Family history moments

The golden card

Being a convert to the Church, I have the privilege of searching out the details of our family history.Because of a divorce in my mother's family, she could give little information about her grandparents. Hugh McGaffigan was born in New York in 1837 but census searches have not revealed his whereabouts earlier than 1880.

My sister Irene Oldham and I were at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City on one occasion, and I had just finished another unsuccessful search of census indexes for the name of Hugh. On replacing the last index, I said aloud but quietly, "You people are going to have to help me because I just can't find you anywhere."

Until recently, Irene and I both served at a regional data entry center where names for the Jordan River Temple were processed.

Tuesday morning, Feb. 2, 1993, Irene and I were typing at the center. Very casually, my sister handed me a gold marriage card to look at. Seeing the name of the bride, Flora Wonderly, was most surprising. It was our great-grandmother's maiden name.

Then I looked at the name of the groom, Hugh McAuffigan. It was a record of our great-grandparents' marriage! The surname McAuffigan was spelled in a variation we had never seen before.

Oh what joy we felt! We have been able to locate the family on the 1860 census of Illinois, where Hugh was living with his parents, and trace the family back into Ireland from this find. With the variation in the spelling of the surname, we otherwise would never have been able to locate their marriage record.

A computer diskette has been prepared and submitted to the temple so that family members can be proxies in the ordinances for the complete family of Hugh and Flora, and also his parents, Andrew and Mary, along with their children.

Our gratitude goes out to the Lord for such a wonderful blessing. It is amazing that out of 80 typists at the center who choose cards from numerous countries worldwide to type, my sister would select a batch in which the ancestors we have been searching for are recorded.

The loved ones beyond the veil are most helpful in the important things that we are doing here. - Leila B. Morgan, Canyon Rim Ward, Sandy Utah Central Stake

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