Time keeps ticking by too quickly sometimes. I have so much to write but not as much time as I would like to do it in. Such is the limitations in the probationary game. There are plenty of achievements to report though in the past week or two.
This evening I spoke with Gerald Neuffer in Columbia, Missouri. In a most random turn of events, I noticed that a Jenna Neuffer became friends with my friend, Kami Lowe on Facebook. With a name as rare as Neuffer, I knew all odds were in my favor of having a near shared ancestry. I sent Miss Neuffer a message and asked for her Grandfather’s name and phone number. Which she supplied. Come to find out, I even had Gerald already in my family history. I just had his first name Myron (Gerald is his middle name but he goes by it. Probably due to remove confusion with his father’s name being Myron). He knew the Andra’s well and said he remembered Millie, who was just younger than him. Funny how small a world it is. He went to get his PhD and never left Columbia after moving there in 1947. We conversed for a little while he dug for information verifying I was not this total stranger calling for his family history for some other sinister reason. He sounds like a good guy. He asked if I was doing genealogy. I confirmed I was and that I was the family historian. He then happily related he was basically that for the Neuffer/Nuffer family. I was definitely glad to hear that. What is the chances of the Andra historian running into the Nuffer historian in Columbia Missouri? Very far removed from Preston, Idaho!
I received a phone call from Jacqui yesterday about the Phibbs/Ross/Beachell family. I tried returning her call and spoke with her mother for a few minutes. I am glad she finally returned my message. I only left it in May! That was before we moved!
In other news, there was an e-mail that found its way to me from Robert in Fresno, California. A most interesting question. He asked if I knew of any of the siblings of my Constance Jorgensen. I always felt Constance most likely had siblings but was never able to find any. Between her parents marriage and Constance’s birth, there is twelve years. I was sure there were other siblings. Olavus and Hanna Mathea Jorgensen immigrated with Constance and settled in Richmond, Utah. Constance married Ole Christiansen and gave birth to my Great Great Grandmother Martha Christiansen who is the mother of my Lillian Coley. Constance died in Portland, Oregon while visiting and was buried there. In the whole episode, I knew some day I would have to do some research in Norway to find the rest of this family. Well, Robert e-mailed me asking me if his grandmother, Amanda Jorgensen Swensen could be a child of Olavus and Hanna. He produced a copy of a hand written copy pedigree she had produced in 1935. Sure enough, everything lined up. Well, Amanda was born another 12 years after my Constance (24 after the marriage of the parents). She immigrated to Utah a good 10 years after her parents and sibling came over and settled in Logan, Utah. By the time she arrived her parents were both deceased and her sister had married. It seems that she never knew she was only 15 miles from her parent’s graves and her sister. The exciting news is that Amanda gave us the names of her siblings, none of which made it to America to her knowledge. We added the 5 siblings. Don’t know their ages, but definitely gives some more to go from. That will give us much more to go from when the time for the Norway research begins.
I am happy to report I completed the New Testament this evening. I am one day late. If I had read the one chapter a day, I would have finished yesterday. Last weekend put me just off enough that I did not catch up in time. I completed the Book of Mormon on schedule this year on August 27th. Now I can go through some General Conference talks and some other reading for the year. Next year is the Doctrine and Covenants which you can almost read three times in a year. I think I will just do it twice though.
The ward continues to blossom when it comes to family history. It seems like people are doing their homework, research, and compiling regularly. I have e-mails at least once or twice a week for help on something. That is an indication something is going on. That is definitely something which is a good thing.
Online the family history work continues to reveal new and interesting things. I received an e-mail from a Homer Mason. He was inquiring concerning the Jonas family in Washington State. Come to find out, Anna Jonas is his Grandmother. Anna was the daughter of William Jonas who was the brother to my Joseph Jonas; father to my great grandfather Joseph Nelson Jonas. He knows very little so it has been fun introducing him to the family. I have especially enjoyed his research on a line of the family I have not been able to crack. It has proved not to be an easy line for him, but with his living in Yakima, he is much closer and capable of doing the work than I can. I really hope I am accepted to the University of Idaho for Law School. Then I could work on the Jonas, Ross, and Sharp lines in Washington State.
Stepping back to the Andra family. This past weekend Amanda and I took a trip to Washington DC for our monthly temple visit. But a new aspect as emerged. My Great Uncle and Aunt, Donald and Lolane Andra, are now serving a mission in the temple. We went up Friday night and stayed with Amanda’s Uncle and Aunt in Springfield. Saturday we picked up Don and Lolane and made our way to Mt. Vernon. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was the 18th Century Fair so there were masses of people. Don and Lolane are good and quick on their feet. Despite being in their 60’s they move well. Don reminds me so much of my Great Grandpa. I get a kick out of both of them. We were limited on time as they had to be to the temple to work later in the afternoon. We did probably the fastest walking tour of Mt. Vernon I can imagine. We zoomed all over the grounds, through the fair, and then back up to their apartment to change and attend the temple.
On a side note, as I went into the endowment room, I noticed the officiator’s name was John Whatcott. I looked at him and asked if he was from Kanosh. He looked a bit surprised at me and said he grew up there. I told him of the Whatcott’s I knew. After the session he asked me to remain in the celestial room so we could visit. We had a great visit. Come to find out he knows Don and Lolane from St. George. Small world. Don knew which session we were on and waited for us to leave the celestial room. He walked us down to the next floor and we parted again. I met Don’s Home Teaching companion, Elder Toronto, while picking up Amanda’s Aunt’s glasses from the temple lost and found. Funny how interlinked the world is, at least in the church.
I have not made mention of it yet, but I am going from contractor status to full associate status at Bank of America. Meaning, I will be an employee of Bank of America and not an at will person filling a seat. Many companies now do the contractor business as they can then hire on employees after they have shown their worth. I must have done well enough for them to offer me employment starting October 1. I am excited. Business has been picking up. I don’t know if it is from the crunch in the market or what. Bank of America definitely stands on higher ground than those feeling the squeeze or sinking under the housing market. One thing is for sure, with this rate cut, we are expecting the next month to be hectic.
My birthday came and went just like every other day or the year. I am back to being congratulated for it being my unbirthday. I received all sorts of e-mails (which will take me a good week to respond to them all), many messages on Facebook, and a couple of cards and gifts. Amanda and I enjoyed a nice big meal at Chili’s for dinner. We joked about it being our triannual beef night. It is birthdays or anniversary that I get to eat a steak. Monday was a 12 oz Ribeye. Mmmm, so good. That is of course not mentioning the Idaho potatos. Amanda got me a shirt, a jump drive, and something else which slips me at the moment. I also received a journal, a few checks, and some other random memorabilia. I honestly don’t feel any different now than I think I did when I was 19. Except the fact my knee was reconstructed in 2004 and doesn’t give me the issues it did at 19. So I guess I feel better than at 19. I have filled out in stature, even added a little padding in the middle, and perhaps a little wiser. Life is good.
My blessings continue to flow despite my inept nature. I continue to be given the little peaceable things of the kingdom from time to time. They make the living and endurance all worth it. Line upon line right? Sometimes I wish it was more page upon page, but alas, I am not the one running the show. Church goes well. I feel spiritually well. Not the muscular behemoth I would like to be spiritually, but I feel strong enough to do what needs to be done and any forseeable adventure.