A couple of weeks ago, I took the opportunity to learn more about my great grandfather James Jordan. I had never known very much about my great grandfather so I was compelled to learn more about the story of his life. I was also curious to see what would happen with my own personal family history journey as I focused myself and my family on the stories of my ancestors.
I started by asking my Dad to bring some photos and stories of my great grandfather and share them with my family and I for family home evening. I was surprised to learn a lot of very interesting things about him. For example, I learned that he was the first person to own a car in his town, or that he died at a fairly young age, or the fact that he was always very nicely dressed—I guess this is what I decided to work for the Church! I was even more surprised to that my five young children were glued and remained extremely attentive during family home evening as they listened to these stories. My Dad then proceeded to show us several pictures of James and his family. It was extremely impactful to put a face to a name.
A few days later, I felt impressed to upload and share these pictures on familyseach.org/photos. After adding each of these photos to the website I then tagged and linked them to the family tree. One particular image included many of my direct line ancestors on the Jordan line—it was thrilling to see them all lined up in one great picture! However, it felt like a daunting task to tag each of them and link them to the tree. I felt impressed on multiple occasions to tag this photo so I decided to stay up a little later on a Sunday evening to finish what I started—I will never regret that critical decision.
As I tagged this particular photo, I quickly learned that five of the ancestors were not yet added to the Family Tree. After spending a few minutes confirming these relationships with online records on familysearch.org, I added them to the family tree. Furthermore, as I looked at the records, I found yet another eight people who needed to be added to the tree! Long story short, because of one question and one photo the lives of my ancestors were forever changed—and so was mine. After devoting just a few hours to learn about my ancestors, I have come to a greater personal understanding of the power of stories and more importantly, the principle of turning our hearts to our ancestors.