Thursday, July 30, 2015

BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy ~ First Impressions

Hello wonderful readers! I’m here at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy. The conference began on Tuesday and it's already Thursday as I sit at my laptop writing this blog post. My days have been very full of classes, meet-ups with fellow genealogy bloggers, walking around the vendor hall, and more.

Yesterday, I published a blog post about the myFamily History Youth Camp, which I visited on Tuesday. If you'd like to read that post, click HERE.

Today, I'd like to start my series of blog posts about my experiences here at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy.

It’s my first time attending this conference and I have to say that it’s fabulous. The conference is very well-run and organized.

The theme for this year's conference is "Strengthening Ties That Bind Families Together Forever."

As I walked through the front doors of the BYU Conference Center, very helpful and friendly staff members were sitting behind the front desk ready to register and assist conference attendees. Several times during the conference I've been back to ask questions, one of which was how many attendees are here at this year's conference. I was told that 750 people registered. That's not including the 62 youth that are attending the myFamily History Youth Camp.

To give you a sense of what the conference looks like, here are some photos.

Here's a display that sits right across from the main desk.

The main hallway is lined with vendors.

This is Janet Hovorka, Development Director of Family Chart Masters. She's also the author of the Zap The Grandma Gap books and workbooks. I was thrilled to finally meet her in person as we've been online friends for some time now.

The class offerings at this conference are amazing! I can't list all of the classes here on my blog. The list would be too long. But here is a list of the conference tracks.

  • Beginner Track
  • British Isles Research Track
  • British Research Track
  • Computers & Technology Track
  • DNA Research
  • FamilySearch Track
  • FamilySearch Consultants Track
  • Finding Stories Track
  • German Research Track
  • ICAPGen Track
  • Immigration and Emigration Track
  • International Research Track
  • Land/Probate Records Track
  • LDS Ancestral Research Track
  • Methodology Track
  • Military Records Track
  • Online Research Track
  • Preserving Family History Track
  • Scandinavian Research Track
  • Technology/Tools Track
  • U.S./Canada Research Track
  • Vendor Track
  • Writing/Publishing Family History

Isn't this an impressive list? The classes I've attended so far have been wonderful and very informative and were taught by high-caliber instructors.

I'm so glad that I came to the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy. I've had a great time! I highly recommend this conference to everyone.

I'll be sharing more about the conference in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fun and Learning at the myFamily History Youth Camp

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was asked to visit the myFamily History Youth Camp, which is taking place at the same time as the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy. On Tuesday I attended part of the “FamilySearch Training and Tree Analysis” Lab at the myFamily History Youth Camp. It was held at the Religion and Family History area in the Harold B. Lee Library.

I was so impressed with what I saw. Each youth sat at a computer, which was opened to FamilySearch. Amanda Terry, who works at FamilySearch, was the instructor. She did a great job!

During the lab Amanda asked the youth to answer some poll questions. It looked like they were able to answer the questions on their computers and the results were posted on the big screen in front of the class. Very cool.

Another neat aspect of the camp is that the youth have been asked to complete a research project during the week. For this project, each youth was given a worksheet to fill out. They were asked to choose an ancestor, write down their name, and then write down what question they have about that ancestor. For example, where or when did that ancestor die? In the next section of the worksheet the youth are to write down what they know about their ancestor. The final section of the worksheet asks the youth what record or records they could use to answer their question, and what the results of their record search were. The youth are going to be able to use the lab to finish their research project. I think this is a fabulous way to teach the youth the genealogy research process.

I was given some very interesting stats for this camp.

The total number of youth attendees is 62. This is the first year for this family history camp. I was told that registration reached capacity very quickly and that they couldn’t let anyone else register due to lack of housing. I think it is very exciting that so many youth wanted to come to this camp! Hopefully next year there will be more housing available so more youth will be able to attend.

This year's attendees are from Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and one attendee is from Canada. 1/3 of the attendees are from Utah, and 2/3 are out-of-state attendees. Of the 62 attendees, 18 are males and 44 are females.

In addition to the labs and other activities, the youth had a combined dance with Especially For Youth on Tuesday. They also took a trip to the Family History Library, Temple Square, and the Discovery Search Center in Salt Lake City today. More learning and fun is planned for the remainder of the camp, which ends on Friday afternoon.

I think this camp is a fantastic opportunity for youth to learn about family history. The dates for next year’s myFamily History Youth Camp are already set. It will be held July 25th – July 29th, 2016 at the BYU campus.

I will be posting about my experiences at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's Almost Conference Time!

This coming Monday I'll be flying to Utah to attend the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy. As I already mentioned here on my blog, I was invited to be an official conference blogger. Am I excited? Oh ya! I've never been to a major genealogy conference before. So this will be a new and very cool experience for me.

