Sunday, May 21, 2017

Time Stealers - are they a thorn in your side as you labor to do your Family History?

John 10:10King James Version (KJV)

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I thought this was a great scripture to pare with family and family history.  
We start out in life with no guarantee of how long we will inhabit this earth.  We spend our early years learning as much as we can just to grow and survive.  Then we take all that knowledge and put it into our life blood, our work, what puts the bacon on the table.  At some point in time, we are stealing time, either away from family, or work, or our dreams; nevertheless, life becomes balancing act.  The stresses we absorb take their tolls on us and our loved ones and then suddenly, it's time to retire and start reflecting on if we used our time wisely over the span of so many years.  

Time stealers, can be as innocent as working on projects that don't have our best interest at heart, or watching something on television that will not enhance our lives.   It can be in not being organized so that we are recreating the wheel of time by repeating something which could have been done once.  I am sure you realize the Satan is the Father of all time stealing.  He delights to steal your time, destroy your spirit and kill your feelings towards your family.

Using our time wisely to investigate and learn more about our heritage is about as natural to me as eating dinner.  It should be like that to everyone and I'll explain why.  When we come to this world, we are part of an eternal family.  We've always been a part of a family and going forward, our grandchildren will someday get their faces out of video screens and realize that we, indeed belong to them; their true family.

I look back now and wonder, why didn't I ask more questions about my heritage?  Why didn't I ask my Grandmother to tell me more stories, instead of saying, "I know Grandma, you told me that one before".  There is a finite amount of time in which our Grandparents had their memories and stories.  If they don't print them down or use one of us to type them up for our posterity, they become lost forever.  
One of the reasons why I create a parallel reality of time lines and history of the towns and people where they lived, is because I want to create a bond of empathy for what they endured.  I want to know what life was like and this is my penitence for not asking more before my Grandmothers both passed in 1983 and 1986.  At that time in my life, I was in the thralls of trying to keep a dying marriage together, and take care of 5 kids, trying to make sure they had enough gospel knowledge along with common sense, to make it in this life.   There wasn't a lot of time for asking questions in my mind.  I did start working on family history in 1978 but without technology, it was laborious at best.

If there is a movie at the theater that you really want to see and it is only here for 2 weeks, you orchestrate your life to fit it in.  If there is a special event and you need a new outfit, purse and shoes, you bet you are going to make the time to go shopping!  My mother used to say, when she asked me to clean my room or do something that I clearly had no personal use of time for, "You always have time for the things you want to do".   That is so true.  Of course, to a 13 year old girl, it was just mere fodder for an opportunity to do some eye rolling, but I see it in my life today.
I hope if you have procrastinated working on increasing your knowledge of your family, you will set some time each day to become a life detective and find out what happened to them....did they realize their dreams?   You have the ability to make them feel like their time here was not wasted.  You have the ability to help them to feel that their life gave meaning to your life and you learned some life's lesson from their existence.

Here are some scriptures that have to do with Time Managment.  The thing I love about Mondays, is it is another fresh start day.  This is a day to make a change in your life of how you will spend your time.    You can pick up the phone and call an Aunt or Uncle and ask them each the exact same questions about what life was like, then compare and contrast the two.  If you have Grandparents, by all means, get them on the phone and record their story.  This is something you will never regret.

Colossians 4:5 - Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:   (Read More...)

John 17:4 - I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Psalms 90:12 - So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.

Romans 13:11 - And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.

James 4:14 - Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Ephesians 5:16 - Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15 - See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Romans 12:1-21 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.   (Read More...)

1 Corinthians 7:29 - But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

Psalms 31:15 - My times [are] in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

Once when my daughter was 10, we came up with a list of questions that were identical in nature and called and recorded the answers to those questions with all four grandparents.  It was so enlightening.  We found out that one Grandfather lived on one side of the Bay and the other lived in San Francisco.  Both were 10 years old when they attended the World's Fair in Oakland at Treasure Island.  The lines were long, but both boys were eager to see the newest inventions and you may be surprised, but their favorite was the television.  

As the line wound around and through buildings, you would walk through one room and there would be a camera taking your picture.  By the time you made it to the other room, there you were on a screen in the middle of the next room.  This conversation brought light into the voices of these men as they told how utterly thrilling that experience was.    And to think, they were at the same location at the same time is even more amazing. 

 Doing this lesson in Service was a great use of my daughter's time.  She grew to love her grandparents for more than just the gifts they would send for special occasion.  Our parents were elated that someone from their posterity would take the time to stop and learn about what was real to them as children.

That was a great day!  What will your week be like?  Send me an email and let me know how you are doing with your family history and your use of your valuable time.  Would love to hear about it!

