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Overheard in GenForum: Hannah Duffin/August Thiede
by Rhonda R. McClure

Each week Rhonda answers a question from the GenForum message boards and gives her expert answer here. We'd love to hear anything you have to add. Go ahead and leave your comments on GenForum with the original message.

October 25, 2001
See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Q: I am looking for any info on Hannah Duffin. She was born 28 Oct 1882 in Hull in England, then emigrated to America where she married August Adolph Benjamin Thiede on 3 May 1911. Hannah died on 23 March 1972 in Salt Lake City Utah. August Thiede was born 17 Feb 1882 in Berlin Prussia and died 16 Aug 1965 in Salt Lake City Utah. -- Keith

A: Both Hannah Duffin and August Thiede were among the many converts from England and Europe who immigrated to Salt Lake City to join the rest of the Saints. This was a common occurrence during the late 1800s and 1900s. As missionaries went to share their message, many of these converts would end up leaving their families as they sought to follow their new beliefs. I suspect this may have been the case with Hannah and August.

The good news when researching these LDS converts is that the records that exist are quite useful. Because of the importance of family and family connections, you will find that information exists to help you in taking your research back further.

LDS ancestors may be found in unique, useful resources.

Entries in the International Genealogical Index

The International Genealogical Index (IGI) has long been used by both LDS and non-LDS researchers. To non-LDS researchers it was simply an index to the world of sorts. To LDS researchers, it was a method for tracking past Temple work done by proxy for their deceased ancestors. For many years, proxy work done on behalf of deceased individuals was all that was listed in the IGI.

In the last couple of updates, they have begun to add additional records, many of them transcribed from temple books (the volumes that listed the proxy work giving the name of the ancestor and the name of the heir). For those with early LDS ancestors, the inclusion of records on then-living members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, means possible records that have existed for awhile, but you may not have been aware of.

Hannah and August are two such individuals who appear in the IGI under three entries. Two of these entries come from proxy work, by descendants of the couple. The third leads us to Endowments of the Living, 1893-1956.

LDS Records

I have mentioned two different records that are generated by Latter-day Saint beliefs and the Temple work that they feel is necessary for exaltation. Temple Books, as well as their indexes and sealings for the dead, offer information about the deceased individual and the individual who performed the proxy Temple work. The sealings were family group records with an extra column that allowed for the recording of the individuals doing the proxy. Other Temple books will not list as much as the family group records, instead giving you the name of the deceased individual, the name of the person standing in proxy, and the dates of the various proxy Temple ordinances that were accomplished.

The Endowments of the Living were added to the IGI later, which explains why proxy work was done for both Hannah and August. At the time the proxy work was accomplished, there was no way to track prior work. In fact, the sealings for the dead where Hannah and August are listed date from 1943 to 1970. In regard to Hannah's and August's entries in the Endowments of the living, the dates covered by the 26 microfilms include years 1893 to 1956. The specific film number listed in the IGI for Hannah and August reveal that they took their endowments some time between 24 June 1908 and 26 June 1913 (FHL #1239508, reference 8106). It is likely they took out their endowments close to when they were married.

Another LDS record that August Thiede appears in is the Deceased Membership Records for 1941 to 1977. The information you are likely to find in these records include the member's name, parents' names, birth date and place, names of children, death date and place, and in some instances the cause of death. These records are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically. August Thied is going to be found on microfilm # 884352, which includes names from Thalmann, Ralph Irvin to Thomas, Lillian. Unfortunately, it does not look like Hannah is found in these records, though she died in 1972, and these records go up to 1977.

Accessing LDS Records

The temple books, sealing records and endowments for the living are restricted records. While they are available on microfilm, they cannot be ordered to a local Family History Center. In fact, at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, these records are held in Special Collections. Access of these records requires library patron show proof that his or her lineage may be included in the books in question. The patron will also need to show an LDS Temple recommend or a bishop's letter before they will be able to access the materials. No photocopying is allowed of these records.

The deceased membership records are also restricted to a certain degree. They cannot be sent to local Family History Centers and no photocopying is allowed. However, they are not as restricted as the other records. They are found out in the regular drawers of microfilm on the US/Canada floor at the Family History Library. They will be on red microfilm reels to remind you that they cannot be photocopied.

More on Hannah and August

While the records are restricted, there is some information on Hannah and August in the Ancestral File. Hannah's father is William Duffin, born 12 Nov 1845 in Nafferton, Yorkshire, England. He died 5 Feb 1890 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. Her mother is Betsey Allerston who was born in December 1848 near Filey, Yorkshire, England. Betsey died April 1902 in Hull. There are additional generations of this lineage.

August's father is Carl Friederich Wilhelm Thiede. He was born 20 Jul 1838 in Neu Zittan, Brandenburg, Prussia. Carl died 28 Jul 1885 in Berlin, Brandenburg, Prussia. August's mother is Charlotte Caroline Bertha Mieltz. She was born 5 Dec 1840 in Reppen, Brandenburg, Prussia. She died 17 Mar 1913 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She does not appear in the LDS records described earlier. This does not mean that she wasn't LDS, just that she doesn't appear to be in these records. Certainly, you might want to order a copy of her death certificate.

In Conclusion

You will want to verify the information found in Ancestral File, using as many primary documents as possible. Many of these records are available on microfilm through the Family History Library, though some of the LDS records are restricted. Also, you will also want to contact the submitter of this lineage to Ancestral File. The submitter may have additional information or records that is of help to you.

See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Rhonda R. McClure is a professional genealogist specializing in celebrity trees and computerized genealogy. She has been involved in online genealogy for fifteen years. She is the author of the award-winning The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, now in its second edition. She is the author of four how-to guides on Family Tree Maker. In late 2001, she wrote The Genealogist's Computer Companion. She is a contributing editor to Biography Magazine with her "Celebrity Roots" column and a contributing writer to The History Channel Magazine. Her latest book is Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors. She may be contacted at

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