Before I moved to Salt Lake City to cement my relationship with Jessi, we courted. It was fun because every other month or so I’d fly to Salt Lake or Jessi would fly to Minneapolis. We would give each other the tourist treatment. I’d take Jessi to worthwhile hotspots in Minneapolis, and she’d give me glimpse into her world in trade.

Possibly as a useful introduction to her grandfather, Jessi invited me to go with her and her grandpa to the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City. Jessi’s grandpa Robert is actually a freelance family researcher.

Robert “Bob” Vandegrift is a consummate professional. He provided custom documentation record worksheets to record our findings, as we worked our way through the census records and other documentation. He’s helped settle several cases to correctly determine family heirs. It was a great way to meet a potential family member and learn what their passion is.

The genealogy library is one of the most unique amenities available in Salt Lake City, I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit. You take several hours and dig into just one branch of your family tree. Luckily I had a professional by my side so if we hit what seemed like a dead end, he knew of all the alternative methods to continue our research.

We traced just my family name, Foell, up to the emigration point, and along the way discovered a Dubuque, Iowa county history book that had a few paragraphs written about my great-great-great grandfather (and his father as well).

I’ve put the results on a dedicated genealogy page.

If you have any information you’d like to add, please comment here or there.

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