Please click here for a Giveaway contest through Amazon for my LDS Book, Under Cover!

You can read more about it here:

Click here to try to win!  Amazon is doing some free giveaways of Under Cover
 My next book Quest for Peace comes out in June!  Keep Watching!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

THE STORY BEHIND "Under Cover!" By Karen S Meyer -FREE GIVEAWAY DETAILS! now available on Amazon

THE STORY: Under Cover! By Karen S Meyer
It’s 1990 and a coup has overtaken the Russian Government.
America needs to keep her guard up and her two newest FBI agents are struggling to get along with each other. They respect each other for their strengths, but would never volunteer to work together.

The Director assigns them to work together under cover to stop a Russian spy ring in California at Northrup.

They know there is a leak, but are not clear on how the secrets are leaving the building. Plans for the newest Stealth Bomber are at risk.

Not only do they have to work together, they need to become a newlywed couple in love...and Mormon because that is something the spies would never suspect.

Probably the most important words in the book are when the Director tells them that "This is the Book of Mormon. Read it, Learn it, know it, Live it. That is all."  

That truly might sound easier than it is to do, but Andie knows about Anson’s past as a Naval Air Top Gun Pilot and all about his heroic mission.  However that mission was not without a price.  A near fatal mishap with his plane has caused him to not enjoy air travel.   She also knows the commitment to lifestyle change when you choose to live as a Mormon. They are to meet at the Dulles International Airport in the morning for their flight to California. This is their chance to prove their worth to their Country, crack the case and become heroes.  First, Anson must conquer his fear of flight without alcohol.

The agency has given them a completely furnished home right across from the suspect’s
home.  There is a bungalow in the back which houses former McCarthy era agents who will watch over the couple as their housekeeper and handyman.   It has 5 bedrooms but the master bedroom remains unoccupied.  The two side bedrooms are occupied by Andie and Anson respectively as it should be.  They are merely posing as a married couple to outsiders.

There are some interesting moments, like when they have a catered event at their new home and a couple from the church wanders upstairs at different times.  One happens into the master bedroom, which obviously, is just for show and the other accidentally goes into the surveillance room.

The husband, a former Top Gun wingman of Anson’s, knows something is afoot as soon as he steps into the room.  With his military experience, he knows a top secret surveillance operation when he sees one.  He does not mention it to his wife.  She in turn, after seeing the separate bedrooms and the obviously unoccupied Master Bedroom, is sure they are having marital difficulties and in need of counseling by what she encounters. She does not mention this to her husband.

One of Andie’s objectives is to get close to the Wife and daughter of the suspect.  What they don’t realize is that they are being held hostage and terrorized by the Russians for the plans.  So learning about little Faith and why she is sad all the time is as important as bugging John Smithe’s home.

Anson, working in concert with the management, creates a con to exchange briefcases, enter the airlock in the Lab and switch the microdots.

 The culminating scenes occur when a Victor Class 2 Russian Nuclear Sub enters the waters in Ventura on the beaches at Malibu.  The plans are handed off to the away team of the sub.  While the away team raft bobs in the surf, some crewmen scramble back into the raft and the FBI team goes to guns to finalize their mission.

A thrilling adventure awaits you.  I hope you enjoy this book.

When asked what inspired such an endeavor, Karen mentioned, "I spoke to several people who worked there at the real Northrop from the 60s to the 90s and were my neighbors.  They later said that the security there was not the best; plans could have possibly escaped detection but there was no evidence of that. That perked my interest to further investigate and imagine the possibilities.  Since I was there in Newbury Park when the plant closed down and knew a couple of the employees personally, I saw how its closure affected the community.  Of course, the Coup was really in 1991 and I spelled Northrop as Northrup in the novel to differentiate between fiction and non-fiction.”

My audience is clearly LDS based.  An example of LDS humor is exchanged when meeting with the Bishop.  He merely asks them if they have Temple Recommends.  Here’s an excerpt:

          “About Temple Recommends”, he waited for their reply with eyebrow’s raised.

          “Uh.  I don’t know.  Honey, what do you think? Do you know of any that you could recommend?”, Anson was stuck.  He was drowning and begging for a rope.

          “Let’s see”, Andie chimed in, “there’s one in Oakland.  I heard it has beautiful golden spires that light up at night on the hill.  Breathtaking.  I would certainly recommend that one.  And then there’s one in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s supposed to be pretty nice to visit”, she smiled knowing that she had aced that question,

          “Uh-huh.  Is there anything you would like to get off your chest?  Anything at all?”  The Bishop’s eyes seemed to look right into their souls.

