Family history moments: Two lessons learned
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I was working on a microfilm of a Norwegian parish record at a branch family history center. It had been a frustrating experience. I was new to family history work. I struggled not only with the Norwegian language, which I had no familiarity with, but also with the style of handwriting in faded ink. The film was due to be returned to the main library very shortly. My time was limited.
I took the film to the librarian to have her prepare to return it. As I started to hand it to her, I had the most overwhelming feeling I should go through it again. I couldn't resist, the feeling was so strong.
As I compared the names of long dead family members with the film, I found a mistake. I had the wrong birth date for a child, Edvard Emil. That was puzzling. How could I have copied out a wrong date? I corrected the error, and now sure that I had completed my task, I took the film to the desk. Again, I could not do it. Something, someone, wanted me to go through the film again.
Once more, I started through the film. There was the name of Edvard Emil, and this time the date of birth was the same one I had originally. So, where had the second date come from? I continued through the film, until I found the second date for Edvard Emil.
Now I had two birth dates. The solution to the puzzle was obvious to any careful genealogist who is familiar with the customs of the time and location where they are working. There were two Edvard Emils. The first child, named after both grandfathers, had died as a baby. In order to honor these two patriarchs, a second son was given their names. Although I had never heard of such a thing, this was a fairly common practice in that place and time.
I learned two lessons that day: that I should be more meticulous in my responsibility in family history work and that the veil is very thin — we can receive help from the other side. The influence of that mother who did not want one of her children to be lost has stayed with me. We even named the daughter I was expecting at the time this happened after her. — Carolyn Wright, Newell Creek Ward, Oregon City Oregon Stake