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Blessings of Family History

Family history is a great way to connect with your ancestors and find out more about yourself. That was the case with Lisa Coffey who lives in Meridian, Idaho. She was intrigued by her ancestors since she was very young.  

“I had a natural curiosity about my family,” she said.  

When Coffey was growing up, she lived far away from her grandparents which made it very difficult for her to see them. This gave her a desire to learn more about where she came from. At the age of five, Coffey was also interested in keeping a journal and she has done that ever since.  

“I’ve just loved keeping a journal, it’s a good way to record your thoughts and you tell your story. 
Coffey said. “You know, the next generation can fill in the gaps.” 

Her favorite part about doing family history is understanding more about who her ancestors were. She said too often we simply find their date of birth and their death date, but we need to understand what happened in the middle. What is it that makes that ancestor unique?  

Coffey was interviewed for an article on named, “How Family History Can Combat Feelings of Anxiety and Depression,” where she explained the power she felt when she was doing family history. She has suffered from chronic anxiety and one day she was having a difficult day she pressed forward and tried doing family history. Her efforts resulted in finding her father’s birth certificate.  

“He never had a birth certificate, no one in my family had ever seen it,” she said. “You know I have a few of my parents’ documents, not a lot, but there was never a birth certificate for my dad.”  

It was a birth certificate from Mexico from 1922 which she thought she was never going to find in her lifetime. This opened the doors to finding more records from her ancestors and she was also able to get in contact with family members she hadn’t seen in years.   

“It presented the opportunity for me to see the hand of God in my life,” she said.  

Coffey said the best way to start doing family history is to try to focus on one family member from your ancestors and do research by contacting your family members about that ancestor. There are many times when we focus on getting the whole family tree done at once, but that can take a whole lifetime.  

“Start with one activity you can connect with,” Coffey said. “Staring at a photo, something you can hold in your hands, I have my little dairy…and that will motivate you because that is truly the spirit of Elijah.” 

To read the full article from Church of Jesus Christ click here.