Friday marked the final day of the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University. Many of the vendors were gone, the book scanning moved back to its West Valley facility, and family history consultants were invited for a day of free training. There was no keynote speaker, just the choice of five classes throughout the day from the 8 different tracks offered. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that all of us were a bit exhausted!
One of the goals at FamilySearch is to provide training to family history consultants who serve in their local areas, including the many family history centers throughout the world. Although there are many resources online, the opportunity to ask questions was a bonus to conference participants. There was standing room only for the first session titled Family Tree Primer for Consultants. I happened by a wonderful question and answer segment on the policies for submission in From Tree to Temple. Consultants were also instructed in ways to encourage individuals to record their history in the My Family booklet. The final session of the day for consultants was one of the most popular sessions last year as well, Facebook for Family History Consultants.
The youngest family history consultant present was 13 year old Ruby Baird. Her grandmother, Marsha Hartmon, describes Ruby as an old soul in a very young body. Ruby was named for her great grandmothers, one from each side of the family. Ruby researches her ancestral lines, prepares names for the temple, and gifts the ordinance cards to family members so that they can complete the temple work; she also helps others pursue their ancestors.
There were about 750 participants at this year’s conference and an additional 50 youth. Among them were many great family stories to share. New this year, the FamilySearch computer lab was well used during the course of the conference. Many personal photographs were scanned for the benefit of participants. About 100 books were donated to be scanned; these books will be placed on-line at books.familysearch.org in about a month.
Although the sessions were not recorded, the address from Elder Paul E. Koelliker, Family the Fabric of Eternity, and the presentation material from David E. Rencher, The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community, are on-line for review. The syllabus will continue to be available at a cost of $20 for the CD and $35 for the printed edition. This syllabus contains 588 pages of helpful material, including links and bibliographies to further your research. You may order by calling 1 (877) 221-6716.
It is impossible to acknowledge all of the wonderful people I met during the course of this conference, but I put together a slide presentation of some of the highlights from this year’s event. I hope that you will enjoy it! I would also like to acknowledge the conference planning committee, including Stephen Young, FamilySearch project manager; Kathy Warburton, FamilySearch project coordinator; Michael Provard, FamilySearch conference logistical coordinator; and Kelly Summers, Church History and Doctrine, BYU. I would like to thank John Best, assistant program administrator, BYU Conferences and Workshops, and his staff, especially Jon Collier, event planner, for an excellent conference. In addition I would like to thank all of the instructors for their presentations and the participants for their many contributions!
The BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy invites you to set aside July 28-July 31, 2015 for the 47th annual conference to be held next year on the BYU Provo campus!
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