Finding some family history that has not yet been done

Christine McClellan

When Christine McClellan of Orem, Utah, started working on her family history, she already knew a lot, because a lot of her family’s genealogy had been done. The challenge was to find something that had not yet been done, and do it.

“I checked Puzzilla.org one more time and found a little gap,” she says. “I found a descendant of one of my ancestors, but I didn’t know anything about any of his other descendants. So I looked on familysearch.org, and someone had just put this man’s will up. It named his daughters. That got me started. About 150 people are descended from this man.”

Christine found that a half brother of this man had joined the LDS Church in Kirtland, Ohio. He then went to Missouri, Nauvoo, and later Salt Lake. But the man whose will she found remained in the Kirtland area, where he and his descendants continued to farm for generations.

“They are still in rural Ohio,” she says. “I’ve been finding all these people. Looking at the Kirtland census in 1860, they’re still there. Martin Harris was still there too. He stayed in Kirtland after the Saints moved on, then eventually he moved to Utah in his old age.”

One of Christine and her husband Jeff’s daughters is 13 and a ward family history consultant. She and her dad went on a family history trip to Ohio in early June. They visited libraries and cemeteries.

“That got my daughter even more excited,” says Christine. “We were texting all day long!”

Working on her family history has been “really fun, a really good experience for me,” she says. “I actually found somebody I could work on, and it's expanded to about 150 people. It's just been really fun. It's been very addictive.”

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