Mormons to host Family History Expo

"To find your roots, the persons who came to this Earth before you, it is just beautiful," said Marcia Cereza, a member of Jupiter Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons. The temple will be hosting a Family History Expo on Friday, Aug. 24, beginning with a 6 p.m. presentation on "Exploring the Spiritual Importance of Family History," and continuing with the expo's displays and demonstrations from 7 to 9 p.m. The temple is at 6400 Roebuck Road. Cereza, of Jupiter, is one of the experts in the temple's Family History Center, where Carolyn Haymond is the director. Haymond, Cereza and others will be on hand to help attendees at the Family History Expo to learn how to research their family tree. Cereza, who is from Cuba, is especially versed in researching the genealogies of families from the Caribbean, South and Central America and Europe, after spending 15 years working with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. "Latin American countries are hard, since each country's records are in different places," she said. "If you want to study genealogy, you have to study history, and know the history of each place. For instance, you would be surprised to learn that much of the historical information of Cuba is in Santa Domingo. When the Spanish came to Cuba, the center of the records was in Santo Domingo. Same thing happened in Chile; a lot of their papers, such as the civil registrations, are in Peru, because at one time Chile belonged to Peru." Cereza said that during the expo, visitors will be told how to make their own records for their descendents as well as how to begin to research their genealogy. "We tell them how to preserve pictures, journals, heirlooms. Genealogy is not only for the dead, but for the living," Cereza said. "Someone is coming after you and you need to give them information on their families. Families are forever." One of the new advocates to the genealogy search is Laurie Huey of Jupiter Farms, who admitted that when her sister--the family genealogist--would talk to her about their family history, "I thought it was boring." Then, Huey's mother-in-law gave her two pictures of a man and woman in her husband, David's family. "You could tell the photos were taken at the same time, and on the back, it gave some information about the man having emigrated from England in 1853 and going to Barnesville, Ohio before moving to Indiana," said Huey. The "bug" had hit, according to Huey. In doing research, she discovered that a generation before, James and Mary Ann Huey had 11 children, and David--her husband's great grandfather--was one of them. Like his three brothers, this young man served in the Union Army in the Civil War, and one of the brothers, William died. But the only girl in the family, Emma Jane, was to capture Huey's attention. "When William's mother applied for a mother's pension, she also wrote about Emma Jane, who had died in 1867. She talked about her service in the Civil War," said Huey. "I found out that Emma Jane was a nurse, or what they called a matron, in the war, and had served in various places, including in a field hospital for what they said were 'colored troops,' where she not only was a nurse but taught nursing," said Huey. "When I went to Indiana this summer, in the Hillsdale Cemetery, there was a soldier's recording, and she is in that soldier's supplement--they gave her credit for being a nurse in the war." After the war, Emma Jane married Frank Proctor, who was a Civil War veteran. "Their wedding announcement begins, 'having served their country through carnage, strife and blood, they have turned to union, harmony and love. Thus peace and plenty prevails,' which was a pretty flowery way of writing about their marriage," said Huey. Two years later, Emma Jane died in childbirth, leaving her daughter, also named Emma Jane, to be raised by her husband's family. "These people are real to me," said Huey, of her husband's ancestors. "One of the good things is that over time, families separate, but I've been able to find some of his family. I'm now corresponding with a family member in California who is about my age," Huey said. She encourages anyone who is curious about their families to come to the Family History Expo. "I think this is addictive, and you can't stop yourself from finding out more and more information from newspapers and records. I'm surprised how far back some of these newspapers go. I even found Emma Jane's obituary from 1967. It's like detective work, and once you start, you want to keep searching," she said. *IF YOU GO* *What:* Family History Expo *When:* Friday, Aug. 24, 6 to 9 p.m. *Where:* Jupiter Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, 6400 Roebuck Road, Jupiter *Details:* Displays and demonstrations on researching family genealogy and preserving family history; experts will be on hand to answer questions. *Cost:* Free *WHY DO MORMONS EMPHASIZE GENEALOGY?* According to information from the church, the crowning sacraments of the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints are the sealing ceremonies that unite men, women and children in eternal family relationships. Those in the church believe that these sealings and other temple rights may also be performed by proxy for those who have died. So, the research into family history or genealogy is the forerunner for the temple work for the dead. These beliefs have led to the research of family history from the early days of this church, and in 1894, the Genealogical Society of Utah was established. Because the members of this church, often called Mormons, recognize that millions of people throughout the world have their own reasons to be interested in family history, the church has made its collections open to the public. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the largest genealogical library in the world, providing access to many collections of records, with more than 2 billion names of deceased people. More than 700 staff and volunteers help those seeking information about their ancestors. Information also is available in more than 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries and online, free of charge at www.familysearch.org.
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com