Temple moments: The lost Keeler

Lorna Haderlie of Freedom Ward, Thayne Wyoming Stake, was born with an itch to know her roots. She was also born to a father who had little knowledge of his ancestors and knew only the nicknames of his aunts and uncles.

"Why do you ask so many questions?" he asked her. "The other girls don't ask these questions."

As a youngster of 10 or 12, Lorna began contacting aunts and uncles by mail. Later she worked the Nebraska state records with some success. On her Keeler line, however, she hit a research brick wall at great-great-grandfather Joseph that years of effort — somewhere around six decades — and hundreds of hand-written letters didn't solve. She did find a book on the Keelers in the Family History Library and it even mentioned a lost son, but she couldn't make a connection. He remained a dead-end.

Eventually her son, Dan, also of the Freedom Ward, caught the itch and digitized his mother's research and began posting information on a popular family history Web site. A distant cousin from Hawaii noticed the information and contacted him with source material that identified Joseph as the lost Keeler son in the book of Keelers.

"I was thrilled to the bone," Sister Haderlie said. "I wanted this information for so long, and to actually connect, to find something…. I've written letters all my life."

The family soon traveled to the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple where they joined in sealing multiple generations together back to the 17th century.

"It is hard to put into words how I feel, like a dream come true to want something for so long," she said. "It is hard to describe; it's one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened, to know we are connected." — John L. Hart