Wherever life takes Emily Marsh, she’ll be doing family history work
Emily Marsh is one of 62 youth who attended the first annual MyFamily History Youth Camp at BYU. The camp prepares youth ages 14 to 18 to serve as family history consultants if asked to do so.
Emily, 15, is about to begin her junior year in high school. She lives in Coco, Florida, where her family moved recently. She has been doing family history research since she was 12.
“I got started because I was now 12 and able to do baptisms for the dead,” she says. “Ever since I was little kid I’ve had a fascination for old family photos. In my house we have a huge photo of my great-grandfather’s family when they were moving from Wyoming to Salmon, Idaho. I was able to find out more about my great-grandfather's family.
“I try to find the gaps in my tree. I find the parents and branch out and try to find names that need to be taken to the temple. I love finding documents, photos and stories—that just makes it all come to life. You really grow a love for them.”
In one family history experience, she was able to do all those things.
“My third great-grandmother is Paris Electra Dutton Howeth,” she says. “For the longest time, I couldn't find her parents. Nobody in my family could find them. We even got professionals, and they couldn’t find them. So I posted on a genealogy message board and got a response from a distant cousin in Oklahoma, where she had lived. He had a court document that mentioned that her father had died in the Civil War and her mother committed suicide. So Paris went to live with her aunt and uncle.
“Since I got an actual picture of Paris I have known she had Native American blood. It turned out that she has Choctaw and Chickasaw blood on her mother's side, mostly Choctaw. That was like a big finding.”
No matter where life takes her, Emily says, “I know I'm always going to be doing family history—it's such a passion of mine, and it brings so much joy. This week has been a really great experience. I have learned about different websites to try, and I learned more about Swedish last names. One of my third great-grandmothers, her father's name was Jon, so her name was Amelia Jonsdotter.”