obituaries and death records.  I came across the following website for records in Utah.  http://archives.utah.gov/research/guides/index.html
Death records are not available for people who died in the past fifty years, but they are for those before.  Apparently not all deaths were recorded with a death certificate.  I can't find one for my father's father who I know died in 1923.  I did learn some things I didn't know such as my father's grandmother died from an infected finger. 
My ancestor's stories are very much a part of my story as I am sure much of their values and beliefs were passed on to me.  Finding even little bits of information can make a difference to me.
Doing a little research online may help you find information about your ancestors.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What was your most memorable chance encounter?

Another idea for writing your story:
What was your most memorable chance encounter?
When you encounter something or someone by chance, it is unexpected.  The experience may be pleasant or exciting or it may be scary or unnerving.  The unplanned experiences in our lives can make a big impact.  Perhaps you come across a stray cat or dog that becomes your pet.  Perhaps you meet someone by chance who becomes a life-long friend or maybe even your spouse.  Perhaps you encounter an unusual rock like the man who found a meteorite and years later found it to be worth a lot of money. Perhaps you come across a beautiful view or meadow or forest that you go back to often afterwards or that you never can find again but always remember how beautiful it was.  If you've had a chance encounter in your life that has made a big difference, write it down--it's an important part of your story.
Several years ago I by chance came across a part time job that ended up being a good way for me to earn money and still be available for my children.  I was just shopping in a variety store in our town.  I was looking at the craft supplies close by the artificial flowers.  A lady was servicing the flower department.  She asked me if I knew of anyone that might be interested in being a merchandiser and in servicing the flower department.  I asked what was involved.  When I said I might be interested, I found myself being hired right then and there for the job.  The hours were flexible and I thought the work could be enjoyable.  I had always thought that just the store employees serviced the displays.  I didn't know before then that there were merchandising jobs.  Over the next few years I worked six different merchandising jobs just because of that chance encounter.

Check out the following book for help researching your family tree.
Family Tree Problem Solver