- Area leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented Governor Brian Kemp with four generations of his and his wife’s family genealogy along with other important family documents such as birth, death, and marriage certificates and newspaper clippings.
“It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to present Governor Kemp with his family history and share some of his family stories,” said M. Andrew Galt, Area Seventy for the Church presiding over Georgia. “We hope this will inspire him and others to find their ancestors. So much of who we are comes from learning about where we came from and our family.”
Governor Kemp, who was happy to receive the records and share some of his family memories said, “Marty and I are grateful to have received this fascinating gift, detailing the history of our family dating back several generations. It is something our family will treasure for years to come, and we thank the Church’s leaders for such a kind gesture.”
According to USA Today in 2014, genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the U.S. People all over the world enjoy learning about their ancestors. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the interest in learning more about their families is more than just a hobby.
“We believe the family is eternal,” said Galt. “We believe the family is central to God’s plan for each of us. And we hope the government can help promote ways to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. We are grateful for Governor Kemp’s firm stance on religious freedom and the importance of everyone being able to worship how, where, or what they may."
FamilySearch.org is the largest genealogy search organization in the world operated by the Church and a free service for anyone to use. With more than 4 billion names from all over the world, millions of people use its records, resources and services for free to learn more about their family history. The Church also has 44 Family History Centers throughout Georgia and volunteer genealogy specialists offer the public free assistance in searching for their ancestors. Find a Family History Center here https://www.familysearch.org/help/fhcenters/locations/.
In 2016 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ FamilySearch partnered with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) and the California African American Museum in the Freedmen’s Bureau Project, www.discoverfreedmen.org. In this project over 25,000 volunteers worked to index and arbitrate 1.8 million names of African Americans directly following emancipation. This extraordinary year-long effort culminated on the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth and enables African Americans to digitally search for their ancestors.
René R. Alba, Jermaine Sullivan, Tiffany Bird, and M. Andrew Galt, the representatives from the Church also shared with the Governor details of the local assistance the Church provides for those in need in communities throughout Georgia, especially during the pandemic. The Church has donated over $525,000 worth of food commodities and monetary donations to nonprofits and food pantries throughout Georgia since February 2020.
In addition to the donations, the Church’s Helping Hands program have been sending thousands of volunteers to assist with hurricane relief from Hurricane Sally and Hurricane Laura. This weekend over 1,100 Georgia Helping Hands volunteers will go to the Florida panhandle to assist with tree debris removal and mucking flood-damaged homes.