Linking family members is her passion
By Emily Staley
Apr. 12, 2018
MANTI—Judy Lubinski of Manti is a strong woman who has encountered hardships in her life. Yet despite her challenges, she still feels passionate about family history research.
She was born in 1947 and raised in Lynn, Mass.
She met her husband Robert “Bobbie” Lubinski in a lounge where they danced once, and the rest is history.
Although they couldn’t have children, they adopted a daughter who has two children now.
After a hard-fought seven-year fight, Bobbie passed away in 2001 from leukemia.
Before that, the two were able to take 10 weeks in 1999 to go on their dream vacation. They rented an RV and traveled around the country.
Judy moved from Florida in 2005 and has lived in Manti since that time. She wanted to settle down in a nice place with an LDS temple nearby, and after moving here, she has never regretted it.
In 2016, Judy had a crazy year dealing with her health. First, she had a surgery on her knee and had to learn how to walk all over again.
After this, due to several more problems, she got an ambulance ride up to Ogden for a surgery, but she has recovered well since and is as strong spirited as ever. “I haven’t been the same since, but that’s life!” she said with a smile.
After joining the LDS Church when she was age 22, Judy found her passion for genealogy.
“Once I started it in 1977, I couldn’t stop! I got totally hooked,” Judy said.
She and her mother traveled 45 minutes from their home to the National Archives in Boston, Mass., where they searched census records and found the first clues of their family.
One of her fondest memories of genealogy was helping the LDS Church microfilmers do the Lynn, Mass., records. After approaching the city to see if they would like their records microfilmed, she put them in touch with the people at LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.
A man from Salt Lake City and an older missionary couple came and worked on photographing all of the birth, marriage and death records in Lynn, Mass., up until 1905.
“During that project, I got to handle my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ original marriage and death records,” she said. “It was very special to me.”
One time while doing her own family history work, Judy found a pleasant surprise: “I thought I was the only member of my family who was a member of the church until I went to do my great grandmothers’ work and found it already done. That’s when I found out that I have Mormon cousins!”
She still keeps in contact with them today.
Judy has been the director of two LDS family history centers—one in Lynnfield, Mass., and the other in Bunnell, Fla. She has also volunteered in whatever family history center was near wherever she lived. The number of hours she has spent volunteering is countless.
Her favorite type of genealogy to work on is “finding babies that have been lost from their families.” She finds babies who were born and died in between census records by locating their gravestones in family plots.
Federal census records are like family snapshots, yet they are 10 years apart, leaving a whole decade for children to appear and disappear in a household. In addition, the 1890 federal census was destroyed in a fire, leaving 20 years without a federal census to identify family members in the household.
Also, some states have had censuses on the five-year interval between federal censuses (e.g., 1885 censuses in Iowa, Kansas and Colorado). Yet even five years is plenty of time for a child to be born, live and die before the next census.
“I don’t think there’s anything about genealogy that doesn’t excite me!” she said passionately.
Judy has her own den in her home in Manti where she enjoys spending time working on genealogy.