Monday, March 17, 2014


Hi everyone,  Happy St Patrick's Day,
It is amazing how fast the time is going.  The weeks seem to just fly by.  Last night we went to the departing-missionaries fireside; 2 sisters and 11 elders bore their testimonies and sang beautifully.  The spirit was very strong.  President Weidman asked for all the people who had been taught or baptized by these missionaries to stand.  There was a large overflow crowd. 

Last week, Max was involved in teaching the beginning 3-day Intensive classes (8 AM to 5 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).  He was helping to acquaint those taking the class at the library with how to do research.  Our director, Richard McBride always tries to make it special for those in the class by providing them with a large binder with all the power-points.  And he also provides doughnuts, grapes, bananas and bottles of water.

 On Wednesday, although it was our P-day, we came in to the library for a quarterly Conference Call from Salt Lake.  Max and Mary are assuming a lot more responsibility now that JoAnn and Roy Hunt, our former office managers, have left.  Out of 10 full-time missionaries, 8 are going home before the end of May.  This  means that on Sundays we will be needed to open up the library and be there when any special groups or classes are meeting.

 On Sundays, Mary has been teaching the 8-year-old class in Primary about Abraham in the Old Testament. The ward building has murals on the walls of the Primary room and the Nursery.
Nursery room mural
Saturday, to celebrate the Relief Society birthday party, there was a luncheon with displays of things that the sisters have created.  There were beautiful paintings, quilts, handiwork, a formal table set in a Chinese theme, photography,etc. Mary brought her family history to display: a family history game (guess old-time occupations), a surname cloud, puzzilla (choose an ancestor and see his descendants that are on Family Tree), a fan chart, and a holder for family name cards.  There was musical talent also: a sister played her cello accompanied by the piano, a guitarist sang and Shawn King played 2 songs from her CDs. (She is the wife of Larry King).

A week ago Mary and Max went down to Newport Beach to visit Mary's sister Susan, her husband Robert and their friend, Joy who were on vacation there.  It was relaxing to walk on the beach and collect sea shells.  Max helped Susan set up Skype so she could talk face to face with her grandchildren.  It was a nice visit.   
Robert & Susan
Susan, Robert, Mary, & Max

Alisa Beach, Laguna Beach, California

And, finally, this morning at 6:24, we survived our first southern California earthquake, a 4.7 with the epicenter about 5 miles from here. It sounded and felt like a big truck driving down the hallway with the resulting shaking for 2 to 3 seconds.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Hi everyone,
We are still here enjoying our mission and working hard with our own or helping others with their family history. Last month when we fasted, we prayed for rain, and now we have it. So much so that there are mudslides in some areas and water has seeped down the walls of the library so that we need a fan and dehumidifier where the scanners and microfilm readers are. The skies are gray and we need to bring umbrellas when we go out.  Hopefully, this will soon pass.

This is our Valentine's Day photo in the Library. The bouquet came from Max to Mary, but everyone enjoyed it.

Max and Mary are doing a lot of teaching:  In the 3-day Intensive, Max taught "Introduction to Genealogy" and the basics of "Family Tree";  Mary taught "Wills and Probates" and "Non-LDS Church Records".  We will be going to an all-day African-American "Discover Your Roots" conference on March 22 where Max is one of the teachers; Mary will help at the registration desk.  Then there is an outreach planned for May in Ventura, California where we have been asked to teach 2 classes each. Mary is going to substitute-teach Primary for the next 3 weeks while the temple is closed for cleaning.  The regular teacher is a temple worker and is taking the time off to go with her husband to visit their children in Missouri.  We also started an in-service program for the workers in the library.  To allow everyone to be able to come, the teacher does it twice a week for 1/2 hour each time.  We first had the Hunts teach us--JoAnn is really good at helping patrons from other countries and Roy then showed us how to solve some of the problems we might encounter on the Tree. (They have been the office managers here and will be leaving in a few weeks to go back home to Brigham City.)  Then Max taught last week how to find Census information if you have just an address on an envelope by using the Wiki or Googling Steve Morse.  This coming week, Mary will give an overview of "Research in England" using examples from documents of her own ancestors.  Each full-time missionary is going to take their turn to teach about something they are good at.

