Monday, January 24, 2011

Lost and Seek, Hide and Found

Forty years ago, Nana sat down and recorded my Grandfathers family history. Since then, all of our family records have sat there incomplete. In my last post I told all of you about my Great Great Grandmother, Mary Jane Neirocker.
This is whom I feel impressed to chase. I mean the woman is dead! She shouldn't be that hard to catch! Right?!?! WRONG!!!

New Years Eve 2010- The daunting task of microfiche awaited me in the large metal drawers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Knowing my task was something that I couldn't torture my children with, I found someone tall, dark and handsome AKA Hotstuff to help. I was suprised at his reply when I asked if he wanted to join me and help look through census records.

"You know, that actually sounds like fun!" was his reply. (I couldn't help but wonder what mickey had been slipped to him to get him to want to do this. I really wanna know, you know for future use for fun things like doing dishes, cleaning toilets and any other household chores).

Fun!! Microfiche, fun?? Well, who was I to complain? I had help. So once again we bundled up the kids, packed some snacks, the laptop (entertainment for the kids) and off we went to the Family History Library.

I set up two Microfiche machines (one for me and one for Hotstuff) and once again searched the 1905 Census for Mary Jane. Over three hours we looked and couldn't find anything. Finally, Hotstuff got motion sickness, the kids were starving and I was ready to cry. I couldn't find her and that was all I wanted to do.

Well, I thought, it's New Years Eve. I am in downtown Salt Lake, I should just enjoy my evening and their names will be there for next time.

We cleaned up, bundled up and headed to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for some yummy food at the Nauvoo Cafe. Since it was New Years Eve, the LDS church had all sort of New Years Eve Festivites on Temple Square. We entered the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and passed through the Family Search Center. I noticed they had activities for kids and thought to make sure to pass through here on our way out. I wanted to help my children understand what I was doing and why I was doing it.

We enjoyed our yummy sandwiches at the Nauvoo Cafe then headed out. Passing by the Family Search Center, we stopped to let the kids play and explore. I still could not get my Great Great Grandmother out of my head. I was bound and determined to find her.

I walked over to the computers and ask a sweet little old lady for some help. We sat down and played around on the computer. Even she was baffeld at why I couldn't find her. After about 20 minutes of playing around on different sites.... I FOUND HER!!!!!!!!

I found my Great Great Grandmother Mary B. Hoehn on TWO seperate census records. I discovered that she had immigrated about 1850 and at one time she had a niece that lived with her named Laura Kramer who was a stenographer. I also discovered that she and her parents were from Switzerland.

For the last 40 years, her name has been lost amongst the thousands upon thousand of names stored amongst our Nations records. Even Hotstuff couldn't understand how one woman could be so hard to find ( I mean, he had no trouble finding me!). Why would she exist in one place and not any other?

My family has met some huge brick walls in trying to find out our ancestory. So I totally hit the Geneological Jackpot. ( It's the only kinda lottery Utah has!).

Now that I have started I can see a path of where to go. I have laced up my running shoes and with my inhaler in hand, I am off chasing the path that has been made for me.

No comments: