Sunday, March 13, 2011

Like Great Grand Uncle, Like Great Grand Niece

His name is George Edward Anderson.

If you are LDS, you have stumbled across some of his photographs somewhere in your journey.  You probably just didn't know it. 

He has his own BYU Collections special collection.  He is that kind of cool.

He was a photographer at the turn of the 20th century.  He received a "mission call" or asked to go in 1907 and take photographs of historical spots of Mormon church history.  They wanted it to be documented before it changed too much.  He did go, leaving behind his family to care for themselves.

He was gone for 6 years.  Some of us like to meander more than others...hey!  I resemble that remark.

A book was published several years ago called

This is a great book of photographs from his mission, with text taken from his journal that he kept. 

A journal that he happened to receive as a gift from his sister Camilla and her husband, Joe. 

Joe Popper.

My great grandfather.  A gift they gave him on March 4th, 62 years to the day before I was born.

I have been so cranky lately because of the trials I am in the middle of (africans, boiled goats and a dying best friend) that I am PRETTY sure Mr. Fun would have rather walked home today the 17 miles from church than ride with me.

But I have found a "vacation from my problems" this evening and I have had time to reflect.

Get my mind straight.

Recently the church people around here asked me if I would go on a pioneer re-enactment this summer and take photographs of the kids on the outing.  We will be in Alaska so it was decided I wouldn't be able to do it, but it hit me the other day after they asked.

Taking photographs of Mormon history stuff...........only 100 years later. 

Just like good Uncle George.

Now, to be clear, this George Anderson is NOT related to my Mr. Fun Anderson family I married into.  And Joe is not my blood father, but a father in EVERY single way beyond that.  Camilla was his great grandmother.  She was raised by Mormon English immigrants, but fell away from the church and married a Bohemian named Joe.  Joe Popper.

They had Richard, who grew up in California.  He married Betty, who had my father Joe.  Joe grew up in Alaska, married my mother.  Then I grew up in Alaska.

After three generations with absolutely no ties to the LDS Church, I converted to Mormonism when I was 19.  We were completely UNAWARE of any LDS background.

Mr. Fun and I married and immigrated to Utah for school and life.  Fast forward to my early 30's, it is where I decided to volunteer at the LDS History Museum at historic Temple Square.  While I was there 7 years as a tour guide, I learned about George Anderson. 

I remember sitting in a history lecture for the museum and they were started talking about George's genealogy of his people.  It sounded vaguely familiar.  I was working on my genealogy those days (before the boiled goat now-a-days) and it all clicked into place.

Hey!  That is my uncle.  :)

Fast foward to now.  We live in Missouri, home of much LDS Church history.  History I learned about after my conversion, and history I have been able to see here for myself.

It is like putting a face to a name.

I realized recently that life (not just mine but everyone's in some way) seems to be like that.  Full of circles.

When I visited these places, George's pictures and story were not in my mind.  Imagine my surprise when I searched through my pictures tonight and found so many similiarities.

These are his and mine:
Temple Lot at Independence

Visitor's Center at the Temple Lot of Independence

Pioneer Cemetery in Richmond

Pioneer Cemetery in Richmond

Whitmer Grave, Richmond

Whitmer Grave, Richmond

Carthege Jail Carthege Illinois

Carthege Jail Carthege Illinois

Mississippi River, Nauvoo Illinois

Mississippi River, Nauvoo Illinois

West view of Nauvoo

West view of Nauvoo

Temple Lot at Far West Missouri

Temple Lot at Far West

East view of Nauvoo

East View of Nauvoo

Adam Ondi Ahman

Adam Ondi Ahman

There is a new book about George's photography mission. 

It is good.  I am reading it.  Of course.  It is family history.  :)

There is one more place that George and I have photography interests. 

Great Grand Uncle Georgie was a Temple Chaser Photographer.  Just like me. 
Look what I found:
Salt Lake City--April 6th, 1892

Kansas City Temple--Kansas City Fall 2010

"And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers..."
Malachi 4:6

How cool is that?  :)