********** ********** ********** *********** ********** *********** *********** *********** *********** 

Please click here for a Giveaway contest through Amazon for my Book, Under Cover!
Click here to try to win!  My next book Quest for Peace comes out in June!  Keep Watching!

Picture of home in Westlake Village courtesy of Luis Robledo, 
to see more homes he represents, contact
805 551 9784

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Under Cover! by Karen   Meyer

Under Cover!

by Karen Meyer

Giveaway ends June 30, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, May 19, 2017

Exploring your Native American Heritage

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to attend Church on the Papago Reservation and was so impressed with the people.  It made me realize that when you live on a reservation, your heritage is much easier to unravel because all of the records are right there.  Elders who were there, spoke of knowing the grandparents of several people and even their great grandparents.   It was such a loving experience.  I felt the heavens open up through their eyes and absorbed the pride that the parents who had gone before had in their earthbound children who were carrying on great traditions.  It was a tremendously Spiritual experience for me.

I have been trying to trace my heritage back for years.  I had a picture of my Great Great Grandfather, Joseph Lyons who with his wife Mary walked the trail of tears.  However, one of my children took it for show and tell without telling me and lost it at school.  That was a tragedy.

I have family folklore about mother walking downtown in Banty, Oklahoma, near Durant and people asking her if she were an injun'.  "You didn't dare say yes because it would open a can of whoop ***", she said.  That was in 1928 when she was 4 and my grandfather, the Grandson of Joseph and Mary,( we didn't know last names) lost his battle with life from inhaling mustard gas from a faulty World War 1 gas mask.   It literally made his intestines disintegrate over time.  That was the second tragedy
Walter Riley Collins 1918
Walter Riley and Dora Collins with their baby
born in 1920

The third is that when I first started researching the Collins - we didn't know Caroline's maiden or married name was Lyons.  But found it on My Great Grandparent's marriage license, so that was a break.  But we found that after 20 years because it was .

It's been a struggle, and because I have been working so hard at it, the visit to the Papago Ward was that much sweeter.  My family doesn't belong to their tribe - we are of the Cherokee descent.  If you have been watching the news some interesting things have evolved about Cherokees and taking the Ancestry and 23and me DNA tests solidified my research and theories.

Did you know that Cherokees migrated here from the North Western tip of Africa and the Iberian Peninsula - which at one time were joined together like a puzzle -

Here is an excerpt from The American Indian, Descendent of the Lost Tribes?

"Last month’s column sketched the “basis” for the belief that the American Indian is descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. One of the foremost proponents of this theory was the Indian trader James Adair (c.1709-1783). In 1775 he wrote The History of the Indians,[i]arguably the most significant eighteenth-century work on the southeastern Indians, in which he presented 23 arguments that “proved” the North American aborigines were descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. These are:
“1. Their division into tribes. 2. Their worship of J-hov-h. 3. Their notions of a theocracy. 4. Their belief in the administration of angels. 5. Their language and dialects. 6. Their manner of counting time. 7. Their prophets and high priests. 8. Their festivals, fasts and religious rites. 9. Their daily sacrifice. 10. Their ablutions and anointings. 11. Their laws of uncleanliness. 12. Their abstinence from unclean things. 18. Their marriage, divorces and punishments of adultery. 14. Their several punishments. 15. Their cities of refuge. 16. Their purifications and preparatory ceremonies. 17. Their ornaments. 18. Their manner of curing the sick. 19. Their burial of the dead. 20. Their mourning for the dead. 21. Their raising seed to a deceased brother. 22. Their change of names adapted to their circumstances and times. 23. Their own traditions, the account of English writers; and the testimonies given by Spaniards and other writers of the primitive inhabitants of Mexico and Peru.”

and from this site:

There are theories about the Cherokee Tribe originating in Israel and migrating to the Iberian Peninsula.  When we did my DNA, it said I was only 1% Native American, yet my family just happens to have populated America early in the 1600-1700 time frame in the North Carolina/South Carolina area which is typical of the Cherokee Nation

This shows where those people with the same Haplo groups of the Cherokee Nation settled in the early 1700s

If you have any idea about your Native American History, it would be wise to take a DNA test.
We have taken 3 now.  had results that said I was only 1% but their documentation of the migratory patterns were excellent
My only slightly paralleled my research with my family.  They missed the boat entirely saying that I was 1% JAPANESE.  That does not follow any logic that I have been able to prove or  disprove.

Our Favorite was 23 and Me - This gave me over 77 reports that paralleled my research, matched's records and also gave me many medical reports that confirmed that I do not have the Alzheimer's Gene - whew! and many other enlightenments.

