The 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy: A GPS Conference

GPS 2013 WPAs 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.)

BYU Conference Center SE WPAs 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 :-)]

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The Single Leaf Interrupts Your Summer…

BYU Conference Center NE WPActually, I hope to enhance your summer as I make this announcement :-)

Unknown to some is a week-long conference held in Provo, Utah, near Sundance resort, you know, Robert Redford’s place. Provo is located about 45 miles south of Salt Lake and if you are interested in genealogy you are probably familiar with that city. Although people come from as far away as Australia, and this year from Africa, to attend this conference, some locals may not even know that this conference has been going on for 44 years!

Therefore, I would like to announce that the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy will be held July 30th through August 2nd, 2013 at the BYU Conference Center, 770 East University Parkway, Provo, Utah. There is still time to register if you would like to attend. Remember, sometimes airlines have great last minute deals :-)

Why would you want to interrupt your summer plans?

Unlike genealogical institutes that have you register for one course for the entire week, this conference allows the participant to chose from 160 classes categorized into about two dozen tracks. The syllabus is a treasure trove of additional information, bibliographies, and links to further one’s study of a topic so one can go as deep as necessary or desired.

The opening session for the conference is entitled, “An Invitation to Shape the Future” and will be given by Elder Allan F. Packer, executive director of the Family History Department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Wednesday, Dennis C. Brimhall, President and CEO of FamilySearch International will speak to conference participants about “Not Just a Chart, but the Heart.” This year BYU is pleased to announce that J. Mark Lowe will be teaching a number of classes as well as presenting the keynote on Thursday. Mark is well-known in genealogical circles for his expertise in Southern U.S. Research and his sense of humor. I’m curious to know what he has to say about “Coffins, Urns & Zip-Lock Bags.” Classes are offered from the beginner to advanced levels by some names that you may know and some who are just qualified to share their expertise :-) For a complete schedule of presenters and their topics visit ce.byu.edu.

As we have gone digital, the youth have been a great asset in helping FamilySearch Indexing get record indices online. This year the youth will have their own track on opening day, Tuesday, July 30th. Attendance does not require pre-registration so if you are a youth or know a youth, consider dropping by and staying for the day. It’s free and, with the hot Utah sun, it’s also air conditioned. (Did I mention that the entire facility is fabulous?)

Family Chart Masters and Genealogy Wall Charts are giving away free fan charts to conference participants. You must order them online and they will be available for pick up at the conference. Visit the conference website for more information.

The conference will also have exhibitors present to display their newest products and services. Come check out the newest offerings in the field of genealogy. With the retirement of the free PAF program, Ancestral Quest, Legacy FamilyTree, and RootsMagic will be available to demonstrate their software to help those who may have been reluctant to leave PAF, or those new to genealogy, find a computer database program that suits their preferences. For Mac Users who prefer not to use Fusion, Parallels, or Boot Camp to run the PC programs, there are other options. Ancestry.com will be at the conference. They have programs for PC and Mac. There will be a beginner class on Friday entitled, “Mac Users: Simple Tricks to Save You Time.” Talk to the presenter about program options or contact me. I like Mac :-)

As mentioned above, the Youth track on Tuesday is FREE and does not require pre-registration. Noncredit registration for the four-day event, including a CD syllabus, is $180. Family History Consultants, who may attend their specific track for FREE on Friday, may register for the full conference and receive a $50 discount on general registration. The credit option cost for the conference (2 credits of History 481R – Family History Directed Research and a CD syllabus) is $440. To register, call 1-877-221-6716 or visit familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.

Men’s and women’s housing, which includes meals each day of the conference, is available on the BYU campus for $155. (That’s four nights lodging and 12 full meals.) Married housing is not available. (See the conference website about hotel accommodations.) Conference participants who are not staying in campus housing may purchase a $32 lunch card that covers lunches at the Morris Center each day of the conference. Lunch includes a choice of two entrees, salad, fruit, desserts, and drinks. It’s all you can eat! For more information about the conference, visit the website or call 801-422-4853.

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.