Thursday, April 5, 2012

Researching On Location - Just A Cool Thing To Do

Morgan County, Utah

On our church mission we are to take one day a month and use it for personal research or Temple attendance. Today was that day for me. I was using it to try and learn more about my grandmother Nancy Athena Porter. I went to Porterville, Morgan County, Utah.

First of all, I know we can't all visit all of the places our grandparents lived. But when we can, it's can be both effective and important. I would recommend doing research first so you go focused and organized.

One of my finds was about my Great Great Grandfather, John President Porter. I learned some things about him today that I found interesting. I could relate to him. Tomorrow I will post a story about him that I came upon in the Morgan County Historical Society which they said I was welcome to copy and publish.

I loved going to my ancestors towns Porterville and Morgan. It was a great learning experience. Even though I found nothing specific about my grandmother Nancy. I did learn about other Porter grandparents and more.

I learned how valuable it is to actually visit where your ancestors lived. It was sort of emotional. On that part, I walked where grandparents lived: where their homes were, where they went to church, and I felt what it was like to live in the little valley they settled. My imagination was on fire.

I also learned you can glean more information by being there than by phoning or writing. O K, now I want to go to England and Ireland, perhaps to Tennessee and Virginia.

I began my day by dropping into the local LDS Family History Center. I had previously learned what their hours were, 4 hours in the day time and 3 in the evening. That was a good experience. They were oh so willing to help. As I sat at a table reading from books and personal histories they had on file one person there started calling long time citizens of Porterville and Morgan. People serving in these libraries are really there to serve. I found books and histories that were interesting and I loved it.

They then pointed me to the local Morgan County Historical Society. Here I found books, journals, and stories about many of my ancestors. There was a lot about Joseph Rich Porter, who I have two stories on line now about, and more coming. I found the addresses of two of Joseph Rich Porters grandparents homes. I found their homes that way. They are posted in this article.

The next thing I learned, take a good camera with you. My iPhone1 photos are not that great as you can see.

While looking at the homes I found people to talk to. Some had lived there 50 years or more. One lady driving her grandchildren down an old dirt road, on a big dune buggy sort of machine stopped and talked about the valley. She pointed out another Porter home nearby.

It was a relaxing yet exciting day. It was a day to visit the almost in rubble old church my ancestors helped build. It was visiting the stream that my Grandma Nancy's mother fished from each day. It was realizing a lot how it was to live here, to understand why so many people were born here and won't leave. The young married woman at the Historical Society was an example. She doesn't want to live anywhere else. I understand.


  1. Good, lucky you. Makes me wish I could travel!

  2. Nancy Athena's niece Dorothy Helen Porter Anderson died in Burley in 1995. FYI.