Such is the enthusiasm at the Dudley Hill congregation in Leeds, that all the members took up the challenge to find names of their deceased ancestors and then attend the temple to complete the required work.
The members decided to follow the path of a 40 day challenge to see how successful they could be within that time period.
The ‘My Family’ booklet was presented to the members and on the following Sunday everyone was challenged to find a new name in their ancestry over the next 40 days.
Commented Beverley Smith, Family History consultant, “I prayed about it and I felt I was directed to the list of women on my family tree who were shown by their first name only. There turned out to be 240 women. I opened the list and prayed again, then I started at the top of the list and went past the Anns, Amelias and Elizabeths and there she was, an Emily. I knew without any doubt that she was ‘my person'.
After some research, she turned out to be the daughter of Henry Stockings and Mary Cox and the wife of Daniel Barnard Farr, born on the 30 April 1853 in Garboldisham, Suffolk. I now had her complete name, which could be submitted to the temple.”
Beverley continued, “I began posting daily helps on Dudley Hill congregation's Facebook page, set up a display at Church and a weekly reminder of how many days were left. 40 days go by very fast!
“Then the miracles began to happen. One sister came to me a couple of Sundays in and said 'I found my person'. Being one of the members that felt her tree was already complete and she wouldn't find anyone else, she had prayed about it and with some research she had found someone who needed temple work. From then on the requests for help came in thick and fast and I as well as the other family history consultants were kept busy assisting members with their research.”
Barry Cooper, local priesthood leader, related his experience, “When I was researching my mother’s ancestors many years ago, I had no information regarding her father, who was not named on her birth certificate. When I told Susanne Rooney about this, she suggested that I give her what I had and she would look into it for me.
“The next day she called me on the phone and told me she had found my maternal grandfather and that she also had an additional 69 names for me. You can imagine how I felt about her discoveries.”
Commenting on the resources she had used to find these names, Susanne mentioned that she had done the research using Ancestry.co.uk, civil registrations, parish records, censuses and WWI records. She felt that she had been prompted by the Spirit to achieve such great results.
On the 29th August, four of the youth from Dudley Hill joined with eight youth from the Wharfe Valley congregation to take 59 names from Dudley Hill and 10 from Wharfe Valley to Preston Temple to complete the baptisms and confirmations.
Thanks are due for the hard work and assistance provided by the consultants in Dudley Hill, with additional support from Diane Winter at the Family History Centre at Vesper Road in Leeds.
Information was discovered on over 150 ancestors in the UK, India and Jamaica.