Climbing Family Trees: Finding Irene - Author Unknown

Climbing Family Trees

More great stories, poems, and helpful hints about genealogy and searching for your family's roots from the twin authors of "Climbing Family Trees: Whispers In The Leaves"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Finding Irene - Author Unknown

“Finding Irene”
After my husband, Edward filled out his family group sheets he began wondering about his step sister, Irene. He hadn’t heard from her for years. Armed with Irene’s last known address, and fervent prayer, Edward began his search. He sent a letter, explaining who he was and asked her to contact him. He did not mention that he had joined the LDS Church. It was through the Mormon Church’s emphasis on families that he became interested in his lost family. Time went by without a response.

For the next year, he continually thought about Irene. One morning he announced, “Today, I’m going to find Irene.” “Oh, she finally contacted you,” I said. “No. I thought we’d drive to the last known address I have and go from there.” It was a pleasant drive through the back roads of central Illinois, but at the address, we found a vacant house. The screen door hung on one hinge and windows with torn shades stared back at us. I waited in the car while Edward knocked on the door. No answer. Edward approached the neighbors, who were working in the yard next door. “We just moved in,” they said.

Back at the car, Edward sat in silent prayer. Suddenly he ran to a house across the street. In answer to his knock, a woman and her husband came out on the porch. They pointed and talked. Finally, Edward came back to the car and followed their directions across town.
At this house, we found Irene’s son and his family. Irene was visiting her daughter in another town. “We just came by to feed the dogs,” the son said. Five minutes later, we would have missed them.

From her son we learned why Irene had not responded to Edward’s letters. Their father was of a different religion, as was the rest of Edward’s family. She thought Edward wouldn’t want anything to do with her since she joined the LDS Church! Because of their shared religion, which places so much emphasis on family and genealogy, they found their family again!

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