My story starts with my names. My first name is “Miyamoto,” which is traditionally a Japanese last name. It’s my great-great-grandmother’s last name actually. After viewing my mother’s pedigree chart, my dad was fully convinced that “Miyamoto” was to be my first name no matter what. I find it pretty fitting that my name was inspired by the mere study of a beloved family tree. My middle name is “Loretta,” who was my dad’s sister. She passed away a few months before I was born, so to honor her, Aunty Loretta’s name became one of mine. I became heavily involved with family history after serving a full-time volunteer missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ in Tokyo, Japan. I felt really connected to my ancestors there and knew that once I completed my mission, that I needed to be engaged in genealogy. I graduated from BYU with my bachelor’s in family history and genealogy – Polynesian emphasis.
Currently, I am the only professionally trained genealogist that is focusing on Polynesian genealogy. Sometimes, this makes me feel overwhelmed because I feel the weight of so many people – living and dead – relying on me to help them. But I know that the work I am doing is blessed by God because God is for families. I cannot do what I do or work towards my dreams without His help and guidance.
My biggest hope and dream is for everyone to find their family. There is so much power and healing in knowing one’s family history! Things that are broken – whether it be a broken heart, home, relationships, mind, bodies, spirits – can heal through active participation in family history.