At the Torrance Stake Center. Note the decorative tile around the entrance.
For our day off this week, we went to the Autry Museum in Griffith Park which has a lot of Western Art and memorabilia.  Someday when we have grandkids with us,we would like to go again to Griffith Park to see the Los Angeles Zoo or Travel Town, which is an outdoor display of railroad cars and engines. We also want to go to the amusement park on the Santa Monica pier.  On our time off, we also have to get laundry and shopping done, clean the apartment, and maybe go to a session at the temple.  On one P-day this past month, we went to a Zone Conference in the Torrance Stake Center.

Last Monday the senior missionaries had our monthly social in the Library training room. We all bring food, pot luck. We were in charge of the activity. We handed out questions for the others to answer. As they did, we discussed each one. Mary had a list of 19th century occupations that they were to define. They all came from her ancestors' jobs. Max had a temple trivia quiz with a dozen or so geographical and historical questions. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed good food.

Mary has had some trouble with her back muscles and after going to a doctor was told to rest, take Advil, and not do anything for all weekend. Also alternate the use of a heating pad and ice packs. She needs to take it easy and not try to do too much. After taking his advice, she feels a lot better.

For a spotlight on an ancestor, Mary would like to tell about her search for Lydia Bingham (FamilySearch Family Tree KDSN-KQN).  Lydia is the wife of the first Jesse Hobson who lived in London most of her life, but the Census gives her birth in Cirencester,Gloucestershire.  According to her age in the census, she would have been born in 1800. She outlived her husband who died in 1850; she died in 1867. Her children were Jesse Hobson who married Sarah Maria Gamble, and after his first wife's death married Maria Louisa Statham;  Edmund Carey Hobson who married Mary Ann Scarlet;  Sophia Hayward Hobson who married William Carpenter; Emma Hobson who married Thomas Crowder; Mary Carey Hobson who married Samuel Liptrot Findley; and Louisa Hobson who married Thomas Sing.  One child didn't marry, Milton Hobson a daughter who was living with her mother, Lydia in 1861.

I didn't have any information about Lydia's birth or her parents.  Upon looking in and, I found nothing; so I looked up Cirencester, Gloucestershire in the catalog and ordered a film. I did not find her christening on it. Searching for other clues, I noticed the middle name of Carey was given to two of the children. Carey was her husband Jesse Hobson's mother's maiden name. I wondered if Hayward was the last name of an ancestor.

When Lydia was married, she was very young, only 18 years old, and had to get the consent of her parents. Her husband was 8 years older than her and was a widower; his first wife, Elizabeth AnnWhitaker, died at age 24 without any children.  In looking at the witnesses on their marriage certificate, one was William Gittenson, a deacon in Maze Pond Baptist Church in Southwark, Surrey; the other was Sophia Elizabeth Hayward (since they named one of their children after her, she must be a relative or very close friend). So I looked up her records and found she was 1 of 4 children, two of them having the middle name of Milton. Her parents were Thomas Hayward and Rebecca Milton. Remember, Lydia's daughter was also named Milton. That must be a family name.

Then I found a newspaper announcement in the Times or London about the marriage. It stated that Lydia was the niece of William Gillman, Esquire. On the microfilm I had ordered, I found him to be born on August 28, 1761, and his siblings and parents were listed. So how does Lydia fit in? Yesterday I was looking on Select Marriages from 1538 in, entered Bingham, the place and approximate date and found the marriage of Daniel Bingham and Ann Milton in Cirencester, Gloucestershire on 6 May 1787. Wow!  If that's Lydia's mother that explains Milton. Then I researched more and found on the marriage record of William Gillman and Lydia Milton on 26 June 1785!  That answers the question. The newspaper reported that Lydia Bingham was Gillman's niece. In other words, Lydia, Gillman's wife, was the sister of Ann Milton. Sophia Elizabeth Hayward's mother, Rebecca Milton Hayward was also a sister to Ann, who married on 11 October 1792.  So the witness to their marriage, Sophia Elizabeth Hayward, is Lydia's first cousin. Looking in the records of Nonconformists, I found the burials of Daniel and Ann in the Baptist's Burying Ground in Cirencester.

It is great to find Lydia's parents after searching for months.  I still haven't found her birth date, but I have enough information to link her to the right parents and get her temple work done.

Max wants to add this comment: Wow! A solution worthy of Sherlock Holmes! Or at least Columbo or Miss Marple.

Love from Sister Grandma and Elder Grandpa