Find My Ancestor Blog

Younger Genealogists are Becoming Larger in Numbers

Since I am only 23 years old, I am always interested in hearing about more younger people becoming involved with genealogy. As I have said in the past, I believe the younger generations are going to be the ones who create new technology and techniques for us to do our research more efficiently and timely. It seems like every week I am either meeting new people who are my age (or younger) who are interested in genealogy. This growth of interest is exciting to me. Earlier today I read a blog post on the My Heritage Blog about three young genealogists from Spain, Argentina and Israel. They share with us how and when they became interested in genealogy and some great stories from their research. Whether you are a younger genealogist or not, I highly recommend reading this article and help spread the word to your kids, grandkids or even great-grandkids to show them that genealogy and family history isn't just for "old people" like many of them think. A Growing Interest Among the Youngest: Family History


RootsTech – Why Students Must Attend

There has been a lot of talk lately on the new genealogy conference RootsTech. February 10-12, 2011 FamilySearch is sponsoring a new conference specializing in technology available to help us trace our roots. Come learn how you can use some of the latest technology and apply it in your genealogical research. Technology developers and users alike will be attending, sharing insights with each other. If you are either a technology developer or a technology user, you will definitely want to come attend this conference.

I think one of the greatest things about this conference is the fact that they have a Student Discount. 
Student Attendee: $35.00 Regular Attendee: $99.00

Most genealogy conferences I have attended or wished I could attend do not offer a student rate. I am in a position where I am a student and I highly enjoy using the latest technology. If more genealogy conferences offered a student rate, I know there would be more young adults attending these conferences, both as attendees and presenters. I know this because I have talked with a number of different young adults my age and many of them say they can't attend because of the cost of the conference and expenses in travel. I know of a couple people who are here locally in Utah that have said they would have liked to attend some of the conferences held this last year here in Utah, but they were unable to because they couldn't afford it.

RootsTech gives the chance for some of these people I know to be able to do this. There are younger genealogists out there and many of them would be thrilled to be able to attend classes, talk with exhibitors and network with other genealogists. For those of you who have kids or grandkids, let them know about this great conference. After all, isn't it the younger generations who are highly involved in technology? How many of you got introduced to Facebook, Twitter, Blogging or even the internet itself because of the younger generations? This conference is meant for those who are both users and developers in technology. 

Take a look back even 10 years ago. You didn't have all the database websites like, or Genealogy Bank to access records from your home. Most of the research done was mainly in Family History Centers, Libraries and Archives. Take a look at all the documents and records available today because of technology. I believe RootsTech will be a great resource in the genealogical community to help further the development of the many genealogy businesses big and small. This will in turn help us in our genealogical research giving us new ways to find our ancestors.

I have the great opportunity to be part of this great conference. I will be there both learning of the new technology and also presenting on how you can do your genealogy research no matter where you are. For those of you who are coming to RootsTech, let me know. I would very much like to meet you!

For more information on RootsTech and to register for the conference, visit their website.


Family History in 37 Minutes

There was a really great article in Thursday's paper of the Deseret News on family history. The article is titled Family History in 37 Minutes. The article talks about a family who has made a 37 minute documentary on their family history. 
The message Clayton Brough wants your family to take away is this: Family history is not just for crusty old men winding and rewinding microfilm in a dark back room.
The video can be viewed on YouTube and the entire script is on
We tapped into resources online," Brough said, pointing out they didn't have to wait months on end to get information or images for video: Family members from across the globe could send a quick e-mail and they had what they needed.
 This article gives a great example of a family history project to help preserve and share our genealogy with others. It also gives a great example of how we can get the younger generations involved with family history. To read the entire article, click here.


Digitization by the Youth

I am constantly thinking of ways to get younger people involved with genealogy. I think it is so hard because so many younger people are too involved with other things to even care about their ancestry right now in their lives.

I think my church did a great job getting a little spark of interest in some of the people tonight. They had planned on everyone doing some indexing of records that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing. I didn't expect to see as many people there as there was! I figured there would be a couple people show up, but there were quite a few! I think there is about 20 or so computers in the Family History Center there and there were people that were waiting their turn to try the indexing. 

After about 15 minutes one of the coordinators asked if anyone wanted to take a break and let some other people try because some of them were just waiting in the hall because there weren't enough computers and room for them in there. I was shocked! I gladly gave up my computer and let someone else try it. I figured I have done quite a bit and would let someone else see if it could spark their interest in genealogy.

If you have youth groups, or know of ones that are looking for activities, I would suggest setting up a time and place, whether it be a Family History Center or just the library, and introduce something like that to them. I think many of you will be surprised like I was to see how many people show up and actually think it is interesting and fun! Let me know if you have done an activity like this or if you do one in the future. I am always interested to hear about ways to get more people involved with genealogy.