It’s the First Day of the 46th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

BYU FH Conference Welcome

The BYU conference center staff was on hand yesterday to distribute badges, syllabi, and guides from 3-5 p.m. By the time I arrived at 3:15 p.m. lines were formed and participants were excited to begin a week dedicated to increasing knowledge and sharpening skills in the field of family history and genealogy.

One of my favorite aspects of conference attendance is the opportunity to meet new people who share the same interest. This year was no exception. Yesterday, at the counter purchasing registration was a mother, Danielle Johnson, and her son, Jedidiah. He is one of our youth who was registering to attend the full week of instruction. Jedidiah has an interest in DNA research, a track scheduled to be taught on Wednesday.

This morning and throughout this week, John Best and his staff will be ready to greet and assist conference participants. Mr. Best will also host a student meeting at noon today in room 2295 for those who registered to receive university credit.

This is THE DAY for the FREE YOUTH TRACK, for those 12 - 18 years of age. Topics include advice on how to help adults with genealogy and how to use social media for family history. If you are a youth or know a youth who would like to attend you may register on-site at the BYU Conference Center any time today. The last presentation is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.The first keynote address of the week, “Family, A Pattern of Heaven,”will be given at 8:30 a.m. by Elder Paul F. Koelliker, who has served as the executive director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple Department as well as the assistant executive director of the LDS Family History Department.

After the keynote address, courses will be offered in methodology, online research, and writing and publishing family histories. United States, German, Spanish, and Italian research will also be discussed. There is an entire track dedicated to the specifics of FamilySearch including “Insider Tips and Tricks.”A vendor demonstration will be given at noon by Family Chartmasters and an evening vendor demonstration will be given by Legacy Family Tree from 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. These demonstrations will be held in room 2265 of the conference center.

I confirmed yesterday that the Harold B. Lee Library is open from 7 a.m. to midnight and computers will be available during these hours; however, research assistance will only be available at the BYU Family History Library from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. on Friday. The library has subscriptions to many noted genealogical websites and houses a large collection of microfilm. Scanning, printing and other services are available. The BYU Family History Library is located on the second floor, which is downstairs and to the right of the main entrance. For more information contact the BYU Family History Library at (801) 422-6200.

Lynn Broderick ( is a writer by birth, a teacher by profession, and a researcher by passion. She enjoys researching individuals of the past in the context of family, community, and social history. Known as the Single Leaf, she combined her childhood memories of football and genealogy to create genealogy football and works with her team to win their family history bowl each year. She loves to coach people on how to enjoy pursuing their family history and has done so for over 25 years.

About the Author