Family history moments: Family connection

In October 2002, I received a letter from Ruth Payne Palmer who lived in southern Utah, asking if I was related to Ruth Franklin Curtis. She didn't know me but had found my name on some of the files at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

I wrote back and told her that Ruth Franklin Curtis was my great-great-grandmother. She then told me that she thought Ruth was connected to the wrong parents. She was listed on the Church's Ancestral File and International Genealogical Index with parents John Franklin and Abigail Fuller.

I had been working on other lines and had not been concerned about the Franklin line because the compiled research extended back many generations. I told Ruth I was near the Family History Library and would check on the connection.

I learned from the first record I checked that John Franklin and Abigail Fuller had children with previous spouses but when they married each other they had no children between them. So I began my search to find Ruth's real parents.

Ruth was converted early in the history of the Church, but she never made it to the Salt Lake Valley. She died on the plains in 1848. The only record she left was from her endowment in 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple. She gave her birthplace on that record as Sterling, Windham, Conn.

As I searched in that area, I learned that there was only one Franklin family there. It was a family who had moved just over the border from Rhode Island. Because of the good vital records collection in Rhode Island, and from the resources on the Internet, I was able to put her family together.

I arranged to go with Ruth Palmer and her family to the Manti Utah Temple. Some of my family met us there to perform the ordinance work. We all felt that this faithful ancestor, who had suffered through many of the trials of the early Church period, was rejoicing in the spirit world as she was sealed to her real parents, David and Hannah Simmons Franklin. — Maxine D. Belnap, Bountiful 36th Ward, Bountiful Utah South Stake

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