My husband, Wesley D. Peterson, and I have been conducting family research and writing family history books for about 50 years. In 1998 we took a trip to Salt Lake City, intending to spend some time researching several ancestral lines which had been giving us major problems.
While we were there, my cousin Wynn Stokes and his wife, Patsy, suggested that we could learn a lot by becoming volunteers at the Family History Library. We spoke with President David Gill Warner and submitted our applications to become family history missionaries.
President Warner told us that we would find answers to many of our problems while serving there. We were assigned to the Automated Resource Center, and, after our training sessions, were put to work.
One particular line dealt with the family of Samuel Martin and Eliza Young Martin. My husband's grandfather, Samuel J. Martin, had an older sister, Annie (Anna), who was married to a John C. Dale. The family lived first in Wisconsin and then in Illinois. Samuel J. and his wife, Amanda M. Challis Martin, named their next to youngest daughter, Annie, my husband's mother, after this sister.
We had searched for this family off and on for some 30 years, and at one point had even hired a genealogist to no avail.
Finally, our mission completed, we were given several free days to conduct our own research. We went to the Wisconsin file, finding a Wisconsin State Genealogical publication entitled "Some Pioneer Families of Wisconsin, 1977," part of a centennial publication. We found the following listing: "John C. Dale and wife Anna Martin." We contacted the society and obtained a copy of the pedigree sheet submitted by Betty Jane Owens Swift listing as great-grandparents of Anna (Annie) Martin, our Samuel Martin and Eliza Young Martin. The lost were found!!
From this information we contacted some newfound relatives who were living in Florida. They subsequently sent us family group sheets, pedigree charts, stories and precious pictures. We are preparing to print a book about the descendants of Samuel Martin and Eliza Young Martin. This material will be our Chapter II, and the missing lines will be tied together at last.
This is but one of several experiences which we have had involving blessings we received while serving at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. We have truly felt the Lord's hand in this work. Donna M. Peterson, Humble, Texas