A smorgasbord of family history topics, ranging from classes on how to help beginners get started to instruction to assist professional researchers upgrade their skills, will be offered at a national genealogical conference in Salt Lake City.
"A World of Records" is the theme of the Sept. 6-9 gathering, sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA). About 1,500 people are expected to attend the conference in the Salt Palace, which will include about 180 sessions for nonprofessional genealogists and 28 sessions on research methodology, said Dean J. Hunter, Magna, conference chairman.
Keynote and other speakers include L. Reynolds Cahoon, chief information officer for the National Archives and Records Administration and former managing director of the LDS Family History Department, and Richard Turley Jr., managing director of the LDS Church Family and History Department.
Turley will give the keynote address, "The Family History Library: Its Past, Present and Future in Identifying and Linking the World Family," at an 8 a.m. session Thursday, Sept. 6. Cahoon will address a 7:30 p.m. banquet Friday in the Salt Palace. He will discuss what the National Archives is doing to preserve digital records.
Workshop and other conference participants will include Cyndi Howells, creator of "Cyndi's List," a premier Web site containing more than 60,000 links to genealogical sources on the Internet, who will discuss "Researching with Friends, Cousins and Experts on Genealogical Mailing Lists"; Kip Sperry, a Brigham Young University family and local history professor, who will give instruction on how to get started on New England research; and Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, whose topic will be "Finding Origins, Places and Families."
Other speakers include Helen Leary, a professional genealogist who edited a book, "North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History," considered one of the best textbooks for researchers, and Jim Warren, a director of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, who will speak on "Hanging Ancestors on Your Family Tree," one of 29 topics on U.S. research at the conference.
Hunter says the FGS conference normally features about 50 speakers. But this year's gathering will feature 100 because of the large number of people at the Family History Library with expertise in research. The purpose of FGS is to assist genealogical societies to function better, Hunter said. David E. Rencher, director of the Family and Church History Department, is president of FGS.
The conference program includes sessions on 16 British research topics and 16 international topics.
To accommodate large numbers of genealogical and family history researchers who will visit Salt Lake City, hours will be extended at the Family History Library. Some days the library will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight. Registration for the entire conference costs $151. The cost for those who register before July 25 is $121. There is an additional cost for attending a banquet or luncheons during the conference. Registrations may be taken and information is available online at www.fgs.org or by calling 1-888-374-1500.