Jana Greenhalgh’s love for family history can be traced to the time she spent with the family genealogist—or, as he was more affectionately known, Grandpa.
“My grandfather was my hero,” Jana said. “He was fun, kind, and very intelligent. Everyone in the family respected and looked up to him.”As a teenager, Jana would often get calls from her grandfather asking for a ride to the Family History Library.
“I’m sure he somehow knew there was nothing better I could do with my time,” she joked.
A series of strokes and heart attacks had left him half-paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but that didn’t stop his resolve to research his family. Once they were in the library, Grandpa could get around and do research on his own—but he was always open to a little help.
Jana quickly became hooked on family history, even writing a family history book with her grandfather before he passed away.
“He put a lot of trust in me and complimented my efforts. He relied on me,” Jana said. “I found a lot of purpose and fulfillment in the family history preservation work we did together.”Since that time, Jana has dedicated herself to preserving family memories and teaching others to do it too. Currently, Jana teaches online genealogy courses at Brigham Young University—Idaho. In addition, family history is a huge part of her family, and she constantly looks for new projects to do with her children so they can feel the passion too.
“As a mother, I sincerely desire that my kids will find the same joy in genealogical discovery that my grandfather inspired in me.”
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