Family history moments: Great connection

For years, I have been interested in family history.

My wife and I, with our immediate family, are the only members of the Church from either side of our family.

While entering my mother's Crouthamel line into my Personal Ancestral File management program in my computer, I noticed a pattern of ancestral life spans being centralized in about four small towns in Bucks County, Pa., all within a few miles of each other. This instilled in me a desire to visit that area.

This past spring I decided on our next visit to Halifax, Pa., my birthplace and childhood home, that we would visit our relatives and then take an extra day to drive to Bucks County, just to be able to say we had visited the area where my ancestors lived. I thought perhaps we would find living relatives there.

Before we left I prayed that we would have success.

According to the road map, the four towns I wanted to visit were largely rural communities. To my surprise, when we arrived in Perkasie, I found the communities had grown together and were now suburbs of Philadelphia, about 35 miles away.

As we were driving down a street, we saw a woman walking toward us on the sidewalk. We pulled over to ask directions to the public library, where we hoped to find information on our relatives. I explained that I was doing research on my mother's family, the Crouthamels.

She exclaimed, "I am a Crouthamel!"

She gave us her name, address and a telephone number. She explained that she was descended from Andrew Crouthamel. Andrew is one of six sons of Henry, as is my ancestor, Samuel.

She was there to pick up her grandchild at the school bus stop, and she lived in the nearby town of Telsford. If we would have been five minutes earlier or five minutes later, we would have missed her.

We felt the hand of the Lord guiding us, as we were over 400 miles away from our home, and the one person we stopped to ask for directions turned out to be a Crouthamel. We now have a great connection to the Crouthamel family in Bucks County, Pa. — Wilson E. Hoffman, Roanoke 2nd Ward, Roanoke Virginia Stake

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