After doing a bit of research about what to bring to major genealogy conferences, I followed the advice of others and bought a rolling backpack to bring to the conference. I also had some contact cards (business cards) printed to bring along with me.

I'll be away from home for about a week. Yes, I will miss my husband and youngest son who aren't accompanying me on this trip. But, I will be able to spend some time with other family members there in Utah. So, that will be fun.

Speaking of my youngest son, he just recently returned from serving a two-year full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I shared photos of our happy reunion with him on my personal blog Jana's Place. We had a surprise waiting for him at the airport. To find out what that was, you can read about it by clicking HERE.

I'll be blogging about my experiences at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy next week, so I hope you'll follow along here on my blog.

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Scandinavian Genealogy Research Help on Facebook

On May 16, 2015 I taught a class at our local Family Discovery Day. My class was called "Family History Blogs and Social Media."

I covered a variety of social media tools that are helpful for genealogy research including Facebook groups and pages. I have found that genealogy Facebook groups have been very helpful for my own research.

Today, I'd like to tell you about one of the many Facebook genealogy groups that I belong to. It's called Scandinavian Genealogical Research Center Professional Research Group.

Here is the group's description:

"Purpose of this group is to provide a forum for links, tips and tricks that can be helpful or of interest for anyone interested in Scandinavian (mainly Danish and Swedish) Genealogy and research."

Who doesn't like tips and tricks to help with genealogy research, right? So, if you have Scandinavian ancestry, please check out the Scandinavian Genealogical Research Center Professional Research Group on Facebook by clicking HERE.

And, if you'd like to download a PDF copy of my "Family History Blogs and Social Media" class syllabus, head on over to my website at Just hover your cursor over the Family History tab to see the drop-down menu. Then click on "My Presentations" and there you'll find the PDF file of my syllabus.

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 10, 2015

Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for July 10, 2015

A Note to my wonderful readers: Fab Finds will be on hiatus for the next three weeks. My schedule is full of exciting events in the coming weeks. Our youngest son will be returning home from serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been serving in Arizona and is coming home next Friday! Yay! We are so excited!

We also will be having family in town for about a week, which will be so fun. And I will be attending the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy as an official conference blogger. The conference will be held July 28-31.

Fab Finds will return on August 7, 2015. Thank you!

My Fab Finds for this week are (in no particular order)
  1. What Keeps Us from Writing? by Marian Pierre-Louis, author of Marian's Roots & Rambles
  2. Evan Rasmussen, Genea-Miracles and Mondays with Myrt by Pat Richley-Erickson, author of DearMyrtle
  3. How DNA & Persistence Revealed My Secret Heritage AND 5 Mobile Apps for the Avid Genealogist by Amie Bowser Tennant for RootsBid Blog
  4. Organizing Old Family Photos With the Parking Lot System by Denise Levenick, author of The Family Curator
  5. Buffalo Soldier Recruitment Letter Among Freedmen's Bureau Documents by Angela Y. Walton-Raji, author of My Ancestor's Name
  6. Where the Streets Have “New” Names by George Conklin, author of Quiet Echoes In Time
  7. Using Etsy for Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee, author of GeneaBloggers
  8. BLOGGERS’ RESEARCH TOOLBOXES & RESOURCES AND GENEAGEM DISCOVERED – WHATWASTHERE by Linda Stufflebean, author of Empty Branches on the Family Tree
  9. Discover Dentistry Degrees by Joanne Cowden, author of Researching Relatives
  10. Searching With A !Bang by Denise Olson, author of Moultrie Creek Gazette
  11. Tuesday's Tip: The Wonders of Voter Registration Books by Wendy Mathias, author of Jollett Etc.
  12. New website collections by Tami, author of Relatively Curious About Genealogy
  13. Got Norwegian Ancestors? Check out this immigration map by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, author of The Olive Tree Genealogy
  14. Passing of Boyd K. Packer, Long Time Friend of Family History by Ancestry Insider, author of The Ancestry Insider
  15. 2015 Ohms Family Reunion by Amy Archibald, author of Revealing Roots and Branches
  16. Legacy: Searches and more searches by Michele Simmons Lewis, author of Ancestoring
  17. Using History to Tell Your Family Story by Kate for LegacyTree Blog
  18. 4 Tips to Identify Unknown Family Photographs by Lisa Lisson, author of Are You My Cousin?
  19. CHASING SOURCES by Beth, author of Life in the Past Lane
The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge by Amy Johnson Crow, author of No Story Too Small -

"May I Introduce To You" Interviews on

New Blog Discoveries

In Case You Missed Them….My Contributions to the Blogosphere This Week

Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog
Jana's Place

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved



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