By Cecily Markland
Third Annual Family History Conference to be Held in Tempe
The Mesa FamilySearch Library will host its third annual Family History Conference on October 25, with topics and classes for beginner genealogists and seasoned family history buffs as well.
The conference theme, “Putting the Puzzle Together,” comes from the fact that “Finding your ancestors can be one of the most interesting puzzles you can work on,” states the Mesa FamilySearch Library website.
The keynote address will be presented by Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch, one of the largest family history sites in the world. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Brother Brimhall later received an MBA from Northwestern University. He has served in numerous Church callings, including stake president, high councilor and mission president. He was named a member of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy in 2009 and honorably released in April 2014.
In addition to an excellent keynote speaker, the conference will feature “a very strong teaching team of subject experts and content experts for family research,” says Gordon Mulleneaux, conference chair.
“Our strength is in their diversity of backgrounds,” he says. “At this year’s conference we have several people who bring new perspective to us about their family history research. Also people are bringing some of the more modern tools of genealogy, using an iPad for example or using social media for family history.”
There will be a total of 55 classes, 10 more than last year.
The classes cover a wide variety of topics pertaining to family history, including classes about the FamilySearch site, ancestry.com, maps, censuses, social media, in addition to specific training on various records—Swedish, German, English, French.
A complete list of classes and bios of all presenters are available at mesafsl.org.
Brother Mulleneaux says, even those who have done very little in the way of family history will find helpful tips and motivation at this conference.
“It is very exciting to research about our ancestors. What motivated them to move from one spot to another spot? Was it in search of freedom? Or, were they escaping some family tragedy?”
“Oftentimes,” he says, “people learn things about their ancestors they did not previously know.”
Brother Mulleneaux says, “Another reason family history is so popular in today’s world is that the modern computer is constantly changing how the family researcher can look for information, including online books, available databases in various parts of the world and software programs that provide research tools unavailable only a few short years ago.”
He says since he retired about four years ago, he spends at least 35 to 40 hours a week in family history, either working on his own family history or helping others in their search. He’s found, “In order to stay current, the family researcher must look at all the new tools and new techniques which are coming rapidly to family history research.”
The conference will be held at the Tempe Institute of Religion on the ASU Campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 25.
The conference is free, but online registration is required and box lunches (optional) may be purchased at www.mesafsl.org. Registration will be closed at 720 registrations, as that is the maximum number the conference can accommodate.
“We invite all to come and research with us and learn of the various available research tools,” Brother Mulleneauxsays.