Instructor Spotlight: Helen A Lehman

Lecture: Migration

Helen Ann ‘Wills’ Lehman born in Longview, Cowlitz, Washington. My husband, John L Lehman and I are Directors of the Oklahoma City Stake Family History Library for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and have been in this position for the last 6 ½ years.

We began researching our Lehmann Family Records in 1981. It was slow at first as I did not know how to begin, but my husband’s uncle Dr. Leonard Paul Lehmann encouraged us to begin researching the Lehmann/Lehman family. He took us down a dirt road behind an old farm house and there before us was an old Cemetery with a monument right in the middle that said “LEHMANN”! Every individual in that cemetery were members of my husband’s family! From this beginning, I’ve produced a 650 page book, of which I translated records (which were written in German Gothic Script and in Latin) from a small town in Baden Germany named “Oberschopfheim. This book on the Lehmann family can now be found in the Salt Lake Family History Library. We have also placed a copy of this book in the Ohio Historical Library in Columbus, Ohio and the Rutherford B Hayes Library, in Fremont, Sandusky, Ohio. Since that time, I have obtained more than triple that amount of information on the Lehmann family, some from additional research, some by obtaining information and photos from other family members.

I am a big believer of making sure all my sources are well documented. In order to obtain good sources and finding information that isn’t readily available; I have found that studying historical records (Migratory Patterns and world events) to be extremely helpful. I have found siblings and more unknown family members exponentially. What I find the most intriguing is learning my family’s stories. Finding siblings I did not know my ancestors had, which has helped me to learn more about my ancestor’ stories. These stories can be truly fascinating to obtain. I am totally hooked on Genealogy and love to research. This work is kind of like being a detective, finding that needle in a haystack.

Migratory Patterns Lecture:

This class will help you see how important it is to study and learn the migratory patterns of your ancestors, which in turn can help you find you ancestor’s vital records. Migratory pattern clues can help you narrow down the gap between what you know and what you do not know about an ancestor. During times of War, your ancestors may have lived in several locations as they often traveled with their wives and children to various encampment locations.

If your ancestor was enslaved, learning where an ancestor originated can be challenging. In this class you will learn not only where your ancestor may have been kidnapped, but what state they may have ended up in. For example if your ancestors lived in Oklahoma after the Civil War; there are clues as to what state they may have been slaves before they migrated to Oklahoma.

Did your ancestors come from England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and etc. you may gain some insight into their places or origin by who they traveled with as they migrated.

If your ancestors were; for example Cherokee Indian, you can learn by the migratory pattern of the Trail of Tears, and find out where your ancestral father’s might have lived prior to their coming to the Oklahoma Territory.

This class is for you to learn that there is always a way to find information, and that as you take full advantage of possible sources you just might find what you need to break down the “Brick Walls” of your family lines.


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