The Voice of Arnold Westover

The Voice of Arnold Westover

Several weeks ago Kevin Cook shared a real gem on FamilySearch: a voice recording of Arnold Westover. I am not certain how old the recording is or exactly when it was made. But in the 19 minute clip below you can hear Grandpa Arnold talk of family history, including small bits of information about his parents and grandparents. This clip is exactly as it was shared on FamilySearch save some minor editing done to reduce the noise level and improve the audio quality. While there is not any information in this audio clip that we do not know — inClick to continue…

A Vision for Rootstech

A Vision for Rootstech

Is anyone out there going to Rootstech this year? Rootstech is the world’s largest convention dedicated to family history. From all over the world people gather to learn more about family history research and to connected with resources, vendors and experts related to geneaology. It is held every winter in Salt Lake City, Utah and now another event is planned for the fall of 2019 in London. Rootstech is not cheap. It costs about $200 for entry to the four day event, although it is quite easy to score free tickets for the usual Family Discovery Day offered on theClick to continue…

Eliza’s Letter

Eliza’s Letter

In catching up on all the family history news I missed over a very busy holiday season I was pleased to see that the Church History Library has at last digitized the letter Eliza Haven Westover wrote to her son Lewis in 1916. This was the letter where Eliza detailed living in Nauvoo as a teenager and witnessing the transfiguration of Brigham Young. We have shared that story before here. I am not sure how many others asked for that to be done. I have been requesting it to be done for more than five years. Eliza Haven Westover wasClick to continue…

The 19th Century Christmas

The 19th Century Christmas

Historians tell us that Christmas in the United States and even the world was not celebrated much prior to Charles Dickens. They claim that the Puritans of Boston banned it and that it was “quite dead” in England of the 18th century. That is all false. While some evidence suggests Christmas was quite different it was not the fragmentary thing they made it out to be in America. In fact, if anything was out of the usual when it came to Christmas it was the Puritan attitude about it. But the Puritans honestly never had a chance with their banClick to continue…

What Christmas Was Like for Them

What Christmas Was Like for Them

In my world there are three seasons: baseball, Christmas and family history. These three things are a backdrop to my life as a husband, father, son, and grandfather. It might be a bit unfair to call them seasons because for me none of them really begin and end. I always seem to be engaged in something connected to each of them. But rarely do those worlds ever collide. Today they do in that I want to address Christmas of our forefathers and just what it was like for them. My interest in Christmas is purely accidental. I was raised inClick to continue…