We flew into Salt Lake City on Tuesday so I had free time Wednesday morning to visit my favorite shopping spot downtown: Deseret Book.
After I shopped, I took a tour of the Family Discovery Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
|Merrill White explains the procedure for exploring the Discovery Center.|
|The first stop I made on my discovery journey was to find out the meaning of my name.|
|This map shows where my ancestors lived.|
|Also enjoying the tour was Shari Mehling Stone, whom I met last year at RootsTech. If I remember this right, Shari's great grandfather's niece was married to my great grandfather!|
|This display tells me how many other people in the world share my first name of Mary.|
|The 'Record My Story' room in the Center.|
|The ipad issued at the beginning of the tour is docked at this display which illustrates the migration of my family, with information taken from the familysearch.org site.|
Also on the tour was my Facebook friend Michelle Ganus Taggart. We had so much fun visiting about our ancestors and learned that some of Michelle's ancestors lived in the same community in Southern Colorado as relatives of my husband!
I call this new Family Discovery Center the "Magic Kingdom of Genealogy". It was exciting to see all the features and anticipate how it can help families get excited about their ancestry too. You can read more about the Family Discovery Center in this article.
As I was standing in line at 7 am for the opening of Hall D on Thursday, the first morning, for the Keynote Address, I was joined by friends Debbie Merrill Allen and Bobbi Twining Rogers. We met two years ago as we sat near each other at the opening Keynote address at Rootstech 2013.
|Bobbi Twining Rogers at left and Debbie Merrill Allen at right.|
Since we're members of the LDS church, I'm very supportive of FamilySearch and quite impressed with the advancements Dennis Brimhall has accomplished as its Director. He told us of those at the Thursday morning Keynote address. It can be viewed here.
The best class I attended on Thursday was given by D. Joshua Taylor on "30 pieces of tech I can't live without" which can be viewed here.
Watching the concert given by Alex Boye and the One Voice Children's Choir Thursday evening was the perfect end to our first day at the conference.
Each morning Larry and I arose at 5:00 am so we could enjoy the breakfast buffet provided by the Radisson Hotel at 6:00 am. On Thursday morning we met Facebook friends Terri O'Connell and Jen Alford, of the In-Depth Genealogist, pictured below.
|Terri and Jen, photo courtesy of J. Paul Hawthorne.|
We also renewed our friendship and had a wonderful visit with Lisa Alzo, the Accidental Genealogist.
|Lisa Alzo, photo courtesy of Randy Seaver, 2014|
One of the greatest pleasures I experienced at the conference was listening to former First Lady Laura Bush, as she delivered the Keynote address on Friday morning.
|The very gracious and interesting Laura Bush. |
You can read good coverage of her talk here. This story in the Deseret News includes the photo below, where I happen to be visible at the green arrow!
My schedule on Friday was full of classes that were offered by FamilySearch for Consultants of the Family History Centers. I was particularly amused at the stories shared by Devin Ashby in his class on "What's New at FamilySearch". You can watch his presentation here.
On Saturday morning my day started with a wonderful visit at breakfast with fellow Blogger Renee Zamora.
I really, really enjoyed Donny Osmond's Keynote Address and the beautiful songs he shared with us. You can read about it here. He is still so very handsome and has a gorgeous voice! I was in high school watching the weekly Andy Williams Show when Donny made his debut as the 6 year old member of the Osmond Brothers.
The sessions I attended on Saturday were part of the Family Discovery Day offered to members of the LDS church. R. Scott Lloyd of the Deseret News wrote here about the day better than I can.
The Conference wrapped up Saturday evening with a concert by David Archuleta and a quick sketch session by the cast of Studio C.
Bits and Pieces
|Every year Larry and I visit with Janet, a member of the Salt Palace Housekeeping Staff, with whom we've become friends over the 4 years of our attendance at the conference.|
In 2013 Larry and I met Ruth Young Barnes as we sat together at one of the Keynote addresses. We've remained friends since and were able to meet up again this year and have a nice visit.
Since I've been archiving my father's estate, and since I met Denise Levenick as we rode the hotel shuttle together last year, I attended her mini-class in the Expo Hall titled "Heirloom Roadshow". Denise is the author of "How to Archive Family Keepsakes".
Assorted photos as I wandered around
|The FamilySearch Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building|
|Howland Family Chart showing famous descendants of John Howland, my husband's 10th great grandfather.|
|The Salt Lake Temple in the early morning sun last Wednesday, February 11, 2015.|
|The temple through the trees.|
|The Salt Palace, home of the RootsTech conference.|
|The hallway outside the Expo Hall.|
|Attractive floral bouquets outside each room.|
|The view from upstairs|
|The front Entrance|
|Bagpipes in the Expo Hall on Cultural Night|
|Polynesian Dancing in the Expo Hall|
|The view as we walked from the Salt Palace back to the Radisson Hotel.|
|My husband lost his wallet in the airplane and was blessed when the woman in the seat behind his noticed it under his airplane seat. He immediately bought a cord to attach it to his pocket!|
|I will stop and have a chat with James Tanner and his wife every chance I get!|
|It was a pleasure to photograph Larry with Mary Tedesco (above) and Kenyatta Berry, (below) of the popular Genealogy Roadshow TV series.|
|Caroline Cohoe Schultz and I were so happy to finally meet after being Facebook friends for several years!|