Monday, May 3, 2010

Family History Conferences in Salt Lake City

I spent this past week in Salt Lake City attending two genealogical conferences.  They were both awesome and I learned so much.  I will try to share some of the things in the next few weeks. 

One conference was the Conference on Computerized Family History & Genealogy put on by BYU.  It's emphasis was on using technology to assist in this work.  FamilySearch announced the release of a large number of records that have recently been indexed. They talked about the importance of indexing and the new wiki.  This is much like wikipedia but has information about searching for your family.  They also have forums for people to post questions and discussion issues.  Both can be useful for everyone from beginners to the experienced.

The second conference was the National Genealogical Society (NGS).  It consisted of members and nonmembers from the nation and some from other nations.  FamilySearch was a major sponsor along with  I was able to take a tour of Ancestry and was impressed with their operations there.  A professional scanner scanned both sides of a yearbook page faster than a copier can scan one side of a page.  It was remarkable. The Family History Library was open until 11 each night and I was able to find some valuable information on my family.  I learned much about how the library operates and how more information is being made available every day online.  Mormon Times has several articles about the conference.

The highlight of the trip was "A Celebration of Family History" held in the Conference Center.  President Henry B. Eyring spoke and the Tabernacle Choir sang some beautiful songs and hymns.  Author David McCullough spoke.  He has written a book on John Adams among others and has won a Pulitzer Prize.  He spoke about teaching our children about our family history and history in general. Another point he made is that only through our journals can our descendants understand this time and how life was not. He made an interesting point when he said that a person who is not forgotten is not gone. Some beautiful videos were shown. You can view them at this link.

This was an awesome experience that I was privileged to have.  I hope that you will all take the time to think about how important your family history is.  It is what makes you who you are.

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