Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Scripture; My Family Tree

D&C 2:2

" And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers."

Over the years I have often wondered why I care so much about the connections I make and keep with people. I have been teased a bit about the fact that I remember names, faces, people and places, and I try to take it as a compliment. I have always found interest and fascination in learning about where I came from, and wondering where do my roots begin? You may have noticed that I have changed the title to my blog, I was inspired by a new show about people searching their genealogy, it struck a cord with me and I hope to tell more of the stories that I know of my family so that my children will know them too.

It is a blessing to be part of a church that is motivated and encouraging of others learning of their families and then doing the work to keep all the lines open for the generations to come. Here is a link to a talk given my L. Tom Perry, Entitled The Value of a Good Name

For tonight I would love to share a little part of my family tree

This is my Grandfather, Veljko Novakovic, that was his given name but when he and his family came to the United States when he was just 7 years old his name changed to Stephen Novakovich to sound more "American". My Grandfather was born in Budancia, Yugoslavia in 1902 to Duro & Soka, they were later known as Sofia & George. Once they immigrated to the U.S, they settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where his family found community with many others who had come from the same place or similar circumstances. My Grandfather however decided his dreams were bigger than Milwaukee and when he was 19 years old he ran away from his family, changing his name to Frank Morris and moved around using a flooring business to make money. He eventually wound up in Northern Nevada where he met my Grandmother Amy Jenkins, a teacher and a Mormon, they married and moved to Utah. By this time my Grandfather had finished his education as a Mechanical Engineer, which over the years would take them all around the world. My Grandmother did not learn of his true identity until they had 4 children and had been married many years, they would have to change the children's (my aunts & uncles) birth certificates to the new last name of Novakovich, in fact, my mother was the only one born with the Novakovich last name. Stephen was a devoted husband, father and provider.
My Grandfather and his family

Grandpa holding my Mom

My Grandparents

I love learning and knowing of my family history, it makes me feel closer to those that were here blazing the trails in their time. I wasn't lucky enough to know him, he died before I was 2 so I have no memory of him, but that is why I am so grateful for the rich stories that have been passed down. His adventures didn't die with him, they have been saved and cherished, there even exists a tape of him telling the stories of his life in Yugoslavia as a little boy. It makes me realize how truly important it is for me to keep a good record or records of my story, my adventures, because someday my grand kids will be able to say "Oh that Grandma Kelley, she was a real piece of work."

I hope you all won't mind that I will continue to share pieces of my family history through my blog, I want it to be written down and documented. I don't want to forget these precious glimpses that I have been given into the lives of those that came before. Maybe some of you will share stories of your family history, or maybe it will encourage you to seek out the stories you don't already know. There are tons of great tools out there in order to find out about your genealogy, here are some links
They are all free and easy to navigate! The first link is my favorite, it is the largest database out there!!

Happy Sunday

All my Love

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