Family History Library Block Party 2019 Is History

South Temple is blocked off ’cause there’s a party going on downtown!

The sign read, “ROAD CLOSED.” It was time for the annual Family History Library Block Party! Everyone likes a party, right? Genealogists and family historians love reunions, right? Well, this event exceeded expectations! Held Saturday, June  15th in Salt Lake City from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., it will be held again next year. The lines were long, but during my brief conversation with David E. Rencher, FamilySearch CGO and the director of the Family History Library, I was told that the lines will be addressed next year. There will be more artists to paint faces, more artists to turn those in attendance into cartoons. Just more!

The idea of the block party began in 2015 when A.J. Jacobs, everybody’s cousin and author of It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the Family Tree, hosted the Global Family Reunion in New York City. Many couldn’t make it to New York, so reunion planners decided to hold satellite reunions all around the world. The Family History Library was just one destination. If my memory serves me, there were about 40 global reunions going on simultaneously. It was a hit!

Since that time the Family History Library has made this event a tradition. It’s a great family event with entertainment and activities for everyone. Even though the lines were long this year, the spirit was festive. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought for this post it would be appropriate to share the moments I captured during all of the fun:

I was greeted by the tent that provided shade for the musical performances!

This scene only happens once a year at the Family History Library!

Turn yourself into a cartoon with this artist, Carolyn Richardson of Carolyn Richardson Caricatures!

You just might want to have your family’s faces painted!

Let your children be the ones to climb the wall for a change!

There were slides and fun for the active bunch!

After all of the activity, why not have some refreshment? There was plenty!

Relative Race Team Red may be in for a surprise during Season 7! Get ready ’cause Season 6 will be airing this Fall!

This family was framed!

Jenny Oaks Baker met with those in attendance after her performance.

This is the FamilySearch version of a mirrored tree. Think DNA cousins!

When it says 2 p.m., the party shuts down at 2 p.m. It was amazing to watch how fast Family History Library employees took down this event!

There was no more climbing and the Relative Race cars were getting ready to take off.

A sign of a good leader is to be with those you lead. Can you spot David Rencher? He was in the thick of the party cleanup. (Pictured here in his role as director…lol.)

The time whirled past! The event was over. But, there was an afterparty going on inside the Family History Library!

I caught up with Tara Bergeson at the face painting canopy. In her day-to-day life, Tara manages the scheduling of upcoming sessions at RootsTech London and RootsTech. (And, her shirt reminds us that family *is* the original social network!)

I captured Jenny Oaks Baker’s performance of “The Greatest Show,” which I have posted to my YouTube channel for your enjoyment. There were other great songs performed, such as from the Beetles, think RootsTech London, and an original tune that will be featured on Jenny’s new album titled, Jenny Oaks Baker and Family, featuring her daughter, Hannah, and her son, Matthew. Filming was obscured by a few distracting individuals, but maybe an audio track can extracted. It is after all a casual event. Look for Jenny and her family’s album to be released at the end of the summer.

Just a reminder, the Discovery Center at the Family History Library is open daily Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a great place to begin to explore your family history, record a story, or conduct a family history interview.

And, as for upcoming events, RootsTech London will be held October 24th-26th at the ExCel Center. There are free pass giveaways going on now. I have a pass to giveaway, so tell your friends who may be interested to subscribe to this blog for automated notifications. Can’t make it to London? Registration for the virtual pass will be announced soon!

RootsTech will be held in Salt Lake City February 26th-29th at the Salt Palace Convention Center. There will be more information posted here about this great event that will be celebrating its 10th year! There will definitely be a party going on at RootsTech, but more importantly, it is my hope that all of us will continue to expand our knowledge of our families—connect and belong. Family—it’s what it’s all about!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and RootsTech London. As such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

FYI—Family History Library Block Party To Be Held On Saturday, June 15th

It’s a party! A block party is coming to the Family History Library on Saturday, June 15, 2019. It’s become tradition—and families love traditions! As in the past, the party will begin at 10 a.m. and wind down about 2 p.m.

The Family History Library is located at 35 North West Temple in Salt Lake City. North and South Temple will be blocked off for the outdoor activities, such as balloon artists, bounce houses, face painting, family history arts and crafts, pioneer games and living history activities, a rock climbing wall, and, of course, a FamilySearch booth. There will also be prize give-aways.

