Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tag a Photo - Find an Ancestor to take to the Temple

Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson and her twin boys, Evan and Ivan Overson abt. 1909 in St. Johns, Apache, Arizona, United States from a glass negative.
I had an interesting experience last night. I was tagging photos from the Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson Photographic Collection on's Memories section when I discovered a family that had been overlooked by the over one hundred years of family history research.

First a note about the collection.

The original glass negatives, acetate negatives and printed photographs of the historic Charles Jarvis and Margaret Jarvis Overson Photography Collection, is now found in the Archives of the University of Arizona. This collection of photographs date from the 1860s to the 1940s and covers primarily people who lived in Apache County, Arizona during that time. We discovered the collection, which had been preserved by a cousin, and I digitized the negatives and printed photographs. The digital images from the collection, over 6300 images, are being processed by the Special Collections Library of the University of Arizona and will eventually appear online. Meanwhile, I have been uploading and tagging the photos on's Memories section. You can find the photos in the Photos section of the Memories, by searching for the tag, "St. Johns," using the quotation marks. 

Back to the tagging. As I worked through tagging the photos and trying to identify those people that I knew, I referred to Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson's book,

Overson, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. [Mesa?, Ariz.]: [M.G. Jarvis Overson], 1957.

Now on Books in a completely digitized edition. I spotted a photo I had not identified previously and went back and began to tag the photo and attach it to the people in the Family Tree. As a result, I found an entire family that had been overlooked by those entering names into the Family Tree and was able to reserve some Temple ordinances that had been overlooked by the family over the past 100+ years. The reason seemed plain. The family had lived far outside of the states of Utah, Arizona and Idaho. Although, some of the people I found were not related to me in a way that I could do the Temple work, there were some that were.

This is reinforces what I have been teaching for the past years. We need to go through an document our families on's Family Tree. I we are careful to document the families, we will find new people for the Family Tree and have further opportunities to take these ancestor's names to the Temples. I also found that the Record Hints from were now very extensive and extremely accurate. I was able to fully document the families I found and even extend the ancestry back on one of the families. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for someone else, the people I found were not related to me. 

All this happened because I was tagging photos and doing the research to identify the people in the photos. 


  1. Good job James! I told a stake bishopric meeting this morning that when they add sources to their ancestors they will find "missing people" to take to the temple.

  2. I had an experience with a high priest group leader where I said his work wasn't all done because there were no sources on his tree. On his first attempt, he found a name that wasn't in the tree. I cautioned him that he needed to find more before rushing off to take the name to the temple. However, he's now a believer that if you don't source stuff, you're missing people.

    I have also found several families that are forgotten when going through a family bible. These people were 'family' though common blood didn't run through their veins. Their lines have 'died out' but I discovered them and I feel my great grandmother was so happy. One was her fiance who died before she could marry him. Another was the same grandmother's son's godfather (I know, I know). The godfather never had children through natural means but grandmother's son was his child and he was grandfather. My great-grandmother was the informant on his death record. All of these discoveries were from going through 'stuff' that has been in the family for decades.

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