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While a university student in Lexington, Va., during 1948, I often spent weekends with my aunt and uncle in Rainelle, W.Va.

My "Auntie Emma" was our Taylor family history expert. One weekend when we were snowed in, she took the opportunity to show me pictures of ancestors I never knew I had.She encouraged me to make notes of what she knew and what data she gave me, encouraging me to keep my own file on my family history. She told me, "Someday you will be married and have children, and you will want to pass on to them some of this interesting history I am telling you now."

She also reminded me that she would not always be on the earth to provide the information.

So I heeded her advice. I kept lots of old photos and the basic charts she filled out with names and places. I also kept a book she gave me that contained a short biography on one of my great-grandfathers.

As she predicted, I did get married about seven years later. And in time, I did, in fact, have a family of two girls and two boys. What she hadn't predicted was the event that changed my life: We joined the Church a couple of years after our second child was born.

In Sunday School classes and priesthood quorum meetings I was soon to learn the importance of those notes my aunt had consigned to me. I got to work and started doing some intense research.

In addition to personally doing all the temple work for ancestors I located back to the year 1699, I also found descendants of George Taylor, my third-great-grandfather. Amazingly, most of them were still living in the general area in England where he lived. And most had children about the age of my children.

One by one, we played host to these Taylors in our home, and we have visited them in theirs. We correspond frequently now. Some of their children have spent their summer vacations with us. We are a united family who all share a common ancestor. I only wish everyone could reap the same rewards by doing their own family history research.