, Classes taught by Me!, dna, Family Tree,

Save the Date!


I work one shift each week at my local Family History Center.  Every year, that center puts together a fantastic – and FREE – Family History Fair during the winter months.  We always draw a large crowd of people from our small town and the surrounding cities.  In fact, the last few years, we have filled the church almost to capacity.  This year I am teaching four classes.  It will be a busy day!

I know that most of my readers live far away from me and can’t possibly attend, but some of you live close by, so please, feel free to join us.  All are welcome.  The entire day is free and lunch is served.  It’s usually pizza, fresh veggies, cookies, and water.  Nothing too fancy, but it means you can stay all day without starving.  😉


The classes I am teaching are the following:

DNA Basics – Have you wondered about using DNA in your research?  Come and learn about the different types of DNA tests, the different companies you can test with, what genealogy problems can be addressed with DNA, and a few examples of what DNA can do to knock down those brick walls.

Finding Hidden Records on FamilySearch – Did you know that FamilySearch has several different types of record collections? Come and learn how to find them all as we explore indexed collections with images, indexed collections with no images attached (but they might still be on FamilySearch), partially indexed collections with additional browse images, browse only collections, digitized microfilm found in the catalog that can be accessed from home, and digitized microfilm that can only be viewed at a Family History Center.

Making the Most of – Come and learn how to supercharge your research on by understanding the website and collections better and learning some fantastic smart search strategies that will help you find the records you are looking for more quickly.

Making the Most of Trees – Why have a tree on  Is public or private better?  Learn how to create and use Trees from scratch, by uploading a gedcom file, or by importing from FamilySearch.  Give your research a boost by adding the power of an Ancestry Tree.

I have been teaching the two Ancestry classes for a few years now, but they are a hit and draw a large crowd so I will just keep on teaching them as long as I am asked to do so.  😉  The DNA Basics class and the Finding Hidden Records on FamilySearch class are both new classes that I created this fall.  I LOVED teaching them and look forward to teaching them again.

Please feel free to join us and invite your friends!


Happy Tuesday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery today!




ps – We have had an unseasonably warm fall.  I think it was 60 degrees on Saturday.  FINALLY, it snowed on Sunday night.  My little fella has had his snow gear all gathered and ready for weeks now.  Well, not really his gear, a collection of items from the coat closet that he decided were the coolest.  😉  He was sooooo delighted to put it all on for school today.


pps – Su, in September I mentioned that we had snow on the mountains and everything was still in full bloom.  Here you go – three pictures taken on the same day, at about the same time, from about the same spot.  The mountain as seen from the front of my neighborhood, the flowers on my porch.  Utah weather is crazy!


19 thoughts on “Save the Date!”

  1. I’d love to join you but, unfortunately, can’t do it. However, I will be in Salt Lake City in February and am looking forward to my first ever visit to the Library. I would love any suggestions or preparation advice you can share.

    1. Oh! That is fantastic!! Are you going to RootsTech? The library is so incredible. I will add one big and very important caveat – now that microfilm lending has ended, the library is even more important than ever before and anyone’s advice on how to use and navigate the library may not be a perfect representation of what the library will be like now. Especially during RootsTech when so many genealogists are in town. I have not been up there since microfilm lending has ended, you may want to try to find someone who has just to get a sense of what’s going on now. But here are some basic tips:

      There are lockers on most, if not all, floors. They are free to use and great for storing personal items. Make sure you bring a thumbdrive, but if you forget they sell them in small vending machines.

      Prepare a very detailed research plan, as well as a few back-ups. With the rate of digitization, you may create a plan to lookup several items on microfilm that will get digitized between making the plan and arriving at the library – it happened to me at last years RootsTech. I had made my plan on Monday and by Thursday an entire collection had been digitized and uploaded and was free to view from any computer – all 400+ microfilm. Thankfully I had several other plans and made good use of my time.

      The last time I was there, there were still far more old microfilm readers and the ProScan machines were limited use, but really I was able to stay at one the whole time. Just be prepared that you may be kicked off of a ProScan machine if there is high demand. So make sure you have great notes on what you need so that you can be fast on the ProScan if you need to be.

      There used to be professionals available to answer advanced research questions – the last several times I have been, there are only missionaries. I’m not sure what is going on, but be careful, the missionaries are kind and helpful, but not always as knowledgeable as you need. Eavesdrop on a missionary before you ask a question, that can help you gauge their knowledge a little bit. 😉

      When you make your research plan, do AS MUCH as you possibly can before going to the library. So if there are films you are interested in that are viewable in a local family history center – view those before you go and save the microfilm only items for your trip.

      If you need any films that are in the vault, call way ahead and find out if they can be viewed. Some films in the vault are restricted, others just need to be ordered but have to be ordered prior to your visit.

      Some people like to take wild magnets with them – magnets that no one else will have. They stick these on the drawers after they remove a microfilm. That way when they go to return them they are faster at finding the right drawer.

      Don’t forget to use the books! The books are often more precious than the microfilm and harder to get your hands on.

      The food in the vending machines is not great. If you have special dietary needs or are sensitive to food, plan ahead. If you are pretty tough, it’s a fast and easy meal that will keep you researching. The rest rooms have a lounge area in the font with a comfy chair. Don’t be afraid to go sit and rest for a minute while you read through something you have just found. It’s really easy to wear yourself out.

      I do a lot of planning digitally, but I like to take a notebook with me with every single bit of my plan handwritten. The reason for this is that I can easily carry my notebook into the stacks and all around the library and keep updating it as I work. I am super visual so the notebook works best for me while I’m at the library. Even the best planned digital system is not friendly enough for me on the go.

      If you have a good smart phone or ipad, use that to take photos of books rather than spend time at the copier.

      I hope that helps, good luck and enjoy!!

  2. Add my voice to the chorus!!! I’d love to attend (even without the pizza). It’s going to be a really full day for you, so please make sure you get some rest time afterwards. And thank you for the photos. I am so envious of your view, and love the fact that you can have snowy mountains and beautiful flowers at the same time.
    PS: I am loving your photos of your son. He is gorgeous and the photos are really good. Another talent you have! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Su! It will be a really full day. I’ll definitely need a few days to recharge my super introverted self. I’m already thinking through how to stay hydrated for that long with limited – and very scheduled – bathroom breaks, plus all the talking etc. 😉

      You are welcome! It is cool to be able to enjoy multiple seasons simultaneously. But I could really do with cooler summer temperatures. The heat and I are not friends.

      And thank you, again, for the compliment on the photos of my little one. He is so darling. I got the new iphone 8 plus recently. I’m loving the portrait mode, it’s fantastic! I’m so on the go that I don’t pull out my good camera nearly often enough and the new phone is softening the blow on that front. 😉

      1. Yeah, the hydration – bathroom break equation is going to be tough in the afternoon with back-to-back sessions, but I’m sure you’ll be fine. And I know you’ll give wonderful presentations!
        I know what you mean about cooler summers. The hot weather has hit here and I have all the windows open and all the fans running — and it’s barely 9am.

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