When the Worlds of Westovers and Smiths Collide

When the Worlds of Westovers and Smiths Collide

My great grandfather is Arnold Westover. He married Mary Ann Smith. Both the Westovers and Smiths have great histories. You will learn a lot more about the Smiths in an upcoming video about another Utah pioneer named Albert Smith, of Manti, Utah. But for now I want to focus on his great grandfather, a man with one of the great names in the family, Chileab Smith. Albert’s history speaks of his Ashfield, Massachusetts roots and the strong religious history of the family in the Baptist faith. Chileab was the man in Ashfield, hugely influential and a founder of the BaptistClick to continue…

Our Family in the Spirit World

Our Family in the Spirit World

It has been something of a difficult year. This week we noted the passing of two more family members, the latest felt very keenly with my wife and her dear family. It is a tender time. It is amazing to me how losing a loved one re-centers me. I have found that even attending a funeral for someone who is not a family member touches me on a very fundamental level and reminds me how the things of this world pale in comparison to the eternal principles of love. A good death, it seems, leads to a greater appreciation forClick to continue…

All Family History is Social

All Family History is Social

My DNA results are in. They came in quite unexpectedly, less than 4 weeks after I had sent off my sample. As expected, they have revealed so far no huge surprises. My heritage is dominantly British with a very healthy representation of Mormon Pioneers. Shocker. But even if I had not known that before I was still thrilled to get these results. In the past couple of days since the results arrived I can tell you without reservation that my family history efforts have now risen to an all new level. You see, now I am connected via DNA toClick to continue…

Never Trust a Web Site

Never Trust a Web Site

If there is one thing I am profoundly grateful for over the course of the past four years with this website it is the number of Westovers out there who have reached out to me through it. I’ve met so many wonderful people – distant cousins who I likely never would have otherwise known. We live in an age where such far flung connections are possible. As I continue my research into DNA research I find the miracle in that work is completely tied to making instant connections online. In another time it just would not have been possible. ButClick to continue…

Diving into DNA

Diving into DNA

I have been slow to adopt the use of DNA testing in my family history. But this past week I finally gave in. I bought the test, spit in the tube and mailed off my sample. It will take a couple of months before I get results. What am I hoping to learn? That is the whole thing about DNA testing and why I have been a slow adopter. I have not felt that I needed DNA testing to do my family history. I know where I come from on all sides. Yes, I have certain “holes” on my lines,Click to continue…