How I Found My Great-Great-Grandfather

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How I Found My Great-Great-Grandfather

One side of my family history has always been a great mystery. My father’s side has a lot of names. Due to my father and uncle, we can trace his side of the family back to the 1100s. But my mother’s side has always had an air of mystery to it.

Currently, I am the only active child from my parents’ marriage, and no one from my mother’s side is a member of the Church. This makes getting the names to the temple from my mother’s side a task completely up to me. I have often asked my maternal grandfather for some details of his grandparents, but the answer he would always give is, “I don’t know.” There have been years of searching. No records. No information. Nothing. I have asked multiple times, and I have even asked different relatives to ask him just in case he was being difficult for me. Either way, same answer. Then I went to FSY.

FSY had a real focus on family history work, and during our lunchtimes, I took it upon myself to get on the computers and research my family history. I was still looking for those elusive great-great-grandparents.

On arriving back home, I got in contact with my mother once more and asked her to ask my grandad one more time. I hoped something would be different after all these years of chasing him. About a week later, she called me.

She told me that she had contacted my uncle who lives in Ireland again (I had asked him many times before too). He told my mother that a few months previously, a lady whose surname was Mckenna (my mother’s maiden name) contacted him and told him that they were related. Those discussions helped to unearth a whole host of information about my great-grandfather Patrick Mckenna—my grandfather’s father. It was quite a story since my great-grandfather was raised by many different aunts and uncles and subsequently didn’t know who his parents actually were.

Shortly thereafter, my mother went over to Ireland to meet my uncle, and together they explored the graves and talked with quite a few people from Trim.

After so many years of searching, I finally had some information. So I asked my mother, “Where did this lady live?” Sheffield! I was amazed—I live in Sheffield! As a Scot, I came to study at the university and work. She lived less than 10 miles away from me. I immediately called her. A few days later, I went over to her home, met her family (my family) and immediately had about 30 new names to take to the temple.

I never thought I would find these members of my family. I am especially amazed that she lived so close to the only person who could do the work for her ancestors. God’s work really is truly marvelous.