Doing family history is 'just a wonderful feeling'

Raymond Hart Race

Family history brings families together. Raymond Kent Race, of Oro Grande, California, has spent much of his life in family history research, starting at age 21.

His family came to California from Minnesota in the late 1870s, settling in Santa Monica, where they operated various businesses over the years.

"When I go to the cemetery in Santa Monica, I reverence the fact that these are my ancestors," Raymond says. "There are several unmarked graves, too. I have participated in the sealings of grandparents and brothers and sisters. It's just a wonderful feeling." One of his more memorable experiences happened during the week before his daughter was sealed in the temple. He'd been doing temple work, and "I had a feeling of 'you forgot me' that nagged at me for the whole week," he said. Finally, "I realized I had forgotten my grandfather's brother, Donald Webb. The feeling went away after I did his work."

A middle school math and science teacher, Raymond serves as branch president over the men's area of the federal prison in Victorville, California. His wife is the Relief Society president for the women's area. He's even found opportunities to do family history there."I've helped Chaplain Richards, the prison chaplain at Victorville, by doing six generations of his family," he says.

Another of his projects is helping his nonmember daughters-in-law with their family history. "It really brings families together," he says. This year (2013) was Raymond's second time to attend the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy.

"I'm learning that I am on the right track," he says with a smile. "I picked the 'Genealogy in the Cloud' track. This conference is just wonderful. There are a lot of people who know a whole lot more than I do."

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