"I am not myself, I am the result of all my ancestors." ~Santiago Martinez Delgado 

I don't know what it is, besides the fact I love all things family history, but there's just something about ghost towns and cemeteries. I know for some they feel nervous when at old ghost towns and scared at cemeteries, but for me it is opposite. I feel at peace, comforted and happy. There are many souls who are forgotten, but I love to walk around cemeteries, read the names and I wonder who they were. 

We spent last week in Saint George, Utah on a little family getaway. We go there often, but we try to do something new each time we visit. Every time I'm there I visit my 4th Great Grandfather's grave (Isaiah Cox) in the Saint George Cemetery. A few years ago we drove to Rockville to see another 4th Great Grandfather's grave (Allen Joseph Stout). We decided to go to a small ghost town near Rockville called Grafton, Utah. There were only three houses, and the school house also was used as a church. 

My husband and kids were just as excited as I was. I kept hearing them comment on who lived there and what the kids would have done. We talked about how hard life would have been especially in the heat of the summer. The kids had huge smiles on their faces. It made my heart happy. 

We drove a half mile up the road to the Grafton Cemetery and we read the names. There was a plaque that explained how each person had died and it was so interesting, because it is normally such a mystery. 

As we left Grafton we drove up the road to the Rockville Cemetery. I went to see my Grandfather's grave and I told him Thank you! Allen Joseph Stout was a faithful man, who served as Joseph Smith's bodyguard. Allen had been with the Prophet walking one day and saw a man talk to Joseph Smith. The man was a stranger and he felt guilty after that he let them be alone. He apologized to the prophet and Joseph Smith said that he was not in any danger, it was John the Revelator. That story has always been such an amazing testimony builder. 

I love this journal entry of Allen Joseph Smith that includes his testimony to his family. 

18 May 1863 ”Now I have six sons and four daughters living; and I wish to say something to them to look on when I am gone from them and they get old enough to understand the ways of the Lord and the order of His Kingdom. I want you to ever keep with the church and observe the order of the church; in all things obey council to the best of you ability; seek to roll on the work of the Lord in your lifetime, for there is a great work for you to perform in the temple of the Lord, which you will help to rear to His name. And you must attend to the ordinances of the Priesthood for our dead friends, perhaps for your own parents, for we have not yet done our work. And if we do not live to attend to the Holy ordinances, we want you to finish our work. We have worn out our bodies in laying a foundation for you to build on; we have grappled with the powers of darkness to help to commence a work which we know will never be destroyed, but we do not expect to live to enjoy much of the fruit of our labor; but we have labored for you that we might leave a rich reward with you. You will see the towers of Zion rise above all earthly objects. If you are faithful some of you will live to see the Son of God come in the clouds of heaven. You will see the Nations of the earth come bending to the standards of Zion, but you may see the armies of the earth arrayed against you first but be faithful and never flinch or fear them, for the Lord will fight your battles if you put your whole trust in him. For he has begun His work, and it will not come to naught, but He may suffer some of his Saints to fall for a testimony against our enemies. But be strong in the work of the Lord, and whether on life or death, you reward will be sure and you shall conquer at last.”

I am blessed to know so many names in my family tree. These people are becoming more than just a name on a tree, but people who lived and built a way for generations to come. I am blessed to have such faithful, inspiring ancestors. 

"To forget one's ancestors is to be a book without a source, a tree with out a root." ~Chinese Proverb