Family history moments: Smiles on generations

My husband, Gary, was a truck driver for many years. We were living in southern Missouri when he received orders to pick up a load in Brookfield, located in the northern part of the state.

Many years before, I had found that my mother had an aunt that died in Brookfield, Mo., in the late 1940s. I was hoping she might still have relatives living there, so I wanted to ride along with Gary to pick up the load.My parents died when I was a young adult. I knew very little about my mother's side, because almost everyone had already passed away before I was born.

While Gary loaded, I went to the Brookfield library. I was roaming around the library, and I guess I looked lost, because a gentleman asked if he could help me.

He directed me to the name catalog and said he would look up my surname if I would tell him what the name was.

"Maxwell," I said. "Thomas Maxwell."

He looked at me with awe as he reached his hand out to shake mine and to introduce himself.

"Hello, I am Carol Maxwell from Dallas, Texas. Thomas Maxwell was my great-uncle."

The Maxwells had come all the way from Dallas to search for their progenitors.

Carol introduced me to generations. He took me to the one-room schoolhouse where our great-aunt had taught school. We strolled through graveyards where our great-grandparents were buried and stood on the very land that they had owned.

It took a few years, but last Feb. 28, my branch took a temple trip to Dallas, Texas. Thanks to Carol Maxwell (a non-member) 88 family members had all of their ordinances completed by members of my branch.

I was able to give out pictures, stories or tidbits of information so the brothers and sisters could know a little about the people for whom they were standing proxy. Each member told me it made the experience more personal.

I have a great testimony of family history, and I am grateful that the Lord sent Carol Maxwell to Brookfield, Mo., to meet me. I know by my experiences in the temple that Carol has put smiles on generations. - Dianna Brady, Marshfield Branch, Springfield Missouri Stake

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