Side Trip Lets Them Correct The Records

Eric and Ruth Castillo Eggett

When Eric and Ruth Castillo Eggett left home in San Diego to come to this year’s BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy, they were hoping for a family history adventure–and they got one.

Eric explained, “We knew of the birth of my grandfather in Moroni, Utah, and we knew where he was buried. But what we didn’t know was all the information about his parents and even those beyond. Because it says in our records, in all the genealogy we see, it says Sanpete [County]. That’s a pretty big place to look if you’re trying to find somebody.”

They stopped in Manti, Utah, “just to kind of call it a place to enjoy ourselves because we weren’t in a hurry,” he continued. “We went to the county records office there and asked for some help trying to find some death records, just to see if we could validate what our information was. And they looked, but they couldn’t find anything for us. And they suggested we go to Salt Lake as another source. They said, ‘There’s some pioneer cemeteries along the way. Maybe you can look and see if you’ve got anything.’”

Their next stop was at a pioneer cemetery in Ephraim. “That one didn’t prove worthwhile–we didn’t find any names that we knew there,” Eric said. “And I said, well, the next place along the way that we can get to would be Moroni. Let’s try this, just in case.”

They had a little trouble finding the cemetery in Moroni at first because of inaccuracies in Google Maps, but eventually they found it.

“The fun part was, right as you drive up inside the cemetery they have a map, and then they have a three-ring binder of all the names of everybody in the cemetery,” Eric said. “Because it wasn’t manned, that made it easier for us. We looked at it and said, ‘Hey! There’s one I recognize. That’s a name from our family history, our genealogy.’”

Using the map, they found the headstone for Eric’s great-grandfather, John H. Larson, and his wife. “So I was like, wow!” Eric said. “Everything matches, we take pictures, and of course I get to be in this picture as well–so it’s a connection to family.”

They returned to the list in the three-ring binder, thinking that the last name of other ancestors may have been misspelled there. “Larson, Larsen–sometimes they do that,” Eric said. “And sure enough, we find another name, and it’s the great-great-grandparents. It’s misspelled in the listing, but when you go to the headstone, it’s Larson. That’s exactly who we’re looking for.”

Then Ruth, who was recently called as a ward family history consultant, said, “What about children? Are there any here?”

There were.

“It was just so amazing to make that connection,” Eric said. “The funny part is, I have cousins that live up and down the Wasatch Front. I don’t think anybody’s ever taken the time to correct the records. So now we’re going to make that correction. It was just amazing for us to have that experience. And now we have other reasons to go back to Sanpete County and look at things like the old homes.”

“Yeah, now we have connections,” Ruth said.

A lot of the family history research on Eric’s side of the family has been done.

“I’ve learned, though, even when it’s been done, you need to look at it carefully,” he said. “We were in the temple, and one of the sisters said her 14-year-old daughter discovered in some of the genealogy they had that they hadn’t been sealed. So I look at things to see if all the information’s there. I asked for a picture of my grandmother, who passed away when I was four years of age. So I do not recognize or know what she looks like. And I asked my cousins, and nobody said anything. So I’m still trying to figure out, what does my grandmother look like? I have pictures, but I don’t know if it’s even her. So there’s still some things to look for.”

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