The First Day of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy
I was only at the registration desk for a few minutes yesterday to pick up conference materials but in that short amount of time I met individuals from coast to coast. I look forward to meeting many more today as the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy begins a week dedicated to increasing knowledge and sharpening skills that will further research endeavors. Over 700 individuals are expected to attend. The opening keynote address will be given by Elder Allan F. Packer* entitled, “An Invitation to Shape the Future.”
Cameron Hodson, Leslie Nielson, Karen Peterson, and Tessa Lund will be ready to greet and assist conference participants. Today marks the first time a Youth track has been offered. From mastering the basics of family history and genetic genealogy to photographing graves to post online, the youth who will attend are sure to find something of interest.
FamilySearch will be on hand to give “a whirlwind tour of FamilySearch resources,” and encourage “effective search strategies and sound research practices” as well as discuss “FamilySearch book scanning.” Other online research presentations will be offered throughout the day including one by Mark Olsen of MyHeritage and another by David Williams of Fold3.
Stephen Ehat will discuss in two separate presentations oral histories and the whys and hows of descendancy research. Nancy Lauer will enlighten us on how to know if we have found the right ancestor. Kory Meyerink will discuss “evaluating evidence and resolving discrepancies.” Jean Wilcox Hibben, who recently served as a lead researcher for the new PBS series Genealogy Roadshow, will present, “Who is That? Why Did Your Ancestors Associate with Apparent Strangers?”
Research in Scandinavia, Italy, and Poland will be addressed today. An introduction to Hispanic research will also be covered. U.S. Research will address an eclectic mix of topics such as the Huguenots, migration, Maryland and probate research.
This is also the day to learn more about Church Records. Although J. Mark Lowe will not be giving the keynote until Thursday morning, those attending this track will have the opportunity to hear his presentations on the “Circuit Riders and the Early Methodist Church” and “Finding Baptist Ancestors in Southern Manuscripts.” Lisa Arnold will cover “Quaker Records; “ Roger Minert will talk about “German Immigrants in American Protestant Church Records;” and George Ryskamp will discuss “Records of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.”
The BYU Family History Library will be open from 8am to 9pm Tuesday through Thursday and until 6pm on Friday. The library has subscriptions to many noted genealogical websites as well as houses a large collection of microfilm. To check to see if the library has a microfilm of interest, obtain the film number from the FHLC at FamilySearch.org and then check FHL Films and Fiche at BYU to see if the film of interest is here. Scanning, printing and other services are available. For more information about the BYU Family History Library call 801-422-6200.
[*Elder Packer is the Executive Director of the LDS Family History Department and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At one point in his life he worked for MyFamily.com. He and his wife are the parents of eight children and twenty-five grandchildren.]
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