On Genealogy

I keep meaning to write about genealogy, but I keep getting distracted by other things, like my podcast or my diet. Actually, I keep getting distracted from actually *doing* it, too.

I listen to the Genealogy Guys Podcast, by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, and I frequently get inspired by the suggestions they give. It’s a good thing that I listen to their podcast at work; otherwise I’d likely stop the podcast and start doing research, and to hell with whatever other project I was in the middle of doing.

I also purchased George G. Morgan’s book, How To Do Everything With Your Genealogy, and it’s given me dozens of fantastic ideas, and I’m not even halfway through it yet! Again, it’s a good thing I’ve been reading it before bed, otherwise I’d be setting the book face-down by my desk and firing up my genealogy research right then and there.

Even though I grew up Mormon, and that’s what began my interest in genealogy in the first place, I hadn’t even thought about the fact that there might be a Family History Center nearby.

Oh, goodness, where to begin with this explanation… Well, let’s start from the very beginning, I suppose…

This might get long.

OK. Mormons believe that only Mormons get into the highest level of Heaven. (I think that’s true amongst several world religions: only “we” are God’s favored children.) But it’s really not fair if, say, your great-grandpappy never even heard of the LDS Church. Right? Or how about people who lived and died before the 1800’s? There was no possible way they could have been baptised Mormon, since the church wasn’t even founded until… um… *checks teh intarweb* …about 1830. (I’m such a bad Recovering Mormon. I can’t even remember my Church History.)

So, what do you do when you’re a Mormon, and your dead family isn’t? How do you get them into the Celestial Kingdom, where you and your spouse will surely live for Time and All Eternity?

You baptise the dead by proxy.

Hence the desire to do genealogy. The more relatives you find, the more Mormons you make. Even I, as a young teenaged lass, went to the Washington DC temple (the closest LDS temple at the time; now there’s one in Columbus) to do Baptism For The Dead. Not for my own family, but for others’. Mainly for women named “Mary,” come to think of it.

There is other temple work to be done after baptism, but I never got to do any of that, since I escaped the prison planet before I actually got my own temple endowments. It’s all very secret sacred, and can be read about on teh aforementioned intarweb.

So, that’s why Mom and I took that genealogy class at the church when I was about 12 years old. I helped her for a couple of years before we both lost interest. I didn’t pick it back up until I was in college. By then, though, it was more for family history purposes, for curiosity’s sake, for a sense of family and roots and all that.

Back when Mom and I were researching, though, we visited a Family History Center — I believe it was in Cleveland, or possibly Akron. Yeah, Akron. Anyway, the Family History Centers, or FHCs for short, can request copies of the records stored at the granddaddy of all genealogical repositories, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

It didn’t even occur to me that, in the past fifteen years, the church has grown enough that there might be an FHC within easy driving distance. I’ve been doing all my research via internet and mail-order.

I checked on it after George and Drew mentioned FHCs on their podcast — and, lo and behold, there is indeed an FHC within an easy 20-minute drive of my home:

Family History Centers in Ohio, United States

Toledo Ohio
State Rt 795
Perrysburg, Wood County, Ohio, United States
Phone: 419-872-9491
Hours: M 9am-5pm; W-Th 6:30pm-10pm; Sat 9am-2pm
Closed: December 23-January 3

Once I get rolling on my research again, I may be driving down to Perrysburg on Wednesday or Thursday nights. Just asking for records at the FHC will be infinitely easier than trying to figure out how to finnagle the damn interlibrary loan system to send microfilm to my local Lucas County Branch Library from god-knows-where.

I’m so anxious to find certain lines of my family that my research has been sporadic and unhelpful. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use some of the techniques George mentions in his book and maybe even publish a couple of mini-bios here on my site. I’m contemplating logging my research progress here, too, so I apologize if I end up boring the crap out of anybody.

Oh, and for anybody who finds this post or my entire genealogy category via Google? I’m sorry if my Recovering Mormon attitude offends you. I’m generally pretty open about myself here, though, and have been known to drop the occasional f-bomb. So read at your own risk. 🙂

Update, 8:00pm: The Toledo Area Genealogical Society also meets every month only minutes from my house, on Reynolds Road between Dorr and Bancroft. I may have to check them out, too.

3 thoughts on On Genealogy

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  1. nope – they have all kinds of stuff. census records, i don’t know what all else they have. familysearch.org is the place to look to see what kinds of microfilm they have on file. lots of stuff – even on jews! 😀