PROVO — BYU’s 44th annual Family History and Genealogy Conference will be July 31 through Aug. 3 at the BYU Conference Center. The event will offer classes for family historians of all skill levels.

Those attending the conference, the theme of which is “strengthening the ties that bind families together through family history,” will be able to choose from more than 130 classes, including a new hands-on workshop on how to build a personal genealogy website.

Richard E. Turley Jr., assistant historian and recorder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will give the opening plenary address on Tuesday, July 31. Under his leadership in 1999, the church’s Family History Department launched the popular familysearch.org website.

The plenary speaker on Wednesday, Aug. 1, will be John Titford, a British writer, broadcaster and genealogical consultant. The Thursday, Aug. 2, plenary speaker will be Rod DeGiulio, director of FamilySearch Data Operations.

Classes will be offered in a variety of categories and topics, including FamilySearch, international research, German research, youths and genealogy, computers and technology, methodology, exploring family trees and getting support from priesthood leaders. A complete schedule can be viewed at familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.

The conference will feature a family history consultant track on July 31 and Aug. 1 with classes designed for consultants in LDS Family History Centers.

Industry exhibitors from throughout the United States will show off their newest products and services.

Two hands-on workshops will be offered. A “German Gothic Handwriting Workshop,” taught by Warren Bittner, will be held from 9:45 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 31. Participants will learn to decipher the German Gothic handwriting used on many genealogical records in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia.

The second hands-on workshop, “Building a Genealogy Website,” will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, to teach participants how to make their research available to the world by creating their own family history websites using Google Sites. It will be taught by Rebecca Smith, Noel Coleman and Hannah Allan.

Genealogywallcharts.com is offering conference attendees a free black-and-white fan chart of their family tree. To take advantage of this offer, order the chart online, then pick it up at the conference at no charge.

Noncredit registration for the four-day event, including a CD syllabus, is $180. Family history consultants will receive a $25 discount on general registration. The for-credit cost for the conference (two credits of History 481R—Family History Directed Research), also including the CD syllabus, is $440. To register, call 877-221-6716 or visit familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.

Men’s and women’s housing, which includes lunch each day of the conference, is available on the BYU campus for $100. Conference participants who are not staying in campus housing can buy a $25 lunch card that covers hot lunches, a salad bar, drinks and dessert at the Morris Center each day of the conference.

For more information about the conference, visit the website or call 801-422-4853.

Cindy Moorhead works as a writer and editor at BYU Continuing Education. Before coming to BYU she was a newspaper writer and editor for nearly 30 years, working in California, Indiana, Ohio and Texas. She graduated from BYU.