Whenever the topic surfaced about researching and redeeming ancestors, Greg Veinot was one who always thought that his father had it covered. “My father had encouraged me to do family history work, especially after my mission,” he remembers. “I felt many times that I should begin, but I didn’t know how.”
For his first Sunday presiding at Sacrament meeting, President Veninot was grateful for the foresight of his predecessor; the previous bishop had already arranged for the Halifax Temple president and his wife to speak. That meeting, in fact, added to the new leader’s responsibilities. “As they spoke, a very powerful impression came over me to take family history work seriously and that I needed to set a goal,” says President Veinot.
“I felt so rebuked and yet so motivated that I knew I needed to do something,” he recalls. “I went home and prayed and thought about what was said in that meeting. As I thought about what I should do, I covenanted that I would begin to search my ancestors and find one individual per month.”
Google searches and other sources began to yield some leads. “I found a person in the fourth generation who had 19 children. I found his parents and enough information on 16 of the children.” The web search also led to data from Ancestry.com that pointed him to the Nova Scotia vital records repository.
Even with those successes, President Veinot does not consider himself a family history researcher. He says that family history research, like mining, doesn’t yield gold with each day’s effort. “The Lord wanted to give me a witness of it in my first experience to keep me going,” he recalls. After three to four weeks of regular searching, he was lead to the ten new family members that he had targeted plus more.
In addition to finding names and performing temple ordinances, President Veinot is engaged in a wide array of family history service, including keeping a personal journal, name indexing and temple ordinance service. “When I hit a dead end road, I will go do some FamilySearch Indexing.”
“All of this is the Lord’s work. It’s all helping and benefiting His children somewhere, in the vast spectrum of everything. He cares about all of us, whether it’s my family names or someone else’s.”