Monday, April 2, 2012

"Yeah. It's a beautiful name for a boy or a girl. Especially a girl... Or a boy."

I started working on Family History when I was 8 and received a Book of Remembrance at my baptism. I'm 37 now and not completely clear as to what the Book of Remembrance is for. I kept papers in it that were important to me. It came with some sheets to be filled out like the Family Tree and Personal History. The book is now in the garage in a box. I haven't really done a great job at remembering it. But I did enthusiastically fill out the Family Tree page when I was 8 with the help of my parents. I really found the whole thing very interesting who I descended from. My dad worked on family history quite a bit during my childhood and gave me a great head start when I was an adult.

I've worked on Family History as a semi-serious hobby since Emily was a baby. I love finding people in my family and making it possible for their temple work to be completed. Since marrying Chris, I have worked on his side of the family as well. I have long been interested in finding the Vos' that first came to America from Holland. I could never find them. There seemed to be no information on them out there that I was reaching. I kept them in the back of my mind, hoping that someday I would find them.

A few months ago, I was called as a Family History Consultant at our local Family History Center. Although I would give my right arm to serve in Primary, this is the next best thing. I go to the Family History Center for three kid-free hours a week and work on Family History. I'm supposed to help people who walk-in and need assistance. So far, I have helped a few people but I don't know as much as the "pros" that have been there for years and years. I'm sure I will learn more as time goes by and be a better aide to those who come in looking for help.

One night, one of the pros asked me if I wanted him to help me with one of my family road blocks. I showed him the info I had on John Vos born in the Netherlands in 1839. I had him on US Census' for various years in the United States. I knew he got here. But I didn't know when or how or with whom. I left the info I had with the pro, who's name is Al by the way, and headed home until next week.

The next week Al greeted me and let me know that he found lots of stuff for me. I was excited. He started to show me page after page of what was information on my John Vos and his ancestors. John came to the United States with his parents in 1855. He was 16. His parents were Dirk and Bonna Vos. They brought John and their seven other children with them on a ship. I was able to look at pictures of where they came from in Holland. I can only imagine what their accommodations were like on the ship and what it must have been like to travel across an ocean with all those children. As Al was showing me pages of information, I fell in love with this family. I feel like I know them somehow. And unless you've ever done family history and connected with someone from the past, you might not understand what I mean. Dirk and Bonna, I want to be your friends.

I sat there that night very choked up looking at the pages, entering information into the computer and finding more information because I was able to piggyback off what Al had started. I was so excited and enthralled with everything I found and learned. Those of you who work on family history know that other people are about as interested in hearing about it as you are about hearing about someone's daily work out at the gym. Their eyes glaze over and they give you a faint smile and nod occasionally. It's just not everyone's thing.

But I wanted what I found(or what was found for me) to be shared and remembered. All I could think of was to name our little Teddy's middle name Dirk. I kept thinking about Theodore Dirk and how we couldn't forget about Dirk and his family if one of our kids was named after him. So I went home and proposed the idea to Chris and he agreed and so there you go. No one else thinks it's a really great name. Some people laugh out loud when I tell them. But I don't really care. It's a middle name, which isn't used as often, and it means something to me. Hopefully someday it will mean something to Teddy too.

I seriously cannot wait to meet Dirk and Bonna in the afterlife and talk to them and find out all about their life in 1855.


Brenda said...

I haven't done a lot of family history but I have done enough to recognize what an exciting moment that must have been -- and I think Dirk is a great name.

GramMO said...

I love this post. My eyes did glaze over though with tears. I completely know what you mean!. I love the middle name. I believe that is the only reason for middle names is for r3embering someone you love! Great job. Love this so much!!!!

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