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  • Writer's pictureJan Bishop

Family History: How did I get here?


Child looking at a map.
Child looking at a map.

Have you ever wondered how your family ended up where they are? How would your life be different had your ancestors stayed in their homeland?


These are compelling questions. Finding the answers (the story) behind the motives of your ancestors to settle where and why they did can be interesting and possibly enlightening.


Allow me to tell you one of my ancestral stories. Ernestine Dourine was born in France in 1828. She was the ninth child of ten. Both of her parents passed away by the time she was 12 years old. She was sent to live in a Catholic convent for a year and then went to live with an older sister, Perrine. Perrine was a dressmaker, and Ernestine was taught embroidery; the histories all say she was a talented seamstress.

Ernestine was nineteen years old when she met Henry Jacob. Henry Jacob was a Captain of a trading vessel. They were wed and had two sons, Henry and Eugene. Henry (the elder) went to sea shortly after Eugene was born. He fell ill at a foreign port during his trip. He died and was buried at sea.

Around this time, Ernestine heard Elder John Taylor preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. His message touched her heart, and she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on December 20, 1852. During this time, the leaders of the Church encouraged members to gather with the saints in America. Ernestine decided to go to the United States. She left her youngest son, Eugene, with her sister, Perrine. She planned to save money and send for him to follow her.

In January 1853, she and her son, Henry, were in Liverpool, preparing to sail to America. Ernestine loses her trunks with all her belongings. What will she do? She speaks not a word of English. The Lord answers her prayer, and Ann Rachel Marsh speaks to her in French. Ann befriends Ernestine and shares all she has with her. Little did they know that this beautiful act of kindness would shape both of their lives. They sailed on a small vessel called the Elvira Owen and landed in New Orleans. From there, they traveled up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa. In Iowa, they waited six weeks to be outfitted with wagons and teams; the saints were divided into companies. Ernestine, Henry, and Ann were in the Cyrus H. Wheelock's Co. They then made the arduous journey to Salt Lake City across the plains and the mountains. Arriving on October 6th, 1853.


Ernestine Dourin Jacob Nicholes
Ernestine Dourin Jacob Nicholes

Ernestine is my 3rd great-grandmother.


Do you know the stories of your ancestors? Where did they come from? Why did they come?

Here are a few places to start your family history:

If you need some help, let me know. Thanks for stopping by!





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4 commenti


Ospite
26 ott 2023

I love the idea of investigating my roots more. It's so interesting when you dive into your own history.

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
25 ott 2023

Thanks for stopping by!

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hi
25 ott 2023

This is fascinating information! I love looking back on my ancestry and discovering old photos! Thank you for sharing!

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
07 dic 2023
Risposta a

Happy Holidays!

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