Volunteer Spotlight: Anna Buis

by Lyndie Jackson

Volunteers at the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation are the bread and butter of the effort to bring Wilford's work to light,” said Anna Buis.

Anna, a volunteer researching Wilford Woodruff's ancestors who lived during the colonial era, joined the Project to maintain the research skills she learned at BYU–Idaho and to be part of a meaningful project connected to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She found the opportunity to volunteer through social media and didn’t hesitate to offer her help.

“I love the team of people I get to collaborate with,” Anna said. “They are all passionate about genealogical research and help me sharpen my research skills on a regular basis. I also enjoy the challenges that come with researching.” 

Her work becomes especially powerful when she comes across a piece of information not attached to an individual’s FamilySearch profile. Anna said, “Helping their identity come to life through record finding is really exciting!”

Anna has felt the personal assistance of the Lord as she works to research these records. She said, “I have seen how the Lord provides me with the time I need to research and focus on my family and Church callings. There is always enough time for everything I need to do. This helps me to know that this work for the Project is important to Him.”

Anna had a particularly inspiring experience while tracing the record of an individual from Wyoming to Canada, who she discovered was born in Switzerland. “After some prayer and diligent searching, I was able to find him in Swiss birth records and his whole family in a New York ship manifest. It was such a humbling moment for me because I could feel how much he wanted to be found.”

This assistance from the other side of the veil has been felt repeatedly by Anna. She noted, “It has become a driving force in my desire to continue to be involved with this great work.”

Anna Buis

As a volunteer, Anna has been impressed with how the Foundation has taken on the initiative to continue Wilford Woodruff’s work while he was alive by making his writings available to the public. She noted that Wilford’s records contain the names of countless individuals whose stories are able to be heard through the work of the Foundation.

Anna said, “I have always felt appreciated and valued as a volunteer for the Foundation. There is a great need for volunteers to jump in and move this work forward.” She then offered this invitation: “ If you have skills and time, you are invited to join us in working to honor Wilford's legacy in a meaningful way.”

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities available through the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation, visit this page or reach out at contact@wilfordwoodruffpapers.org.