There will be an eclectic mix of live entertainment throughout the day AND the cars used for filming Relative Race will be on display. Relative Race has made available a list of road trip activities and conversation cards available for download whether or not you are able to attend this event, so check them out.

Lunch will be available from food trucks onsite: Bruges Waffle Bus, Cupbop Korean BBQ, Fancy Freezings Diner, Lucky Slice Pizza, Red Food Truck Peruvian Cuisine, and Ostler Snowie Snow Cones. There are also many restaurants nearby.

Of course it would not be a Family History Library block party without a focus on family history! There will be classes on photo preservation. Scanners will be available for your use all day. Episodes of Relative Race will be shown in the main floor classroom. The discovery experiences will be available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Opportunities to research will be available throughout the day as well. :-)

For more information, check out the Family Search Wiki.


Copyright © 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Easter Story Cookies—A Baking Activity in Remembrance

The Resurrected Christ by Wilson Ong

The year 2018 has not been easy for many within my social circles. I have learned about the death of someone’s loved one about every week since January and I have attended a number of funerals. It is a time of loss and separation, but it has also been a time of peace and reverence for many of my friends who are of the Christian faith, especially my Latter-day Saint friends, who trust in the promise that families can be together forever. In their minds there is comfort that, although they may be separated from that loved one for a time, the individual that has passed is being reunited with loved ones on the other side of this mortal life.

Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared a story of one of his ancestors who had a visitation from the other side about what life was like there. He told this story during the opening session of Family Discovery Day during RootsTech 2017. [The story begins at 15:27.] It is edifying, uplifting, and reassuring to hear such testimonies during times of loss. President Nelson is also a retired cardiologist who spoke as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ at the April 1987 General Conference on this topic titled, Life after Life. [This weekend is General Conference for all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether or not you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are welcome to view the proceedings at]

On the eve of this Easter weekend, I am reminded of a kitchen activity for children that strives to represent the Easter story. It’s a recipe of unknown origin.

Each of the approximately 18 cookies will crack in a unique way. This is just one example.

If you would like to try it, you will need:

  • 1 cup of whole pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (I’ve used white, apple cider, and most recently, cherry, which worked well.)
  • 3 egg whites
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • electric mixer
  • a plastic bag (A quart-sized freezer zip-lock bag works well.)
  • tape (I use painter’s tape to avoid any residue, but clear tape works as well. I haven’t known it to leave residue but I cannot guarantee it.)
  • scriptures
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Explain with scripture how Jesus was taken and mistreated. Place the pecans or walnuts in the plastic bag, seal it, and allow the child to break them into pieces with the wooden spoon. [The scriptures tell of the violent treatment of Jesus in Matthew 26: 67-68 & 27: 28-31; Mark 14: 65 & 15: 16-20; Luke 22: 63-65; and, John 19: 1-3]
  3. Tell how Jesus’s need for thirst on the cross was met by posting a sponge with vinegar. Allow the children to smell the vinegar and place 1 teaspoon in the mixing bowl. [Matthew 27: 46-48; Mark 15: 34-37; and John 19: 28-30]
  4. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave up his mortal life so that he could give greater life to us and hope of eternal life with Him. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. [Matthew 20: 28; Mark 10:45; John 10: 10-11]
  5. Tears were shed by many of the people. Tears are salty. Allow children to taste the salt. Add a pinch of salt to the vinegar and egg mixture. [Luke 23: 27-28]
  6. As the Psalmist said, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” [Psalm 30: 5] Add 1 cup of sugar to the mixture. Share scriptures that relate the love of God, such as Psalm 34: 8—”O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
  7. To represent the tomb, for these meringue cookies, beat the mixture at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 10-15 minutes. Fold in the nuts. Drop mixture by teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or similar. These mounds each represent the tomb cut out of rock by Joseph of Arimathaea in which Jesus was laid to rest. [Matthew 27: 57-60; Mark 15: 42-46; Luke 23: 50-56; & John 19: 38-42.]
  8. Put the baking sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven off. Allow each child to seal the oven door by a piece of tape representing the sealed tomb. Leave the baking sheet in oven until morning. [Matthew 27: 65-66]
  9. On Easter morning open the oven door and find a crack in each of the cookies (hopefully, but not always). This, of course, represents the empty tomb and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. [Matthew 28: 1-7; Mark 16; Luke 24: 1-9; & John 20: 1-16] Enjoy!

Happy Easter!

Copyright © 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.