Family History Moment: 135 Pages of Relatives’ Names

Contributed By J. Scott Sceili, Church News contributor

  • 13 December 2017

I am the oldest of seven siblings in my family. With both parents being deceased, I had the nagging feeling for years that I needed to work on our family history.

My maternal grandparents both came from a long line of stalwart members of the Church, and most of their genealogy had already been done. My paternal grandmother also came from stalwart settlers in the Utah Territory. My paternal grandfather, Joseph Edmunds Sceili, however, was not a member of the Church and we had very little information on him. He was born in 1862 in Stephens Township, Ontario, Canada. He married his first wife, Margaret May Blesser, in 1889 and had three daughters with her.

She died in 1913. He then married my grandmother, Cordelia Susan Middlemas, in 1919. My grandfather was 57 years old and my grandmother was 23. They had four children, and he passed away in 1931. My father and his siblings were very young at his passing, and there was little or no written or verbal family history regarding his ancestors. My grandmother never remarried. She passed away in 1971.

In 2010, I was on the internet looking for information on one of my current relatives, which had nothing to do with my family history activities. In the process, a posting popped up and in the posting was the name of a person with my last name: Sceili. Our last name is not very common and suddenly it got my full attention. I clicked on the posting, and to my astonishment and surprise there were 135 pages filled with names of my relatives. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It seemed like a miracle. I quickly printed two copies of the posting. Three days later, I searched again for that posting and it had been taken down.

This information had been posted by a fellow in Canada. I emailed him and found out he was not a member of the Church and the actual research had been done by one of his neighbors who was legally blind, and he had volunteered to post this genealogy online.

With this miracle came the responsibility of doing the temple ordinances for these relatives. During the process I definitely felt the presence of those on the other side somehow assisting in the work. Since that time I have been blessed by the willingness of family members, ward members, and many others to help with these sacred ordinances. To date, the work for more than 9,000 relatives has been completed and I estimate that somewhere around 27,000 individual ordinances have been done.

J. Scott Sceili is a member of the Midas Creek 1st Ward, South Jordan Utah Midas Creek Stake