Monday, March 4, 2019

Are Prayers Answered?

Yesterday in Sunday School in the Half Moon Bay ward we were discussing answers to prayers and the fact that a key to getting answers to prayers is to Ask and Seek. In discussing examples of answered prayers, I shared one from our family that is a perfect example of an incident that can be viewed by a believer (like myself) as an answered prayer but by a non-believer as an unanswered prayer. _ This morning, exploring a new Family History feature at, I came across some results that made me realize we have another such example. High School Yearbooks are now indexed by name and crosslinked to pictures. Here are 3.
Cool Pictures of my Dad Lloyd Ross McGee from 10th grade at Jordan High School in 1943; Junior Year in 1944 in American Fork Utah and Senior year in 1945 at American Fork. MyHertitage, in addition to indexing, also estimates the birth year and gave this:
which jumped out at me since Dad's birth year is 1926 instead of 1928. His natural graduation class would have been 1944. As soon as he graduated in May of 1945, he joined the Army and was in basic training by the time World War II ended in Europe in May and in the Pacific in August. He ended up being sent to Europe as part of the after-war occupation. While that was still a dangerous time, it was far less dangerous than 1944 had been. So what was the Miracle that kept my father safe during the war? For that, you need to jump back a few years, before the war. Somewhere between 5th and 9th grade, the Ross McGee family was living in Granite Utah. They were a large and religious family, their family prayers often included requests for protection from harm and danger. But one cold winter day during that time, their home caught fire. It had something to do with warming engine oil on the stove that then caught fire. The home was destroyed and the family moved in with Aunt and Uncle Washburn a block or so down the road but in the course of the disruption, my Dad missed a year of school and got delayed one year from his peers that he had started with. So were their prayers NOT answered because they lost their home? ...or was my father's delayed schooling the REAL answer to all those prayers? Believers and non-believers can view the same events and have their own desires confirmed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Omer Martin McGee 1910-1998

Omer Martin McGee 1910-1998. He is a second cousin of my Dad.  Omer and his wife Elinor, ran the McGee Christmas Tree farm in Placerville CA. It seems like the Tree farm is still in operation by their kids. My dad met him once and I remember stopping at the tree farm in Placerville CA, but before I knew what our relationship was.

In 1991, Omer McGee helped compile a book on the descendants of Amos Kilburn and Henry McGee. This book is no longer in print.  It does include the court documents when the McGee clan tried to gain membership in the Cherokee nation.

Omer's Find-a-Grave entry discusses his experiences during World War II.  His wife's [Elinor Cole McGee] obituary has more details about their life together including pioneering the McGee Christmas Tree farm. She has her individual accomplishments, including graduating from UC Berkley at age 17,  at that time [1930], the youngest person ever to receive a degree from Cal Berkeley. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Family History picture
Shadow of Lloyd Ross McGee photographing the headstone for his father, Ross Solon McGee in St. George Utah.

Even from the shadow, I can see who it is.

Graduation announcement

I just connected to the website MyHeritage via the free access available through Family Search.  Lots of nice original material.  Here is one, the Graduates at the University of Utah printed 31 Aug 1957.
I'm pretty sure we weren't still in Utah for this date even though the address is listed as Midvale. We lived in a basement room at Grandma Maynes for about three months  while Dad finished his PhD before moving to Delaware. We moved onto his new job at DuPont as soon as possible, He probably just asked them to mail his diploma to Grandma's home in Midvale. By the time.of the graduation ceremony,  Jimmy was on the way in time to be born in Jan 1958 in Delaware.

From the announcement, co-graduates of Dad's, Bruce Barton was also at DuPont and maybe even moved to Thiokol at the same time.  David Grant became a professor at the University of Utah and was there when I was an undergraduate.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Appreciation from President Spencer W Kimball

Related to Alpheus Gifford,  This letter from Spencer W Kimball in 1975 comments on the missionary work of Alpheus Gifford who shared the Gospel with Heber C Kimball.

This letter was read at the family reunion held September 6, 1975 in Zion Canyon.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
47 East South Temple Street
Salt Lake City Utah 84111

Spencer W. Kimball, PRESIDENT
September 3, 1975


Dear Friends:

       As one who is very grateful, may I express the gratitude
of the Kimball family that your ancestor, Alpheus Gifford,
was so responsible for bringing our ancestor into the Church.

     I believe in family reunions and believe that much good
can be accomplished by the association of family members to
recount stories of the family and keep them fresh in the
memory of the people of the family.

     I hope also that the members of your family will keep rec-
ords of their own lives and the lives of their family members.
Such biographies and autobiographies become very precious as
time goes on and generations succeed each other.

     Please accept my best wishes, and may I express apprecia-
tion for the other members of the Kimball family and also for
the Church for your faithfulness and devotion and loyalty.

     With kindest wishes,
                                                                Faithfully yours,

                                                                  Spencer W Kimbasll

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Stories from the Early church

Links to another blog with a common Ancestor and several stories from their early lives.
Alpheus Gifford and Anna Nash

FTA: Alpheus married Anna Nash on 27 Feb 1817. They had “seven sons and three daughters. In the spring of 1831, hearing of the doctrines taught by Joseph Smith, he made diligent inquiry and found they were scriptural and was baptized and ordained a priest; he brought home five books of Mormon which he distributed among his friends; he was then living in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Soon after he went to Kirtland, Ohio, to see the Prophet Joseph Smith and the brethren, when he was ordained an elder; he was accompanied by his brother Levi, Elial Strong, Eleazer Miller, Enos Curtis, and Abraham Brown, who were baptized. On returning to Pennsylvania he preached and baptized many, among whom was Heber C. Kimball. 

and close friends;
Enos and Ruth Curtis

FTA: Evidently, some of the near neighbors of Enos and Ruth, in Sullivan, were Levi (1798-1860) and Deborah Wing (1794-1877) Gifford. Apparently, Levi’s older brother, Alpheus Gifford (1793-1841), who was an independent preacher, had at one time lived in Sullivan, then in Hector, Schuyler County, New York, then had come back to live in Rutland, Tioga County.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lightening strikes man while in his home.

This is an old newspaper clipping found in Dad's collection of important papers. This is a story about Dad's first cousin... No date given but also published in Weekly World News under the date 9 Aug 1988.
Image may contain: 2 people, phone

Harvey Leo McGee b 1905 in Kirtland New Mexico was Dad's first cousin.  Harvey's mother was the sister of Grandpa McGee's first wife so Harvey was a double cousin with Dad's older half brothers and sisters.  This incident with the lightening strike occurred in 1987 or 1988 when Harvey was 82 years old.  He passed away in 1993.  Here is a link to the Find-a-Grave information.