A new family history research center is available to the public at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stake house on Northland Road in Manteca.
That’s part of the message LDS Central California Mission President Brent Palmer shared with Ripon Rotarians at their weekly meeting last week at Spring Creek Country Club.
Palmer and his wife Karen have made their home in Ripon after moving from Southern California. His presentation told of the recent high school graduates who are serving as missionaries for up to two years in the Central Valley to inform residents of their church and the family history center just north of Manteca.
There are 137 young elders — both men and women — that the church has placed throughout the valley communities who can be seen on their bicycles dressed in white dress shirts and ties attempting to make contact with the members of the community.
In reaching the public, going door to door, they have been taught how to relate to people in their homes without pushing their limits.
Aside from talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ they are also making residents aware of the family history research center they can use in searching for their roots.
The mission assignments have become a way of maturing the church’s sons and daughters as they stand up for their faith. The LDS youth were also required to attend 6 a.m. seminary classes while in high school in a bid to make them closer to their church beliefs on a daily basis.
Elder Ian Shepherd from Burlington, North Carolina, is joined throughout Manteca by Elder Samuel Gurnsey of Jamestown, Colorado and Elder Thomas Petersen. Former Bishop of the Manteca congregation, Mike Johnson of Ripon, is supervising the local group of elders.
Manteca has similar technology and capabilities to that of the Stockton family history center located at University of the Pacific in Stockton.
He explained that prior to 1850 most of the individual records have been lost with the exception of the heads of the households’ records. From 1850 to 1940 the records are easy to tap, he said.
The Manteca center has six computer stations and one automated film reader attached to computers and printers with two to three volunteers on site to help with a citizen’s research. There is also access to all the famous research engines.
The Northland Road church center is open Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. There is also a Tracy family research center open Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon. And on Sunday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
They further noted that the LDS family “has excellent facilities” and furthermore they can order anything they need from Utah.