It was well worth the cost.  Let me know how it goes for you!


My book is going very well and I have joined with Amazon to create a contest to give away some books!  All you have to do is click on the link below to 
enter the contest.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Romance, Spies, Intrigue....and Mormon? Read my new Novel!

Available now on Amazon!

My new LDS Novel is trending on Amazon!  It's a fast moving spy novel set on the California Coast.

 It’s 1990 and a coup has overtaken the Russian Government.   America needs to keep her guard up and this graduation will be the largest class in the history of the FBI.  Two FBI agents struggle to get along with one another during attendance at the FBI Academy.  They respect each other for their strengths, but they do not like each other and would never volunteer to work together.   Upon Graduation, The Academy Director assigns them to work together to stop a Russian spy ring in California at Northrup.  They know there is a leak, but are not clear on how the secrets are leaving the building.  Plans for the newest Stealth Bomber are at risk.  Not only do they have to work together, they need to be a newlywed couple in love...and Mormon because that is something the spies would never suspect.     Andie winces when the Director says, "This is the Book of Mormon.  Read it, Learn it, know it, Live it.  That is all".   They are to meet at the Dulles International Airport in the morning for their flight to California.  This is their chance to prove their worth to their Country, crack the case and become heroes.  A thrilling adventure awaits.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Why do people do Genealogy?

Why do People keep journals, logs, trees, showing their lineage?

 Since the beginning of time, people have written down in pictures or cryptic hieroglyphics a story of their families. Sometimes WIKIPEDIA can be useful! It describes recorded history as this, "recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing."1

Limestone Kish tablet from Sumer with pictographic writing; may be the earliest known writing, 3500 BC. Ashmolean Museum 2

When you think about all the indignities suffered by the generations in the past, sometimes it is hard to even imagine how people could survive, without air conditioning, a waterbed, toothbrush, clean bed linens, perhaps a decent shaving device.  The list goes on.  As we languish in the lap of even simple luxury, we can only learn from their lives.  However, if a family doesn't document their lives, how is the future generation to ever learn from their mistakes?  How are the next generations to grow and appreciate their forefathers?

In many ways, all families DID instill the love of their families in the next generation.  The did it by storytelling.  At Roots Tech, I watched a video about a journey to Africa to find family.  When the young people arrived, they would interview and film stories and things they discovered were just amazing.
The people of the village from the time they were very small would have to memorize the family history - names, dates, who belonged to who.  Can you tell me who your Great Great Great grandfather was on your Father's side?  They could!  Some were able to recite the journey almost 800 years.

I was particularly touched by Levar Burton's eloquent talk about his family.  I have included a link to the Roots Tech speech that moved so many people to tears and ended with a standing ovation.

As your teenager is playing video games on the couch and not doing anything particularly educational, think about it....could he recite the journey of your people?  Well now you know why we do Genealogy.

I am fascinated with the journey of my ancestors.  I wish I had been more fascinated when my Grandparents were all alive.  I asked them questions as we cooked together in the kitchen.   I didn't ask them enough questions.  When the last dish was dried after the big family meal and everyone retired to the family room something sad occurred;  when the television turned on, all the questions stopped.

Now, I spend a lot of time wondering, researching and documenting the files we put together.   I know that one day I will see them again and I only hope what I put together for my posterity will make them proud.

If you need help starting, please let us know.  We can guide you.  Let us know where you are stuck - maybe we can help you break through the wall.

Ted and Karen


Tuesday, February 14, 2017


We are in Salt Lake City this week, enjoying learning more things to get out to our Ward and Stake Families and friends who would like to know more about where their people came from.

The new technologies will make it easier and more fun for you to document your family history and that of your friends around you who wish help.

Consultant Blog

What is new in Family Search?

What is new in - OH MY GOSH!!!!
Did you get a DNA test and get the results?  For no additional cost - look what they are going to do for us!!!  All happening in March 2017

Each beautiful color represents a genetic community.

 Ancestry will now not only show you what genetic community you belong in, they will show you the migratory pattern of your people.  Can I get a What? What!

There was a contest of APP inventions to make things easier for our searching.....

New Innovations in Software and Apps

Twile is free to anyone!
Twile makes your family history more visual and engaging. Pull together all of your family's memories, photos and stories in the same place.

Import your family history to automatically create a visual timeline and then share it privately with the rest of your family.

Had fun meeting Jennie and Levi at Roots Tech.  Make sure you check out Jennie Merkley's site JOYFLIPS - The app is functional, easy and fun that you can do right on your phone.  No more pictures hanging around where you don't know what the information was on the back side!

