Digging into the past to find family roots

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By The Staff

John and Jean Lyman recently returned from a trip with more than just fond memories of sight-seeing and recreating, they have a clearer understanding of their identity.

During a three-month trip to Great Britain, the Lymans participated in Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church services in the London temple and researched their family history throughout England.

“Most of our ancestors emigrated from the British Isles,” John said. “We spent years researching their lives and their genealogy through family records. This trip gave us an opportunity to visit the villages and farms where our progenitors actually lived.  We spent time visiting old churches and their cemeteries, checking headstones for names, birth and death dates and other relatives. Most of my ancestors left the British Isles in the 17th Century, but there still exists village churches, castles and other buildings that would be have been visited by my people.”

Jean added, “I particularly enjoyed tracing the steps of some of my ancestors by visiting the small villages where they lived. This is a wonderful way to connect with who I am. I have a greater appreciation for my forefathers. The trip also provided an opportunity to become better acquainted with the history of the British Isles and gave us a great appreciation for our culture and background.”

She said, “It was enlightening to actually to see the locations of where they lived and understand the environment of where they worked and raised their families.”

We learned a lot of history while in Great Britain. It was wonderful to understand the lives of our ancestors in terms of what was happening historically at that time. It just gave us a more complete picture of their lives.”

The Lymans will discuss the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles at 7 p.m. Sunday in the White Rock Ward.

Jean encourages others to research their own family roots. A great place to start, she said, are the genealogy library/family history centers in White Rock and Los Alamos. The centers are open to the public and free. They offer a knowledgeable staff, computers and microfilm.

The hours for the genealogy library/family history center in White Rock are from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m.-noon Friday.

Jean said she and her husband have been doing research looking on their ancestors ever since they were kids. She said it was important in their families to know their ancestors and where they originated.