More than 700 people are expected to attend Brigham Young University's 45th annual Family History and Genealogy conference at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, July 30-Aug. 2.
The conference will feature three keynote speakers, 86 presenters and 160 classes, with participants coming from almost every U.S. state and at least 10 other countries.
"There is something for everybody," said John Best, an assistant program director at BYU and organizer of the event. "There are new and better ways of finding your ancestors."
Keynote speakers include Elder Allan F. Packer, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Dennis C. Brimhall, managing director of the LDS Church's Family History Department; and J. Mark Lowe, professional genealogist, popular lecturer and author.
In his professional life, Elder Packer worked with companies such as Boeing, Eaton–Kenway, O.C. Tanner and MyFamily.com. He serves as the executive director of the LDS Church's Family History Department.
Brimhall graduated with an MBA from Northwestern University before becoming an administrator at the University of Utah Medical Center. He went on to become the CEO of the University of Colorado Hospital, then served as an LDS mission president in Louisville, Ky. He is the managing director of FamilySearch.org.
Lowe has researched families for more than 40 years and works primarily in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. He has traveled extensively and enjoys sharing his love of genealogy with others. Lowe writes a weekly local history article for the Robertson County Times in Tennessee and is the director of the Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance.
The classes at the conference cover a variety of categories, topics and skill levels, including DNA research, computers and technology, FamilySearch, international research, Google Genealogy, methodology, Ancestry.com and more.
Some examples of classes include “A Whirlwind Tour of FamilySearch Resources,” “Hidden Treasures at Ancestry.com,” “Genealogy in the Cloud” and “Using Your Digital Camera to Copy Records.” There will also be international classes on German, Scandinavian, British Isles, Scottish, English/Welsh and Irish research. A complete schedule can be viewed at familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.
"Family history research is always changing," Best said. "We have presenters that are teaching the latest tools, resources, and programs for doing family history work. It's amazing the amount of records being digitized and posted. Everything can be done at home."
There is a free program of classes for young people interested in family history and genealogy scheduled for Tuesday, July 30.
At the conference, industry exhibitors from throughout the United States will show their newest products and services, including RootsMagic, Ancestry.com, LifeStory Productions, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch and RearchTies.
Online registration is available at ce.byu.edu/cw/cwgen/. For more information about the conference, such as registration fees, housing and parking, visit familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu or call BYU Conferences and Workshops, 801-422-4853.
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