I’ve been spending my spare moments at the BYU Family History Library scanning photos and documents on their fast scanners. It’s fun work, capturing and preserving images and lives. With all the talk lately about “ministering,” I feel this is one small way I can minister to those who have gone before me. I owe them such a huge debt. And I love them. I want their faces and stories to be known.
Below is a page from my Great-Aunt Elsie Lundquist McNabb’s Book of Remembrance. She chronicled 13 pages of photos of our family and her friends taken between about 1910 and 1940. Elsie is a sister to my grandmother, Ruby Lundquist Smuin. I’ve borrowed these photos and documents from Elsie’s grandson, who will be 70 this year. These are treasures and I’m grateful to have them for a while to preserve them for the family.
There are some important pieces of information found in these album pages. For example, I always wondered if the photo of my Great-grandpa Jacob’s family above was taken at the time of his wife’s death because she’s not in it. Charlotte died on 1 November 1899 in Fairview, Utah. The caption below tells me this photo was taken at the family gathering at her funeral. I love that Aunt Elsie recorded that little piece of information.
As I scan and document these photos, I’m adding them to the Memories for each person in Family Search. So far I’ve added more than 3500 Memories to people’s pages there. More than 800 of those Memories are stories I’ve found, written or compiled with photos and documents about people I’m related to. It’s hard for me to step away from this work. I feel compelled to share these stories and histories and photos with anyone who might be interested. I also post the stories on my Family History Blog, Ann’s Stories found here: https://annlaemmlenlewis1.wordpress.com/
Sid Lieberman, a nationally-acclaimed storyteller came to the Roots Tech Conference in Salt Lake in March 2013. He said, “Everyone has a right to exist.” Then he encouraged us to “be a witness for someone who otherwise would not be known.” To me this means: SAVE A LIFE BY PRESERVING A MEMORY OF SOMEONE.
Another great storyteller, Donald Davis, said “If we don’t remember someone, it’s as if they never lived.” This is the kind of life saving I enjoy. It makes me happy. I wish each of us would take a little time to save a life, including our own, for future generations.
Here are 3 of my favorite finds in Elsie’s album: this first is a photo taken at my Grandma Ruby’s home in Glendale about 1930. Ruby is the beauty in the black dress in the middle, holding my mother, Grace. I LOVE this photo!
Here is a photo of Ruby’s mother, my Great-grandmother, Grace Honor Bushman Lundquist. She was the mother of 8 and died at age 38 of pneumonia. We have very few photos of her. I’d never seen this one before. My heart leapt when I found it.
And here is an original photo of Grace Honor Bushman Lundquist with some of her children on their front porch in Salt Lake City. Aunt Elsie is the adorable little girl in the center. Her sister, Lucille (with the little cap on) died at age 2½ when her clothes caught on fire while she was playing with matches. What a heart break to lose a daughter so dear.
These photos have enlarged my soul and turned my heart to my ancestors.