News Release

Young Genealogist Helps Others Catch the Bug

21-year-old Aucklander Stacey Hooper has been interested in genealogy since she was five. Now she helps others get enthused about researching their family trees as a volunteer family history consultant in her Mormon ward (congregation) in Auckland.

"As a family history consultant I'm available to help everyone with their own family history," she explains. "People ask us to help them get started or help them with searching for names in their family tree."

Stacey says that family history is a great way to connect with our ancestors. "It can help us gain an appreciation for our families and really gives us a perspective of eternal families," she says. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that family relationships can endure beyond death.

Mormon Newsroom states: "The concept of a united family that lives and progresses forever is at the core of Latter-day Saint doctrine. Within families led by a father and a mother, children develop virtues such as love, trust, loyalty, cooperation and service."

The article continues: "According to Church doctrine, a marriage performed in one of the Church's temples does not dissolve at death as long as the couple remain faithful to their temple vows. Rather, the family relationship continues beyond the grave, and individual family members can progress throughout eternity."

As young as Stacey Hooper is, she has been interested in family history for fourteen years, since she was five. "My mum used to take my sisters and I to cemeteries where she would write a name in the dirt that she wanted us to find, and then we would all scatter around to try and find it first. When we got a bit older, we would write the names on the back of our hands so we wouldn't forget it." She started researching on her own when she was 12.

One of the most rewarding aspects of her interest in genealogy, she says, is how others respond to her assistance. "People that I have helped with their family history have been very appreciative of my help. Some have come back to me all excited because they were able to find information about ancestors that they had not been able to find before."

Stacey helps people of all ages get started in their research. She has trained teenagers, families and adults. She also encourages friends her own age in her ward and in other Latter-day Saint wards to get involved. And many of them are catching the bug.

Learn more about how you can participate in your own family history research here and here.


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