Connecting the family dots

It's the element of surprise, of discovery and a connection to family that makes family history so very exciting. With the accessibility of phones, tablets and helpful apps being developed constantly, family history work is easier than ever before and is available to people of all ages.

One might be surprised who they can find on the family tree in just 10 minutes using their mobile devices – it's now a community of sharable information. Think what one might find in that 10 minutes waiting for a game to start or a doctor appointment. Family members of all ages can build bridges between the past and the future. Teenagers are especially encouraged to use their tech skills in finding branches on their family tree.

For everyone it is the puzzle of connecting the dots we learned in our youth that now generates such an interest in establishing a who's who of our family. The popular TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" illustrates the thrill everyone can experience by engaging in family history. Think about it: if you don't do it, who will?

To get started, to tweak information you already have, or to expand the horizons for multiple past generations, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites you to their 12th Annual Family History Conference, "Researching Off the Beaten Path, Finding Little Used Resources" on Saturday, April 25, beginning at 8:30 a.m., 25000 Westwood Road, Westlake. Offered without cost, registration is requested at or by calling 440-777-1518. A syllabus is available for $5 if registration is completed soon.

Nine sessions will be presented by experienced family historians and include research in libraries, public archives, township records, state census and grave sites. A special session utilizing FamilySearch with sub-sessions on the family tree, adding photos, documents, stories and the use of WiKi is also offered.

FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world. Together with its partners it represents over 10 billion accessible records. Dennis C. Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International, says, “Each of our partners hold a piece of a puzzle that will ultimately give a more complete picture. Today, more than ever, we have a huge variety of tools from which to choose to get the most done in our family history research.”

There are 4,600 local Family History Centers of the church in 126 countries where access to records and research is provided. The Westlake church is one of those sites and there is never a charge for assistance. Staffed by seasoned volunteers, the Center is open throughout the year Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Tuesday-Thursday evenings, 6-9 p.m.

Joyce Able Schroth

Public Affairs Director for the Cleveland Ohio Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:55 AM, 04.07.2015