Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The beginning of my Family History Obsession, in a NUTSHELL?!? Warning: there is no such thing as nutshell in my world

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), otherwise known as the Mormon church, and have been my whole life.  I come from a split family where I had the opportunity to learn different ways of life growing up.  My mother and step-father were members of the LDS church and my father and step-mother were non-denominational and Catholic, respectively.

As a member of the LDS church, who also grew up in Utah, I was taught the importance of doing Genealogy work my whole life, but still at large I missed the boat on the whole process until recently.  I was living in Virginia in 2011 when my sister decided it would be a good idea to make a life story book of my grandmother's life, to give to my mom for Christmas.  Six months and countless hours later, we presented my mom with my most cherished piece of work in this life; a beautiful and thoroughly researched compilation of my grandmother's life entitled "The Life and Legacy of Thelma Gilbert Chatterton", a woman who I loved dearly, and have missed almost daily since her passing.  Around the same time as we finished the book, I was released from my Young Women's calling.  Devastated at first, I thought I was going to be the most bored person in our small little rural town in eastern Virginia, but I soon turned to my other calling (which honestly had been put on the back burner previously) Public Relations Representative for the Ward.  While pondering how I could continue to actively involve myself in the midweek activities at church, I came up with the idea of offering a Genealogy Class to the general public of the area.  Truth be told, I didn't think we'd get many responses, but I posted an ad in a free circular that is distributed quarterly in our small town.  To my surprise, I was wrong.  We filled our class within a few weeks and were worried we may end up having to turn people away.