Temple Square

Family tradition says every year we will make it down to SLC at Christmas time for a walk through Temple Square, the hub of the LDS church, when they have nativities and beautiful lights all on display. Some years we don't make it, and others we do, but it's never the same-- and this year was no different.

When the farm took the turn it did (no profit, not able to support a family), my father took on truck driving as his new career. He's gone, A LOT; I think he's usually home only a couple days a week, and I'm lucky if I get to see him since he usually departs on Sunday mornings, and I don't arrive home until Sunday evening. Despite his absence we still have love and fun as a family, and he's always in our thoughts if he's not around.

Back to the subject, temple square, part of our family went down on Sunday night to take in the experience and it was wonderful! My brother, sister-in law & nephew had to miss out as they were working on their building plans, and my dad was out of town. That left the other 4 kids (myself included) and mom to fulfill tradition.

It was cold night, and after we had made it most of the way around the block, we noticed a warm building with a choir singing inside-- we quickly ducked in, but much to our dismay, the choir was wrapping up. Then we found the family search center kiosks-- the lights and nativities were soon forgotten as we dug up the names and birthplaces of our ancestors. We've always known about my mom's side of the family, complete with incest and polygamy, but my beyond my dad's grandparents his family was a mystery to us. I called my grandma and asked her what my great-grandpa's middle name is, and explained that we were all sitting together reading about where we come from. Turns out my moms side is mostly English and Irish, but from my dad's side we've got England, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark! I had no idea!

We looked at the lineage of our Danish relatives and saw the evolution of a family name: Hansen. The surname would change each generation, and we quickly understood the way it was chosen. The children of a family would take their father's first name and make it their last, adding "sen." For example (and I'll make a few of these up because I don't remember exact names and we had no pen or paper), so-and-so Hansen is the son of Hans Petersen, who is the son of Peter Jakobsen, who is the son of Jakob .....sen. It all makes sense, but for the tracking of family names and lineage, it would be quite a task to find each new generation. And I have a great-great-great-great (etc) grandpa named Michael Clark.

I gotta give it to the Mormons-- they have some great ideas, genealogy included.


  1. Mandy -

    We actually have a lot of royalty on the Rudd side as well, so we can go quite far back in the genealogy. Maybe when you're in MD I'll show you the stuff I've been working on. I'm excited to see you and take you to dinner in a month!! Love you! Sara


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