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05 October 2010

Tuesday Tales: Salt Lake City Two Years Later

Mary Mettler returns! It's been two years since Mary shared her genealogy road trip across the country in the ten-part Tuesday Tales series. Now Mary is traveling again and is back with some new blog adventures. Thanks so much, Mary!

I’m on the road again for several family weddings and gatherings – mixed in, of course, with some genealogy! As always, my first stop was in Salt Lake City. The LDS Family History Library has added some additional scanners for microfilm. Two years ago, I signed up for my half-hour slot and was bumped off promptly. This year I was able to scan to my heart’s content. As to be expected when one doesn’t use equipment for awhile, I needed some technology assistance. My techie was a bit unusual! Pearl is ninety-five years old, yes, 95, and an absolute wizard on the scanner/computer/software! She showed me some shortcuts and tricks and had me well-trained in record time. Although she stood up with me for forty-five minutes, she did admit that she might use her walker a bit by the afternoon! She works three eight-hour days a week and feels it is very important to keep up on technology. I’d say she is doing a terrific job of keeping up!

Every time I come to the library, I look at the wall on the first floor where the library posts a large family tree for a line from which some of the Mormon founders or leaders descend. Each time I have been disappointed that none of my lines were shown. I almost didn’t look this time! There was one of my lines! My 11th great-grandparents, Robert White (1558-1617) and his wife, Bridget Allgar (1562-after 1623), were the progenitors of eleven lines shown on the chart. Each line ended with a well-known person. The eleven famous descendants are Hiram Ulysses Grant, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Shirley Temple Black, William Williams, Emily Dickinson, Steve Young, Donnie Osmond, Joseph Smith, Gordon Hinckley, Lucille Ball and Philo Taylor Farnsworth, my second cousin twice-removed. I quickly figured out that Steve Young was my 12th cousin twice removed. Hmmm…guess I won’t call him for dinner after all! 

My grandnephew, Andrew Mettler, is finishing up jet pilot training with the Marines. He was very excited to learn about the Wright brothers and exclaimed, “The genes must run deep!” The survival of a flight gene through all of those generations would be highly unlikely. But…our cousin flew planes right after World War I; my brother was a career Air Force pilot; my niece has a pilot’s license...

Your Roving Reporter,
Mary Mettler

Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library


Randy Seaver said...

When I was at the FHL in late April, I also was blessed by Pearl's knowledge and guidance. What a great teacher and helper. Only 95, too.