I kind of loved this lady.  Her first slide said, "I AM A HOARDER".  Every Genealogist can relate to piles of papers and pictures and trying to sort and make sense of it all.

 Though she didn't do a super professional presentation, she still won the People's Choice Award for I think 14,000? or more!  Basically the takes boxes of love letters and documents, and you scan, tag and archive pictures and stories.  You import pictures to match the stories.  She wasn't really clear about the transposition from handwriting to printing so I can't really tell you more than that - but check out

This one won the BIG award - upwards of 45,000.00 for developing an app.  That is my goal and I am nudging Ted to help me because he knows coding so much better than I do.  Ha - I can make it pretty; he can make it functional -great team.  Ok let's talk about Qromatag

If you design websites you are always wanting the search engines to pick up on your META TAGS i.e., searchable words, keywords, title, content, etc.,
This program uses more of the industry standards and does a better job of capturing the searchable data.



Using Newspapers as a database, it will probably be a free service
The IOS app will be out later - Android is ready now at
I have an account with and though it is very helpful, I think this winner is really going places.  This is the first newspaper database which is able to download as an (IOS app version coming out very soon)  and the Android app is now available
Search for more valuable information

If you have ever tried to search a Newspaper it is very difficult because Newspapers are scanned in via OCR - kind of what you see is what you get and the words they pick up are dicey and don't always correlate.  
For instance you want information on John Smith in Idaho 1948

It will pick up a newspaper and grab random words that don't correlate
JOHN Johnson of Rexburg........ The IDAHO state fair is coming....
Susan SMITH won the pie contest.....Miss IDAHO of 1948 was Ellen Goodman. is working to make this a much more correlated search and not random hit and miss.

This did not win any awards but the concept is very trendy and a great idea.  She takes photos and records information onto the files.  It's worth a look.  Any archive is better than storing your precious memories in a damp garage or attic.

 The story here is that he did the test on his 93 year old Great Uncle. Before the test came back he died. But that triangulation showed over 7,000 possibles and one definite. He was able to get info from that distant cousin to help further his research. The tool is free  i CAN'T WAIT TO TRY THIS ONE!!!!

Just go to Ancestry and download the DATA - (letters and numbers) nothing pretty.  Then when you get another test, upload both to this tool.  Report back and let us know what you found!!!!

Levar Burton, Actor, Writer, Director, Storyteller was our Keynote Speaker one day....

If you saw Roots on Jan 1, 1977 - over 40 million people tuned into see the story of Kunta Kinte and his journey, as told by writer Alex Haley.

If you haven't seen it, rent it.  All 8 nights.  It was one of the first mini series on television and the most influential in so many peoples' lives and the the lives of Family History Consultants world over.  We watched a clip today and I was in tears through most of it.  Since then, upon doing my own research, I found that at least one of my ancestors was a Slave Owner.  I feel tremendous guilt over this and I hope that all this work we do will somehow in some very small part pay part of the debt my family owes to those people who were enslaved.

I know there were many "owners" who treated their people like family and were not mean.  I  also know that we hear too many times of the suffering and indignity that others endured at the hands of the nefarious greed of some owners.  I would like to believe that because I have so much compassion, maybe my ancestors were kind.  That's the only way I can live with this knowledge.

To quote Levar today:  "The only limitations you will ever have are the ones you place on yourself"

Finally - We were really impressed with the idea of recording our Ancestors voices and pictures before they pass and are lost until we see them again one day.
This idea of recording keeps them a little closer to your heart.

 We have lots  more but wanted you to know we are always thinking of things that will make Genealogy and Family Search more fun.  The best one we have found that really gets kids and young adults excited about this is called Storycorps.  Check it out!

Shameless plug!
My novel just came out on I hope you check it out. It's a fun and thrilling read.

Under Cover
It’s 1990 and tensions between the United States and the Russian Government are high.. America needs to keep her guard up and this graduation will be the largest class in the history of the FBI. Two FBI agents struggle to get along with one another during attendance at the FBI Academy. They respect each other for their strengths, but they do not like each other and would never volunteer to work together. Upon Graduation, The Academy Director assigns them to work together to stop a Russian spy ring in California at Northrup. They know there is a leak, but are not clear on how the secrets are leaving the building. Plans for the newest Stealth Bomber are at risk. Not only do they have to work together, they need to be a newlywed couple in love...and Mormon because that is something the spies would never suspect. Andie winces when the Director says, "This is the Book of Mormon. Read it, Learn it, know it, Live it. That is all". They are to meet at the Dulles International Airport in the morning for their flight to California. This is their chance to prove their worth to their Country, crack the case and become heroes. A thrilling adventure awaits.