This year, the world was invited to The Global Family Reunion and celebrities posed with a New York Times writer with white paper signs that said, “I’m a Cousin.” Regardless of how anyone feels about this grand fiesta, an underlying current was there.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a fairly new motto of “Find, Take, Teach.” They want their church members to engage in finding their ancestors, taking those names to the temple and then teaching others how to do the same. The “I’m A Cousin” underlying current is also in this campaign.
At a local family history event, I finally heard the current articulated correctly.
“Find the Grandbabies”
A class attendee asked the question, “What do I do? I feel comfortable finding my ancestors. I feel like I know them. However, when it comes to searching for their descendants, I don’t feel comfortable working on their lines because I don’t really know them.”
Having been lost in the branches of my family tree for over a decade, I can not emphasize with this sentiment. The questions are understandable, but the feelings are foreign. The worldwide reunion sought to emphasize that we’re all related. The LDS Church is stressing the need to stop going back and start going down the family tree through “Descendancy Research.” The research supports the sentiments of the entertaining events… we really need to know everyone on the family tree.
But my business classes at Texas A&M taught me one thing, keep things simple. And over time, simplicity meant relatable. How does it relate in the simplest terms?
Often your parents, grandparents, and great-parents matter to you. In reverse, your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will also matter to you (if you don’t have them already). And not just one or two of the descendants, but all of them.
Haven’t you heard the gushing of grandparents over their grandchildren? They’re so proud of them, or at least want things to go well, for their grandbabies whether they are blessed with one or one hundred. I think grandparents love their grandchildren more than their own children.
So, if it’s true that ‘modern’ grandparents love their grandbabies, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that our ancestral grandparents would want ALL of their grandchildren to be discovered in our research efforts.
|Evaline Geiszler with four of her children before|
the one seated on the right would pass away a few months later.
I can imagine my own Great Grandmother Evaline Townley (nee Peak) Geiszler and her five children just before child #4 died. This photo is priceless to me as I had never seen it before. I could simply pay attention to my Great Grandmother and the little one, my Grandfather. Perhaps I could name the other children in the photo and stop there. But, Great-Grandma Evaline had 5 children, 3 living into adulthood. Those 3 children provide Evaline with 6 grandchildren. She also had 6 great-grandchildren. (I know, that’s pretty small, but hey… it makes it easy?) For Evaline, wouldn’t these 17 people be important to her?
When you have your direct ancestors ‘well covered,’ go after your ancestor’s grandbabies. Learn about them. Find them all.