Thursday, June 13, 2013

Whhhhhaaaaaaat're yoooouuuuuu doing here?

What is my job and what is our purpose in Nebraska?

Well, I am a research assistant for the Winter Quarters Project. is the place to go [see link on the side]. Here is a short description taken from the website:

The Winter Quarters Project is based at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. This is an ongoing effort to gather information about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who lived in the Winter Quarters area between the years of 1846 and 1853. We are also researching the settlements created by the pioneers and the causes of death among the Saints at that time.

This part is kinda precious:

I was hired at the beginning of May and was asked to go to Nebraska one week later. So before I was asked to go, I was assigned to find out more about Walnut Creek, a newly discovered settlement during the pioneer time. Right when I thought I was getting some answers, Dr. A.Y. invited me to go to Nebraska and gave me a new project: Springville. I was given a list of names of people who were known to live there, and I needed to find out as much information as I could. So I’ve been using and to find their records. I also love! It’s pretty explanatory—it helps you find tombstones and cemeteries of your ancestors. All the links should be on the side :) I have a huge spreadsheet with tons of information on these Springville, IA residents. Their birthdates, marriage dates, death dates, parents’ names, children’s names, company that they traveled with to the valley, and a list of sources. So that is my job, and I love it!

A picture of pioneers when they arrived in Salt Lake City

Now, what are we doing out in Nebraska and Iowa? No, we don’t have shovels—we are not digging up graves. Apparently that’s illegal. We are meeting with people who may know more information about where people may be buried, but it’s not marked. They are most likely forgotten. So what’s the point of finding the graves, but not digging them up to get the DNA?

“We gather the history of the Latter-day Saints at the Missouri River. We work to understand the people, places, and events that happened between 1846 and 1853. We gather information about the descendents of pioneers to help them connect their family lines. When the people in the area are aware that there is a cemetery, something changes in the area. The Spirit of Elijah is touching the residents of the area, and pushing them to find out who their ancestors are and where they are.” – Sis. Lately.

“To gather information about settlements that have been populated by early saints that are no longer there, and find cemeteries that go with those settlements.” – Dr. A.Y.

This was very unkept and very few people know that it exists. It was out in the middle of nowhere!
 These people know that they could use this land to farm it, but they don’t. It’s a sacred land. So this is a sacred mission and I LOVE IT!! I’m learning way too much history for my brain to hold. My next posts will be catching up on all these other days we’ve spent out here. I hope I explained everything well enough :)

Look - I found a Bassett! Possible ancestor for my relatives!

No comments:

Post a Comment