In March of this year our Stake President challenged us to find a family name by June 4. I was a bit overwhelmed, because I had printed off my fan chart and it was completely filled 8 generations back. I had no idea where to start. On March 17 I was sitting in a church meeting when I got an email from my uncle Doug in Naperville, Illinois, that said:
"Dear Family Members,
I am taking a break from work on BJA's Personal History to do some family history research.
1. To identify family members who have deceased.
2.To take their names to the temple for ordinance work.
Are any of you doing work or would you be interested in doing work in this?
Within moments I replied:
This is my most earnest desire. Show me the way. I am a total novice.
Later that evening (just before I went on stage for a church production) Doug sent me instructions on how to access original records maintained by the Lutheran Church in Sweden. These parish clerical surveys were equivalent to a census prior to the 1900s.
We worked together to dig through records in search of information. Eventually, I migrated further along the branch he had targeted and started searching the parish records for another set of Swedish relatives that lived in the early 1800s, and I struck gold.
I found the clerical surveys for my great-great-great-great grandfather's family on the farm in Ekebro, Backaryd Norregard, Hamneda Parish, Kronoberg County, Sweden. Tracing through 60 years of records I saw his children grow up, leave the farm, then return to the farm with their own families, who then repeated the cycle.
In the end, I was able to connect their daughter Anna Stina (my great-great-great-great aunt) with her Danish husband Lars and their four children (three born in Denmark, one born in Sweden). The three boys born in Denmark had already had their temple work done as temple file extraction names, but I was able to connect them all together and then request ordinance work for two names: Lars and the Swedish-born daughter Amanda.
My neice and nephew in St. George, Utah, printed off the names and took them to the temple to do baptisms and confirmations this week. Thanks uncle Doug!