Sunday, June 24, 2012

‘Strengthening ties’ at BYU family history conference

PROVO, Utah — Those attending BYU’s 44th annual Family History and Genealogy Conference will be able to choose from more than 130 classes, including a new hands-on workshop on how to build your own genealogy website. This year’s conference, to be held July 31-August 3 at the BYU Conference Center, has a theme of “Strengthening the ties that bind families together through family history.” It offers classes for family historians of all skill levels.

Richard E. Turley, Jr., assistant historian and recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will give the opening plenary address on Tuesday. Under his leadership in 1999, the church’s Family History Department launched the popular FamilySearch.org website.

Wednesday’s plenary speaker will be John Titford from England, a writer, broadcaster and genealogical consultant. The Thursday plenary speaker will be Rod DeGiulio, director of FamilySearch Data Operations.

More than 130 classes will be offered in a variety of categories and topics, including: exploring family trees, hands-on workshops, FamilySearch, international research, German research, youth and genealogy, getting support from priesthood leaders, computers and technology, methodology, etc. A complete schedule can be viewed at familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.

The conference will feature a Family History Consultant track on Tuesday and Wednesday with classes designed for consultants in LDS Family History Centers.

Industry exhibitors from throughout the United States will show off their newest products and services.
Two hands-on workshops will be offered. A “German Gothic Handwriting Workshop,” taught by Warren Bittner, will be held from 9:45 a.m.–noon Tuesday. Participants will learn to decipher the German Gothic handwriting used on many genealogical records in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.

The second hands-on workshop, “Building a Genealogy Website,” will be held 1:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, to teach participants how to make their research available to the world by creating their own family history website using Google Sites. It will be taught by Rebecca Smith, Noel Coleman, and Hannah Allan.

GenealogyWallCharts.com is offering conference attendees a free black-and-white fan chart of their family tree. To take advantage of this offer, order the chart online, then pick it up at the conference at no charge.

Noncredit registration for the four-day event, including a CD syllabus, is $180. Family history consultants will receive a $25 discount on general registration. The for-credit 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 lunch each day of the conference, is available on the BYU campus for $100. Conference participants who are not staying in campus housing can buy a $25 lunch card that covers hot lunches, a salad bar, drinks and dessert at the Morris Center each day of the conference.
For more information about the conference, visit the website or call 801-422-4853.