Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Guam Families Find Deeper Roots

We had fun at the Guam family history fair. Sister Martin and I were asked to give presentations.
Interviews - Sister Martin

Sister Martin presented, "Adding life to your family history with interviews".

Adding photos to family history - Elder Martin

I, Elder Martin, called mine, "Adding pictures to your family history".
We both used our personal experiences and family to enhance our seminars.

They had a cultural fashion show that was also fun.
The cultural fashion show group representing the Philippines 

We are both relieved that it is now in the past but have fun thinking about it.

Elder Hunter and other missionaries invited investigator or less active families to both the Friday evening and Saturday event.

Since Elder Hunter's family likes to follow our blog, here's a few pics that he didn't see me take of him.

I helped write the following news release that is being sent to local news:
On an island immersed in Chamorro culture and history, intermixed with the peoples of Micronesia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, many are finding more about their family history roots in Guam.  
Keynote speaker Jillette Leon-Guerrero with attendee, Julie Fee

Keynote speaker Jillette Leon-Guerrero inspired her audience at Saturday’s first Guam Micronesia Family History Fair:  Stories that Bind Us as she shared her experience making the TV Documentary Across The Water In Time.  The film featured the story of a Chamorro man who made his way to Hawaii in the 1800s.  His great-grand, children approached Leon-Guerrero to find out about their past.  A family historian, she stressed the positive impact on children of learning about their heritage and family members.
Jillette Leon-Guerrero with Marjorie Driver, former director of MARC

The Barrigada Guam Family History Center (FHC), of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Guam Stake, hosted the Fair Saturday, September 27.  About 200 attended the island-wide event. Attendees came from Guam and Saipan.
The Family History Center
            The Guam Micronesia Family History Fair continued with 12 classes and two hands-on workshops for learning to use the free www.FamilySearch.org program (one in English, one in Chuukese).  

Hands On Family Search Workshop with Elder Hurst 
Class offerings included tips on Roots Magic, how to interview, write your personal history, add photos to www.FamilySearch.org, ideas for including children in family history-based activities (games for Thanksgiving!), and how to use social media to aid in research. 
RootsMagic Essentials by Sister Reed

 Specialists from the Stake presented some of the classes:  Sister Jeanette Hurst, Tami Burton, Elder Grant Hurst, Sister Darleen Reed, Wanda Davis, Sister Terry Martin, Susana Sam, Dorothy Siren, Kitaela Kalima, and Elder Michael Martin.  Stake President Arthur Clark also spoke. 

Doing Family History in Micronesia, panel discussion


Tami Burton, director of the Family History Center
Resources at MARC by Omaira Brunal-Perry
Family History Research in Guam by Monique Storie
Interim Director of MARC
Monique Storie and Omaira Brunal-Perry represented the Micronesia Area Resource Center (MARC) from UOG, giving excellent presentations about MARC family history resources and tips for doing research on Guam.  

Val Welch from Saipan shows how children are
             taught to interview and create histories
Val Welch, from Saipan, presented information about a grant he received for the Saipan school system. In the program, Project Traditional Technology, children are taught to interview elders and record stories online, so oral histories are captured and saved.  

 Over 50 teens and children participated in a cultural fashion show during lunch, displaying costumes from Micronesia, Polynesia, and Asia, many hand-made.  Cultural dancing was intermingled.  Dorothy Siren and Berlyn Taiwerbe organized the entertainment.  Kitaela Kalima was the MC.

Exhibits included a 19th century dollhouse handcrafted by Debra Miller, based on her own ancestors’ home.  She displayed scrapbook pages featuring these family members.  Other displays included an heirloom quilt from Chuuk, and a loom from Faraulep Atol (Yap), several samples of written and bound personal and family histories, a recipe book of family heirloom recipes, and A-B-C books made to help children on the mainland remember details about their grandparents lives on Guam (class coming in November).

 Most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons), love doing Family History and feel strong ties to their ancestors and their history.

Family History Center
The Barrigada Guam Family History Center (FHC) is open to the public (regardless of religious affiliation) during regular business hours, Thursday evenings from 6-8 PM, and by appointment at other times.  The FHC provides access to computers and training for www.FamilySearch.org as well as other online sites, like www.Ancestry.com.  Look up birth, marriage and death records, censuses, probates and wills, land records and more from over 100 countries.  If you missed a class from the fair, additional training is regularly available, as well as private research assistance.  FHC services are free, a non-profit organization sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 


  1. Thanks for posting pictures of Elder Hunter. We love seeing our Elder.

  2. We enjoy taking pics whenever we get the chance. Have a great day.