"Prayer Journal," Finding My Ancestors Has Always Been a Matter of Prayer
I have been conducting genealogy research since 1985, officially. From the time I was a small child, I was close to my grandparents and I showed a great interest in who their siblings were as well as their children. I would ask questions to get to know their parents. My family always answered my questions.
Doing genealogy officially
By the time I was officially doing my genealogy, my first job was getting what I knew down on a family tree and family group sheets. Boy, did I have so many of them. I did not know anyone on either side who had done a family history, so I did everyone's family group. I feel a strong bond with them now that most of them have passed. I know that they are in paradise. I knew how to pray. Prayer became vital when more and more of my family passed from this earth life.
Next, I started taking oral history interviews on everyone I could. Those interviews filled in the missing gaps. They became the basis of my research. I have found historical documents and they confirm the oral history interviews are true. I prayed about who I should talk to and what I need from them.
People at Church and outside of Church began to ask me for assistance. I knew that I could help them because I knew how to pray. It was fun! I did this, and in 2007, I went on a Family History and Temple Mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until 2014.
Genealogy Just Ask
I would have kept going, but I I had begun Genealogy Just Ask. I also had people in the offline community that I did genealogy research for. I did that for two years. Then I had a massive stroke in 2016. I was not able tell my family that I knew I would be all right, but my husband and daughter are the reason I am still here. Many prayers from many people is also the reason.
I do not regret going through that. I feel Heavenly Father has lead me through to where I am now. I had the stroke in September of 2016. I moved to Joliet, Illinois, and in a wheel chair, I was called to train family history consultants. I saw various physicians during the week. I keep up with my genealogy business as well.
Heavenly Father's Plan for my life
One day I had to meet a neuologist in Chicago. She said she had a test for me to take. I was so nervous. I knew that my genealogy and scripture reading were not affected, but I was lacking when it came to anything else.
I could do little of that test, but she said something to me that only the Lord could have known about me. She said, "There are two things that you will never lose: Your knowledge of genealogy and the scriptures." I felt the confirmation about what she said. I understood what the Lord had done. I used to be the type of person who would do anything. I would have gone back to doing evereverything.
I promised Heavely Father I would do genealogy and read my scriptures in heaven. I now knew what His plan for my life was. We then moved to Fayetteville, NC. It has been eight years since my stroke. I find joy in temple attendance. I meet people the the FamilySearch Center in Fayetteville. My callings at Church are Family History and Temple Work on the ward level and stake.
Join in with me as we practice prayer
I have written five books in the past two years all on genealogy except "Prayer Journal." Prayer has been my running theme. It has brought answers to every problem and sweet peace in the midst of every storm. For those who want experience purchasing a Prayer Journal, we will fill the journal with our own personal prayers to Heavenly Father. Then we will watch them closely to see how they are answered.
One prayer that we can share is the prayer we ask to find that ancestor. How will that be solved? I want to leave you with one example:
I am going to share how was able to learn of the siblings of my great great grandmother, Elenia Coleman Chick. I called my grandmother's cousin in 2012. She was the daughter of Sally Chick Talley. Her Name is Congee Taylor. She lived in New York at the time. She grew up in Newberry County, South Carolina.
She was 96 years old when she passed. When I first spoke to Congee to find out who her grandmother's siblings where, she told me: "Honey, I do not remember anything.." We spoke by phone. She was the last person of that age that could tell me.
The Holy Ghost took over and before I knew it I had responded, "That's okay, because you are going to go to sleep and have a dream and when I call you back, you will be able to tell me all the names of the siblings of your grandmother."
I waited a few days, and I prayed she would have the dream and remember. When I called back, she was excited. She recited the names of her great aunts in birth order. I could not wait to see them on the 1870 and 1880 Censuses. I looked upon the names of great great great grandmother, Sue, and Elenia, my great great grandmother with the children who were home.
I found the name of my great great great granfather, Theophilous Coleman when I had gone to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History to look up land deeds. His name along with my great great grandmother, Elenia, were on a Newberry County land deed.