The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Belle Vue Road, Paignton recently opened its doors for a Family History and World War 1 event which was open to the public. Among the guests were Alison Hernandez, councillor for Shiphay and Kevin Foster, a Conservative Campaigner for Torbay, who were very pleased to receive copies of their family history, having been prepared previously by Colin Tucker, one of the researchers.
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Ken and Gwyn Mealey displayed pictures and shared stories of their ancestors. Visitors were interested to hear of one of their ancestors, John Thompson, who was a great, great uncle of Gwyn and a fireman on the Titanic and survived the disaster. He was injured whilst jumping from the Titanic, was pulled from the water into a lifeboat and ended up in hospital in America, according to an American newspaper of the time.
Tony and Sue Arkell had a display of World War Memorabilia while visitors were guided on the process of Family History Indexing, which is the transcribing of old records. The website FamilySearch.org is a free site for anyone to open an account and use the full facilities.
Three researchers from The Devon Family History Society: Roger Keys, Tim Treeby and Colin Roulstone attended and provided assistance, along with Colin Tucker, an independent researcher. Trevor Ridley, Sue Arkell and Dorothy Martin, three researchers from the Church also supported.
Church members worked hard throughout the day making everyone welcome and directing attendees around the building to the various events. Many people attended the event between the hours of 10am and 4pm, leaving with a positive experience of finding some of their ancestors and requesting to be informed of the next such event.