Family history moments: Family connection

We moved to Clearwater, Fla. 25 years ago. We were busy raising a large family, earning a living and working in the community. We had not yet taken time to do any major family history research.

This challenge and legacy came from my husband's mother. Emma Lou Pauschert Belnap was the only member of her family to join the Church. She felt a strong responsibility to search her family history. When she died, her only son, Bruce, realized this responsibility fell to him. As he reviewed and computerized his mother's records he realized one member of her family had moved to the Northwest from their Illinois home.Checking the Church's International Genealogical Index, he was very surprised to find dates for Mary Jane Pauschert, records his mother had not submitted. Bruce was excited to see who was working on this unusual line. Was there possibly another Pauschert relative now a member of the Church?

The records had been submitted in the early 1980s, so chances were slim he could find the submitter. He sent an inquiry to Church headquarters and received the response that a Robert A. Johnson in California had sent the records in. He wrote Mr. Johnson, but the letter was returned with "no forwarding address."

Two years ago, while traveling through Seattle, Wash., he opened the telephone directory and found several Pauschert families. He called one, and a young man referred him to his mother who had some records. Bruce wrote, but received no response.

Last year, he tried again. The mother answered the telephone and referred him to a Robert A. Johnson who had asked these same questions some years ago. She didn't know his address but said her husband's aunt would know.

Bruce called the aunt in California and learned that Robert now lived in Florida, about five miles away from us in Clearwater Beach. To his surprise, Bruce found that Robert A. Johnson is Bob Johnson, a person with whom we have been acquainted for about 13 years. Bob had no reason to know that Bruce Belnap's mother was a Pauschert, and Bruce had no reason to know that "Bob" was born Robert Pauschert but had taken the name Johnson from his grandparents.

Bob and Bruce have a special relationship now. They are second cousins. Furthermore, they both belong to the Church and even live in the same ward! - Phyllis K. Belnap, Clearwater Ward, St. Petersburg Florida Stake

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