Grandparents, parents, and children are exploring their family histories together in ways that were unimaginable just a few short years ago. At the new Layton Utah FamilySearch Center, located at 915 West Gordon Avenue, families huddle around 55" touch-screen monitors, discovering the stories and photos of their ancestors and discussing how their stories provide inspiration in facing their own daily challenges. The open house for the new center will begin Thursday, November 3, at 1:00 p.m., and it will run Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The facility is free to the public.
“Our hope is that the Layton FamilySearch Center will feed and enlarge what Alex Haley called a ‘marrow-deep’ hunger to know our heritage; that what we discover and experience here will not only shore up our identity, but also clarify our potential,” said Elder Kyle S. McKay, Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and local ecclesiastical leader for the Layton area. Elder McKay added what one young man recently said following his family history experience: “When I consider what my ancestors did, I sometimes feel that I am nothing. Other times I feel that, because of them, I am everything and can do anything."
Family members of all ages will love exploring the family room and new children’s areas in the new 14,000-square-foot facility. Families can play games together, and they can learn how Grandma and Grandpa met and fell in love. Families and youth groups love creating and preserving favorite family stories and moments through using the free high-definition audio and video recording studios. The recordings can be emailed instantly.
“This remarkable state-of-the-art facility is designed to personalize the family history experience for all ages. Our guests have been enthusiastic and excited about discovering new family connections and are enlightened and blessed by their stories,” explained Lyle R. Elmore, who with his wife, Linda M. Elmore, serve as co-directors of the new center.
Youth groups will appreciate the inviting modern design, casual seating, collaboration areas, and interactive learning stations that will help them discover the meaning of their names and other interesting facts about their name and the year they were born.
Special equipment will also enable guests to transfer precious family memories from VHS tapes to DVD. Equipment is also available to help people digitally preserve printed family photos and scrapbooks so they can be preserved on USB drives or uploaded directly to FamilySearch.org where they can be preserved long term and readily shared.
Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, explained the attraction of the center: “Family history continues to grow in popularity, driven by strong positive emotions and insatiable curiosity to know more about who we are and made possible by amazing technologies. The Layton FamilySearch Center will be a great gathering place and blessing to everyone who visits, providing continual fun and memorable personal and family discovery experiences.”
It is recommended that guests create a free FamilySearch account at FamilySearch.org and begin building their family tree before their arrival. By creating their family tree online and adding family photos and stories prior to coming, your visit to the new facility will be personalized and greatly enhanced. For additional information or to book group reservations, visit the center’s website at familysearch.org/fhc/layton.
The hours for the public open house are:
- Thursday, November 3, 2016, 1:00–9:00 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday, November 4–5, 2016, 9:00 a.m.– 9:00 p.m.
The center will officially open to the public on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Normal hours of operation will be Monday and Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Saturday 9:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m.
The center is located at 915 West Gordon Avenue, Layton, Utah.