Today I’m introducing two young genealogists, Elisse and Robert Brady. They are sharing how they became interested in genealogy and family history and what they like about it. For more information about the LDS topics they discuss, see Why Family History is Important at Mormon.org.
My name is Elisse Brady. I live in Idaho Falls, ID with my husband and my daughter. I love riding my bike, eating black licorice, reading books, teaching junior high English, and watching period piece shows on Netflix.
Every time I heard a talk in church about family history I would squirm a bit because I didn’t know how to do it and because I’m in a family where I felt it was generally understood all the family history was “done.” Family history is a commandment though and I felt uncomfortable with the thought that there were commandments that didn’t apply to me. That just didn’t seem right, so I decided to go for it.
Before I was married, the singles ward I attended had a family history class during Sunday School. My friend (and future husband actually) attended the class sometimes, so I asked him for help and he showed me how to use FamilySearch and how to do indexing. I later got an Ancestry.com account and just taught myself how to use it because it’s SO much more user-friendly and self-explanatory than FamilySearch.
The most rewarding part of family history is finding someone who seems to have been previously overlooked, for example, a census record on Ancestry shows five children, but the family tree only has four; or FamilySearch shows a family where every member’s work is done except one sibling has nothing done.
My biggest challenge has been a portion of my Mom’s side of the family. Her great-grandparents immigrated to the country from Russia. They illegally stowed away which is super cool, but then upon arrival they changed their names and made every effort to erase their old life. I’ve not been able to do any family history beyond the two of them. Because of this, I would love to be able to go back to Russia and find out who they are and who their family was so I can know who my ancestors are.
Hi! My name is Robert Brady. I was born and raised on a small farm in Idaho where we had a dairy until I was 12 and then transitioned into raising grass-finished beef. I enjoy mountain biking, ultimate frisbee, fishing, downhill skiing and pretty much anything that gets us out to enjoy the natural beauty around Idaho Falls, ID.
Genealogy has always been around my life since my parents represent both ends of the spectrum. The Brady family has a lot of work done since they’ve been in the church for many generations but my mother is a convert to the church and there is so much work to be done on that side of the family. The contrast shows how much good is waiting to be done.
During college I was a Temple Committee co-chair and that is when I got more actively engaged in indexing online. Our ward would have indexing parties and everyone would help one another decipher the cursive or foreign languages. It was a lot of fun and got me more involved with taking my own family names to the temple.
One of the coolest experiences was several years ago when we went as a family to the temple during Thanksgiving break to perform temple sealings for many of my mother’s very near relatives, such as grandparents and great-grandparents. The Spirit is so strong at those times and you feel a closeness to your family members even though you didn’t meet in mortality.