I found such a cool web site for helping with family history research. The story goes like this…
I have been doing family history research like crazy. It is so addictive! Like an overeater with chocolates, I can’t control myself. I keep saying in my head, “Just one more…” Only in this case, it’s one more name. One more name to do temple work for. As a mother who doesn’t want any of her babies to suffer, be cold, or lonely, I feel that way towards these distant people who have left the earth but need temple work done to be exalted. I came across a name in the transcription of an 1850 census listed as “Nagaline” as the youngest child of age 2 in a big family. This is a family of distant relatives by marriage to my ancestors. That sounded like an interesting girl’s name. I checked though and it turns out this person was a boy. Hmmm, what a funny name. I looked at the actual handwriting and the letter “g” actually looked like “p,” so it was Napaline. What a strange name. I started writing down all the names and figuring out the approximate birth years of the children in this family. Then I did some more research. I felt drawn to this person with the funny name. First I searched for him in ancestry.com with his name and birth year. Nothing came up. Then I searched for a person with the initials, first and middle, and the last name of this “Nagaline/Napaline,” and the birth year and birthplace. One thing that came up was a list of soldiers in the Civil War, with that person, only it said that his name was “Napoleon.” Hmmm, is this really the same person? Then, for some reason, I decided to do a Google search for this person.
Wow, what came up was a hit to a site called http://findagrave.com. It had a picture of his gravestone, said that he was a Civil War vet (for the Confederacy) and most importantly, gave me some family links. It said he was the son of the two people that I was hoping he was the son of, giving me their exact names and birth years, so I could confirm. It also gave me bonus information! It told me the name of his two wives, and the children he had by these two wives, and then the name of the child that his son had. Wow, I felt like I had hit a gold mine! I also found gravestones for some of the Durham family. That’s the family I wrote about in the last post. The grandfather was a doctor in Georgia, and he had sons and grandsons who were doctors. He had a 13 acre herb garden that he used for medicine. My children got baptized for these people yesterday. I feel that the Spirit guided me to this man’s name. He is in the spirit world happy to know that someone searched him out and is doing his temple work so he can be with his family forever.I think he’s also happy that some one figured out his name is Napoleon and not Nagaline or Napaline. I am wondering if Napoleon said with a Southern drawl sounds like Napaline.
This site is so cool! It is a genealogist’s dream! You can see the graves of famous people, and search for anyone you want. They don’t have everybody’s graves, but I think the database is growing every day. Not all of the gravestones have comments attached with family links, but the one I just mentioned just happened to. This site was founded by some guy in SLC. I think it would be a cool job to work for findagrave.com, going around the world taking pictures of gravestones.
The spirit of Elijah has caught on fire in me. My sister-in-law told me that the spirit of Elijah, according to Elder Russell M. Nelson, is a witness from the Holy Ghost that the family is the divine, eternal unit of society. It makes your heart soften towards your ancestors and relatives, and in turn that softens your heart towards your children. It is intertwined with the atonement of Jesus Christ, as it helps the human family be united as one family in Christ. It is the medicine that today’s world needs, and the way that the earth will be saved.