A Tour Back in Time
July 1998

“A Tour Back in Time,” Ensign, July 1998, 72

A Tour Back in Time

To help our extended family members get to know their ancestors, my nephew David Swenson and I worked together to create a self-guided tour through several nearby cemeteries. His idea was to prepare a tape recording with directions to the cemetery and to the individual graves of our ancestors, together with recorded stories and other information about each person.

Since I had spent many years gathering information, histories, and pictures of our ancestors, I knew I could provide what he needed. David made a form that I could fill out for each individual. It included their birth and death dates and places; their parents, spouse (and how they met), and children; and an interesting anecdote. He also asked for a photograph if one was available.

I took the material out to his home, where we scanned the photos and entered the information into a computer. He also spent many hours mapping routes within each cemetery and organizing our material on tape. David obtained the help of several men and women in his ward to read the histories into a tape recorder as though they were the actual ancestor speaking to his or her descendants today.

When we were ready, we invited the extended family to gather at his home. David presented each family with a loose-leaf binder that had a nice cover. The binder contained a pedigree chart and a message about each ancestor. A zippered pouch in the binder held the cassette tape.

Although I had visited each of the graves previously, I went again and walked to each site, listened to the tape, and looked at the photos. As I did so, I felt as if my ancestors were standing there beside me, and tears came to my eyes. It was an emotional and spiritual experience, and it helped me feel closer than ever before to many of my ancestors.—Florence C. Youngberg, Salt Lake City, Utah