The BYU 45th Annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy: the Keynote Presentations

BYU Conference Center

BYU Conference Center

I mentioned in previous posts that the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy would make available transcripts of this year’s keynote presentations shortly after the conference ended. Today is the day :-)

Now available for download and viewing are the following:

  • An Invitation to Shape the Future by Elder Allan F. Packer – the transcript in PDF format
  • Coffins, Urns & Zip Lock Bags by J. Mark Lowe – a two-page syllabus from his presentation in PDF format
  • Hearts Then Charts by Dennis C. Brimhall – download the slides of this presentation. Additionally, there are two short videos to view.

Enjoy them at your leisure this weekend :-)

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

Can You Chart the Heart?

The Second Day of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Those involved in family history and genealogy are familiar with charts: names, dates, places, and relationships all displayed in an organized fashion. Some have these charts in files, others have published books, and others have charts hanging on the walls of their homes. They provide a sense of knowledge about oneself and those from whom one descends.

Elder Allan F. Packer (Courtesy of BYU Conferences & Workshops Photography)

Elder Allan F. Packer
(Courtesy of BYU Conferences & Workshops Photography)

Yesterday Elder Allan F. Packer extended “an invitation to shape the future” to an overflow crowd at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, Utah. He asked us to get involved, to become “change agents,” in the field of family history and genealogy. He listed fun and fulfillment as the top reasons for the need for change in the number of people involved in this work. Greater unity in [the] family and society, the doctrine [of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], population growth and record-keeping were other points he mentioned.

And then he suggested “specific things [we] can do.” First on his list was to start with the youth. (This conference hosted about 70 youth yesterday. I had the opportunity to pop-in to their sessions, filled or almost filled, to capacity throughout the day. Will the youth have their very own conference in the near future?)

Paul, Anna, Kate and Rachel

Paul, Anna, Kate and Rachel

He also asked us to “change the sequence of how we introduce people to family history, help them to discover themselves, use stories and pictures, and simplify.” He stated that “family history is more than genealogy.” He encouraged us to “discover the history of the past, create history by living in the present, and shape the history of the future by what we do now.”

During his address Elder Packer reported that the participants of this conference came from 6 countries, 24 states, 89% of the participants were under the age of 60, and 75% of conference participants were female. Of this last point he said that this must change :-)

In the past, transcripts of the keynote addresses were made available on the conference website. I will keep you posted as to their availability this year.

Today Dennis Brimhall will discuss, “Not Just a Chart, But the Heart.” As you know, he is the Managing Director of the LDS Family History Department. After the keynote address there will be 40 classes for participants to choose from divided into 8 tracks. There will be a track for Beginners. Southern U.S. Research and Irish Research will have their own series of classes. Internationally, Canadian, French, Jewish, and Japanese Research will be addressed. will be presenting a series of classes as well. DNA Research, the FamilySearch Family Tree, and FamilySearch Compatibles round out today’s offerings.

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

“An Invitation to Shape the Future”

The First Day of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Cameron Hodson, Leslie Nielson, Karen Peterson, and Tessa Lund are ready to greet registrants at the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Cameron Hodson, Leslie Nielson, Karen Peterson, and Tessa Lund are ready to greet registrants at the
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.

BYUFHGC Hall WPFamilySearch 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.”

BYU Family History Library WPThe 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 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 He and his wife are the parents of eight children and twenty-five grandchildren.]

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

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. 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

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.