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How I Got Here

Why do people research their family history? The answers are probably as varied as the individuals searching. Some people do it for religious reasons; others for medical or genetic purposes; some in order to gain membership to special organizations such as the Mayflower Descendants; retired people compile a family history to pass on to their grandchildren; and still others simply to find out where they came from since what we are is a compilation of all that has gone before.


My story falls into the last category. Family history is not something that I thought about prior to 1991. Perhaps there were some thoughts when Roots was telecast in the early 1980’s but not enough to make me do anything about it. During the summer of 1991 while on vacation in Florida one of my cousins shared some research she had begun. Her interest had been piqued by a request from her father to transcribe some notes he had taken while visiting with her grandfather during his final illness. Her grandfather had come to the United States from Sweden and the notes encouraged her to find out more about her family history.

Sarah, my oldest daughter, was fascinated by the amount of information that had been collected. When she returned for her freshman year in high school that fall, she received an assignment for an independent study project. She decided that she wanted to know more about her Family History, and especially about the “Moughty” name. So began our jigsaw puzzle.


To tell you the truth, Sarah got an “A” on her project and quickly forgot about it. I, on the other hand, became hooked. I traveled a great deal as a Regional Sales Manager for Apple Computer, including frequent trips to California. It didn’t take me long to discover that there was a 6 a.m. flight on Friday mornings (my travel day) to Salt Lake City. I could get to the Family History Library by 10 a.m. and work all day Friday and Saturday, returning home on Sunday. As a part time genealogist, I worked on my family for the next ten years whenever I could find the time. In 2002, I decided to “retire” from Apple and begin my career as a professional genealogist. Now, I have little to no time to work on my own family.



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Here is lovely quote from "Middlemarch" by George Eliot that I often use when someone asks me why I do genealogy:

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” – George Eliot, Middlemarch.

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I began in earnest in 1992 when I got my first genealogy database program, Roots III. I went to The Master Genealogist program until it was unsupported which led me to Legacy. My happiest moment is "resurrecting" someone lost to recent memory or records - usually a young deceased child - or someone who left home and was "lost." Women they may have married and are concealed under their husband's or husbands' names.

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