Family history moments: Unexpected query

When my father-in-law passed away in the mid-1960s, my husband took over the family history records. However, it wasn't until my husband retired and we returned from a full-time mission to Nauvoo, Ill., that he settled down seriously with family history.

On Oct. 1, 1992, my husband came into the house, sat down in his favorite chair and passed away. The following January, a letter addressed to him arrived in the mail from England. It was an inquiry from a woman, not LDS, who had gotten my husband's name from the Church's Family File on a visit to Salt Lake City years before. She explained she had often been going to write but hadn't done so until now; could my husband's father's family be related to her? She was becoming interested in family history, and the surname was the same.

I quickly checked my husband's family sheets, and her information was a match with what he had recorded. A fast return response was sent out explaining that the names, dates and other items determined that it was definitely the correct family line. I asked if she had any more information. Within a few weeks, I received a letter from her taking my husband's father's family back six generations.

When I shared this exciting story with some of the workers who'd been on the Tuesday shift with my husband at the family history center where my husband had volunteered, they pulled me quietly aside. They individually explained that just prior to his death, my husband had made the frustrated comment repeatedly: "I don't know what on this earth I can do to get more information on my father's family." Perhaps he could do it more effectively on the other side of the veil.

— Billie Myers Hawkins, Saratoga Springs 1st Ward, Saratoga Springs Utah Stake

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