Reality television meets family history in BYUtv’s competitive, family-finding program, Relative Race. The unscripted series, which recently aired its third season, follows four teams in search of relatives they have never met, but with whom they share DNA.
Having experienced life-changing benefits of family history, a mother/daughter team now share helpful how-to’s through a popular blog and website, regular presentations, a book about genealogy research and more.
A resident of Vail, Arizona, and member of the Corona Ward, Tucson South Stake, Nicole Dyer, the daughter half of the team, learned to love family history as a teenager.
Her mom, Diana Elder of Highland, Utah, was the Stake Young Women’s President when Nicole participated in her first Young Women in Excellence.
“The theme was ‘Turn the Hearts,’” Nicole says, “and my mom helped me chose a project.”
Nicole worked to find a female ancestor that represented each of the Young Women values, then wrote a story about each one. “I felt like I had a lot of wonderful women behind me who were pulling for me and wanted me to be wonderful too.”
When Nicole was 16, her family moved to another state, and “then I didn’t make the volleyball team at the new high school. It was the perfect time to pick up a hobby,” she says. She poured herself into family history.
A few years later, after marrying Lance Dyer and moving to the Tucson area, family history again took center stage. “I had been called to be ward family history consultant,” Nicole explains, and her mother had the same calling in her Utah ward.
Wanting to pass along research tips, suggestions for family history activities and to write about finding ancestors, they created their blog and website. “We decided to call it Family Locket,” Nicole says. “We wanted something that would represent how much we love our ancestors and want to keep them close to our heart and really connect with them.” Since then, the mother and daughter have continued to perfect their skills, as they help others.
Diana, who has a bachelor’s degree in education and 14 years of research experience, spent two years of intense work and study to become a credentialed genealogist and now works nearly full time as a researcher and coach. “Teaching youth and adults how to find their family is very rewarding,” Diana says.
Nicole, too, has extended her experience, volunteering at the Pima County Genealogy Society as a steering committee member and at the Tucson Family History Center, speaking regularly at genealogy conferences and events, and, now, like her mom, is pursuing genealogy accreditation.
Nicole says, “I benefitted so much as a teen. I just want to help others—especially young people—realize what is possible, to help others find their ancestors and find joy in doing it.”
Their co-authored Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide is available on Amazon as an ebook and will soon be available in paperback.
To sign up for the Family Locket blog, visit www.FamilyLocket.com.