The Final Day of the 46th Annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Friday marked the final day of the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University. Many of the vendors were gone, the book scanning moved back to its West Valley facility, and family history consultants were invited for a day of free training. There was no keynote speaker, just the choice of five classes throughout the day from the 8 different tracks offered. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that all of us were a bit exhausted!

Family History Consultants WPOne of the goals at FamilySearch is to provide training to family history consultants who serve in their local areas, including the many family history centers throughout the world. Although there are many resources online, the opportunity to ask questions was a bonus to conference participants. There was standing room only for the first session titled Family Tree Primer for Consultants. I happened by a wonderful question and answer segment on the policies for submission in From Tree to Temple. Consultants were also instructed in ways to encourage individuals to record their history in the My Family booklet. The final session of the day for consultants was one of the most popular sessions last year as well, Facebook for Family History Consultants.

The youngest family history consultant present was 13 year old Ruby Baird. Ruby Baird and Her GrandmotherHer grandmother, Marsha Hartmon, describes Ruby as an old soul in a very young body. Ruby was named for her great grandmothers, one from each side of the family. Ruby researches her ancestral lines, prepares names for the temple, and gifts the ordinance cards to family members so that they can complete the temple work; she also helps others pursue their ancestors.

There were about 750 participants at this year’s conference and an additional 50 youth. Among them were many great family stories to share. New this year, the FamilySearch computer lab was well used during the course of the conference. Many personal photographs were scanned for the benefit of participants. About 100 books were donated to be scanned; these books will be placed on-line at in about a month.

Although the sessions were not recorded, the address from Elder Paul E. Koelliker, Family the Fabric of Eternity, and the presentation material from David E. Rencher, The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community, are on-line for review. The syllabus will continue to be available at a cost of $20 for the CD and $35 for the printed edition. This syllabus contains 588 pages of helpful material, including links and bibliographies to further your research. You may order by calling 1 (877) 221-6716.

It is impossible to acknowledge all of the wonderful people I met during the course of this conference, but I put together a slide presentation of some of the highlights from this year’s event. I hope that you will enjoy it! I would also like to acknowledge the conference planning committee, including Stephen Young, FamilySearch project manager; Kathy Warburton, FamilySearch project coordinator; Michael Provard, FamilySearch conference logistical coordinator; and Kelly Summers, Church History and Doctrine, BYU. I would like to thank John Best, assistant program administrator, BYU Conferences and Workshops, and his staff, especially Jon Collier, event planner, for an excellent conference. In addition I would like to thank all of the instructors for their presentations and the participants for their many contributions!

The BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy invites you to set aside July 28-July 31, 2015 for the 47th annual conference to be held next year on the BYU Provo campus!

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Time for the 46th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

BYU Conference Center SE WPIt’s that time of year when Brigham Young University will host the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy. For those who may be unfamiliar with BYU, it is located in Provo, Utah approximately 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. This year participants hail from 29 of the United States, the District of Columbia, and from Canada, Australia, and the Ukraine.

The conference will be held July 29 through August 1, 2014 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 the airlines have great last-minute deals :-)

C. Lynn Andersen and granddaughter WPThe BYU conference offers participants a choice of 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 any of the presentations.

This year the opening keynote address will be given by Paul E. Koelliker, who has served as executive director of the Temple Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and as assistant executive director of the LDS Family History Department. On Wednesday, David E. Rencher, AG, CG, will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Rencher is the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch International. On Thursday, T.C. Christensen, a writer, director, and producer for the movie Ephraim’s Rescue and other films, will address the conference. For the remaining part of each day and on Friday, classes are offered for those new to genealogy and those with more experience. For a complete schedule of presenters and their topics visit

New this year FamilySearch will be offering free scanning services to conference participants. FamilySearch is bringing four high-speed photo scanners that can scan up to 80 photos per minute. So, if you are coming to the conference and would like to participate bring your photos and a portable USB drive with sufficient memory. Stop by room 2285 to schedule a time to scan your photos. This service will be available every day of the conference.

FamilySearch will also be scanning books for participants. Beginning on Wednesday, July 30 through Thursday, July 31, FamilySearch will scan books on a first-come, first-serve basis. FamilySearch is especially interested in the following:

  • Autobiographies and biographies containing genealogical material
  • Family histories with genealogical information
  • Indexes to records
  • Local and county histories
  • Yearbooks

Robert Dickey demonstrating book scanning WPFamilySearch is recommending that books be brought to room 2285 Wednesday morning and they plan to scan as many as possible. If FamilySearch is unable to meet the demand for these services, unfinished books will be returned Friday morning or, with permission of the owner , FamilySearch will scan each book at their Salt Lake City facility and return each book to its owner by mail.

Remember that permission must be obtained from the author or copyright holder of any published book before books can be scanned. Generally, a book published before 1923 is in the public domain and does not impose this additional requirement. There is no scanning limitation on the size of a book. The participant’s publications will be added to the current 140,000 books found online at

BYU Family History Library WPThe BYU Family History Library, located on the 2nd floor of the Harold B. Lee Library, will be open from 7 am to 12 midnight Tuesday through Friday for those who may want to dedicate part of their days and their evenings in Provo to family history research. Don’t forget to check out the great collection of maps and periodicals that are housed in this university’s library!

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.

Once again the youth track will be offered on Tuesday. It 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 $484. 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 $170. (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 on campus may purchase a $35 debit card for lunch each day at the Morris Center during 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 1-801-422-4853.

Follow the conference on Twitter, #BYUFHGC, and visit the conference home page on Facebook for the latest updates.

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

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.