As early as tomorrow afternoon from 3-5 pm, and each day this upcoming week, registrants of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy may pick up their conference materials at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, Utah. It’s going to be a GPS week!
As you know, a Global Positioning System (GPS) provides direction to get us where we want to go. While reviewing the titles for this year’s conference I realized that conference organizers have done just that with their selection of presentations.
As I mentioned in my last post, this conference has 160 classes streamlined into 24 tracks. There is a Beginner track that covers an introduction to genealogy, verification of family stories, the importance of sourcing our information, and U.S. research. There are the FamilySearch, Ancestry, and Online Research tracks to help keep up with the ever-growing databases that provide us with such ease in gathering our family information. There is a Methodology track that discusses how to track an ancestor’s migration, how to evaluate evidence, how to spot errors in original records [it happens more than we would like to acknowledge] and what to do about those errors, and the hows and whys of descendancy research. J. Mark Lowe is presenting one lecture as part as the Methodology track. In addition to this lecture, Mark will be discussing the early Methodist church, finding Baptist ancestors in Southern manuscripts, Tennessee, and Kentucky research. These are parts of the Southern U.S. Research and Church Records tracks. Robert McLaren, Ugo Perego, and Kenny Freestone will present information for the DNA Research track. There is also a track entitled Computers & Technology discussing Mac use, iPads, and digital cameras.
If this is not enough to position a researcher on a map to success, there is more! There are tracks specifically dedicated to localities. Organizers determined the conference offerings for these specific tracks based on past interest demographics. British, English/Welsh, Irish, German, Scandinavian, Scottish and United States Research will all have their own track on specific days. Then there is the International track. On the schedule you may have noticed that under the word “International” is the word “Small” in parentheses. Although organizers anticipate that there will be fewer participants concerned with these ethnicities this year, they recognize the value of such an eclectic offering. These classes will discuss Canadian, Dutch, Estonian, French, Jewish, Russian, and Slovakian Research. Hispanic Research is also in this category. (By the way, there is good news! In September 2013 there will be a conference specifically devoted to Hispanic research! Visit Conferencia Iberoamericana de Genealogía 2013 for more information.)
As many may know, BYU is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the same organization that provides researchers all over the world with access to records to find their ancestors by visiting the Family History Library, over 4,600 centers around the world, and the FamilySearch website. The LDS Church seeks out other organizations willing to preserve and share these records to our past. Sometimes I think we do not thank them enough for the sacrifices in time and means and their willingness to share.
In addition to the resources above, Church leaders issue “callings” to members as family history consultants, which means that these individuals are asked to give a portion of their time each week to help others find their ancestors. There is a track especially for them. The LDS Family History Callings track is designed to help new consultants understand how to assist others in their research. If you are a family history consultant you may attend this track for FREE on Friday, August 2nd. If you are a family history consultant and would like to attend the entire conference, you will receive a $50 discount on registration. You may register by calling (877) 221-6716 or visit the registration page.
The BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy positions the researcher for global success! It is the perfect companion conference to RootsTech, which provides the latest updates on technology to enhance family history and genealogical endeavors. Registration for the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy is limited, but you may register at the door if space is available. Come join us! For more information call (877) 221-6716.
[RootsTech provides family historians and genealogists with all of the latest technology that expedites research efforts. As someone who has attended each year, I commend this conference to you. It will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 6-8, 2014. Registration opens in August. Check out their website for more information :-)]
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