Isn't she cute? She's amazing too...
In preparation for Trek, I tried to read as much as I could about many of my ancestors. Since we were going to be treking "for" one of them, I figured I better learn as much as I could. I read and taught my Trek kids mostly from my Tenney family heritage (thanks to a book Sister Kathy lent to me). I've since been branching more out because I JUST CAN'T STOP! Family History is like a can of Pringles...once you pop, you can't stop! I just want MORE!!! I am so grateful for Family Search (https://familysearch.org/) because cousins I didn't even know I had add more stories and pictures all the time and it is just SO STINKIN' EXCITING!
While I was listening to an oral history of some of my great (in more than one way) Madsen aunts and uncles (it was a birthday present for my Great Grandfather in 1978), I was so impressed that they had so many fond memories of being kids during The Great Depression. One of my uncles mentioned that they would milk several cows every day (even the girls did) and they were so rich because they could go get a check after two weeks for a whole $20. He mentioned that $20 was a large sum of money in those days and didn't realize what bills had to be payed with that amount. While listening to the radio this morning, I heard an ad about the "Radio Supper Club" and that you can buy dinner for two for $20. Times sure have changed haven't they?
What does reading and listening to records have to do with self-reliance? If someone had not taken the time to record these things, I would not have them. If I didn't know the hard things my ancestors went through, survived and were very happy despite the lack of funds (or what ever) - how would I know I can too? If I am ever called to go through similar trials, I can learn how they put their faith in action and made it work.
Here are some things I've learned while diving into this amaz-ilicious treasure trove:
- Home-made music lifts the soul
- It doesn't hurt the children to work hard too
- When brothers and sisters can play together (kick the can, run sheepy run, the good ol' fashioned play house and dress up) it creates lasting bonds
- Family traditions are so important to children
- Parents can make even the most scant Christmases magical (it is all in the attitude)
These really are only a few.
When my GGGG Aunt Betsy Jane Tenney sat down to write a brief history of her life, little did she know that her record would be one of only a few we would be able to find about her parents and their trials. She was the Relief Society President at the time in her ward. They were building the church building and would put her record in a vault to be opened long after her death. In 1930 that building was torn down and the record given to one of her daughters. This record has the most amazing story that has affected my life and blessed countless people. When their family reached Winter Quarters my GGG Grandfather William Tenney passed away. Two of his children would die there also. My GGG Grandmother Eliza was heartbroken. She felt she couldn't go to Zion without them. So Betsy Jane with her family, brother Warren and Mother Eliza moved to Quincy Illinois to live for a time. Betsy's son became so sick he was close to death. She asked her brother to administer to him and give him a blessing, but he didn't have the priesthood. As Betsy prayed, she told Heavenly Father that there was no one to administer to him and she was scared for his life. If he could be healed, she knew they were to make the trek west to be with the saints. The Holy Ghost told her what to do. He recovered more every day. Betsy knew what she must do. She worked for two years to earn enough for two wagons so they could go. Her choices changed my life. I'm so glad to have that record.
I encourage you to be the record keepers for your family. When we take just a short amount of time to record these things, it could strengthen the testimony of your GGGG grand nieces and nephews. That's pretty amazing if you ask me.