Mesa ‘Family History Conference’ offers free help for digging into one’s lineage - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

Researching roots Mesa ‘Family History Conference’ offers free help for digging into one’s lineage

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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 5:25 am | Updated: 7:40 am, Mon Oct 28, 2013.

Those with a passion for genealogy research or others who are novices but want to trace their family roots, will find a wealth of helpful tips and tools at the second annual Mesa AZ Family History Conference on Oct. 26.

The conference is a free, all-day event sponsored by the Mesa FamilySearch Library.



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“For one remarkable day, instructors with hundreds of combined years of experience will assemble to assist everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals with the tools they need to succeed in finding their ancestors,” says Elder Adrian Kuzdas, assistant director of the Mesa FamilySearch Library.

The library, located at 41 S. Hobson in Mesa, is a branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It is open to the public 59 hours a week and is staffed by 150 missionaries trained to help visitors trace their family roots. The library has 129 computers 14 film/fiche readers and free access to Internet sites that can be used for genealogy research.

The first conference, held last year, was an effort to provide these helps in a more concentrated learning experience that would allow experts to reach a wider audience.

“The overwhelming response from the community last year encouraged us to more than double the classes offered this year,” Kuzdas said.

They also selected a larger venue — the LDS Institute Building on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus — that is “in closer proximity to the Valley at large,” Kuzdas said.

The theme, “Genealogy Changes CHARTS, Family History Changes HEARTS” is a quote from a talk by Elder Bradley D. Foster, of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mesa resident James Tanner is slated to present the Oct. 26 conference’s keynote address titled “Hidden Treasures of Genealogical Sleuthing: Kerlin’s Well and the Overson Photographic Collection.”

Tanner has more than 30 years experience in genealogical research and is the author of “The Guide to FamilySearch on Line.” He is a presenter at many expos and conferences and an avid blogger via his “Genealogy’s Star” site (genealogysstar.blogspot.com).

Following the keynote address, the Family History Conference will feature 45 workshops (five in each time slot), covering a range of topics, including “Getting Started with the Research Cycle,” “Immigration and Naturalization,” “Using Google for Genealogy” and “DNA Testing and Genealogy.” Other workshops will address British, German and Swedish research, “Land and Probate Records,” “Techniques on Finding ‘Lost Individuals’” and “U.S. Military Records Before 1900.”

The Tempe LDS Institute Building, 1000 S. McAllister, on the ASU campus (off Rural Road, between Apache Boulevard and University Drive. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with classes beginning at 8.

The all-day conference is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is required.

To pre-register — including signing up for classes and downloading class materials — or find speaker bios and a complete list of topics covered, visit the Mesa FamilySearch Library website at mesafsl.org.

The site also gives the option to purchase a box lunch for the event.

“Along with inviting all who are interested to attend this conference, we always welcome anyone to utilize the resources at the FamilySearch Library,” Kuzdas said.

For a list of the free classes offered daily at the library, located at 41 S. Hobson in Mesa, or for additional information, visit mesafsl.org or call (480) 964-1200.



What: ‘Mesa AZ Family History Conference’

When: Oct. 26; all day (begins at 7;30 a.m.)

Where: Tempe LDS Institute Building; 1000 S. McAllister, Tempe

Information: mesafsl.org

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