Family history moments: A roll of wallpaper `` `Cast your bread upon the waters and it shall return' . . . as cake!''

Family history moments: A roll of wallpaper " `Cast your bread upon the waters and it shall return' . . . as cake!"

I thought I was doing an unselfish act when I used the old-fashioned, purple-ink mimeograph to send out family ancestral data many years ago. Since my husband is a convert to the Church, research on his line has been solely up to us. I thought it might generate some mild interest in family history if I would send out to all known relatives a copy of the little booklet describing what we had discovered.

One day, we received a most astonishing telephone call from a somewhat distant cousin who lives near Washington, D.C. This non-LDS cousin, Ron Manderscheid, said he had been searching for us for about five years. In his travels for the U.S. government, he crisscrosses the nation many times each year. In each city and town, he would call any Manderscheids in the telephone directory to try to locate us. Finally in Kansas he hit "pay dirt" when he spoke by telephone to my husband's nephew.

To our joyful surprise, Ron told us he had come across a copy of our purple-ink booklet, which inflamed his already intense interest in family history. He said he had met a distant Manderscheid cousin still living in our ancestral village in Germany who had spent her life researching our family history as a hobby.

Ron told us that this German cousin, Elizabeth Manderscheid Kamm, had a 20-foot-long roll of wallpaper she had covered with family history data on its blank side.

We eagerly contacted Mrs. Kamm and ended up paying her to photocopy the entire roll to mail to us.

And here's the "cake": We contracted with a German friend to interpret the German script, transferring the data to create family group sheets for 100 families.

We visited Elizabeth Kamm at her home in Germany last year. Over the doorway of her ancient home is a stone archway where the date 1603 is carved. The back wall of her house is part of the old city wall. And we were allowed to touch and handle her precious roll of wallpaper and see her very neatly recorded data thereon. What a priceless treasure! - Lorraine Richardson Manderscheid, Issaquah 5th Ward, Bellevue Washington Stake

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