Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sociality of Family History part 3 of 3

Besides working with the Salt Lake Institute team like I mentioned in my last post, we were joined over the evenings and in meetings in the hotel with some of our wonderful board members this year. My fantastic 1st VP Christy Fillerup was Johnny-on-the-spot all week, helping even though she was trying to take a demanding course. And I got to know Kathy Palmer and Patsy Hendrickson so much better. Carrie Keele, our administrative assistant was so helpful too. We had great meetings with all of our new board members--Dan Lawyer, Sue Maxwell, Bud Wood and Jason Harrison. I'm so excited to be able to work with these good people. We had such a wonderful time together, laughing and having fun, working hard and learning. I just feel so incredibly blessed to be able to work with these people. I'm so lucky to get to be president with such an impressive board.

Maybe it is natural that an endeavor that studies relationships in families would bring about strong relationships among non-family members too. It seems that in all sorts of Family History endeavors, strong relationships--almost family relationships are formed between people who care about the study of families. It is a good thing when you have a support system for favorite interest. It is such a good thing to have people to talk to who appreciate the nuances of something you love.

I don't know how to write about it without far to many sugary adjectives. I'm sure I sound far too over the top. But I just can't express enough how much I'm loving working with the people in UGA and at Salt Lake Institute this year. It's such a party.

Looking forward to the next one--See you there.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Sociality of Family History part 2 of 3


What can I say about conferences? You've heard me many times on this blog talk about the great fun we have at conferences. We are heading to the Mesa Family History Expo this week and I just can't wait. We have the St. George Family History Expo, the South Davis Family History Fair and the RootsTech conference coming up right away too. Add to that the teaching at family history centers, and Salt Lake Community College and you would think I'm conferenced out. But I'm not. I love getting to know genealogists. It's a party with people who are as crazy as I am.

This last week I got to see the most amazing conference, from the most amazing perspective. The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is an icon in genealogy conferences for a reason. It isn't a conference--where you will take a class on this and a class on that, but it is an institute--a place where you can go and take 20 course hours in a specific topic from the rock stars of genealogists. Literal rock stars. These people are incredible. And then you go over to the library and work with the instructors and the other students in your classes on finding and analyzing the information on your lines.

Being the new Utah Genealogical Association president, I was thrown into administrating SLIG with a new director--the wonderful Adele Marcum--and many members of the new committee who had never worked at Institute (thanks so much Jill Woodbury, Sherry Stevens, Kerry Farnsworth, you guys are not only brave but incredibly competent). And thanks be to Luana Darby, the infallible past UGA president who has kept the ship afloat through some hard years and was there for us with every question we had. I'm so glad she hasn't abandoned ship yet. I so appreciate her companionship. I just wish I'd gotten a picture of everyone together. Something to put on the list for next year. I think if anything, we hopefully proved that we learn quickly from past mistakes.

As is typical with genealogists, the attendees at SLIG were sincere, sweet people. I can't count how many times we heard, "no problem." We had people pitch in and help with handing out lunches, stapling and handing out syllabus materials, taking tickets and etc. And that doesn't even begin to talk about how they helped each other and the great companionship that goes on at Institute. That is why Kim and I choose to run Generation Maps. I love the people in this industry. Genealogists as a whole are good, kind people.

And the coordinators and instructors were patient and generous with a new untested team. These instructors are incredibly knowledgeable--the rock stars of genealogy in the US. I loved the level of conversation all week, and thoroughly enjoyed the classes I got to sit in on. But they are knowledgeable AND generous. I didn't know until this week how truly amazing they are all the way around. They take a personal interest in each of their students and do one on one consultations all week in small and large blocks of time. I was so honored to be able to work with them this week. They all worked diligently with me to put together a 3 year plan for SLIG that will put the conference on a stronger footing. And one of the highlights of the week for me was to be able to present Tom Jones with the UGA Silver Tray award for publishing, to present Paula Stuart Warren as a Fellow of UGA and to present Wilma Adkins with the 2010 Award of Merit. They are, each of them, both scholarly and magnanimous. They are rock stars who are somehow able to make you feel important too.

It was so fun to be so immersed in the sociability of Family History last week. I know many of us came away with life long friends. The level of conversation was so invigorating and energizing. It was great to be able to talk to people who speak my language. Coming back to my regular life, where everyone thinks I'm mildly crazy, it was nice to know there are people out there like me. And it was so great to party with them for a week. Can't wait until next year.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Sociality of Family History part 1 of 3

You'll have to allow me to wax sentimental here for a bit.

I've been traveling around Utah last fall with Sue Maxwell to re-vitalize and re-energize the UGA chapters around the state. We had a wonderful time in November with Christy Fillerup visiting with the ladies of our new Cedar City Chapter.

It was so beautiful to see the great support group they had formed in Cedar City. That is such an important part of genealogy. There are times that my non-genealogist friends think I'm crazy. But it is so good to have good friends who understand. To have a shoulder to cry on when you just cannot find that marriage record, and to have someone who will jump up and down with you when a distant cousin sends you pictures.

We had such a wonderful time talking with these sweet ladies. They took such good care of us. They are passionate about the same things we are. We learned alot from them and look forward to learning alot more. It was amazing how the common ground of family history could create such fast friends so quickly. I was amazed at how quickly we had soooo much to talk about.

Some may think that real life meetings are going by the wayside in this busy virtual digital world. And while it is great to have the convenience of virtual meetings and to make friends with social networking, I don't think they will ever replace the beauty of a support group where you can share your successes and frustrations with people who understand.

It is good to have someone who understands your passion.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I have worked with A.C. extensively over the last year with the Utah Genealogical Association. He is a vibrant spot in the genealogy world. You'll do well to watch his information on Mac genealogy and mobile genealogy and he also does lookups at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. Take a look:

For immediate Release
Sunday, January 2, 2011


Find My Ancestor Has Received a Makeover

January 2, 2011 - Taylorsville, UT. Find My Ancestor has announced the redesign and update to their site. The site has received many new pages and features including new downloads, new resources, a completely new blog design, social media integration and
many more. With the new design, Find My Ancestor is much easier to navigate and find
your way around making it a more enjoyable experience for the users. Using the new
website builder makes it very easy for creating new pages, quickly allowing Find My
Ancestor to be able to create more pages, how-to’s, downloads and many other features
to help it’s users learn more about genealogy and the tools available to help them in their

About A.C. Ivory

As a genealogist specializing in the use of technology, social media and Mac computers, A.C. Ivory relies on his young genealogist perspectives to relay the importance of using the new tools and resources that will help genealogists achieve their research goals faster, easier and more efficiently. As the creator of, he has striven to provide genealogists with genealogical news, events, conference reports and new technology updates available to help genealogists in their research efforts.

About Find My Ancestor

Find My Ancestor provides various services to the genealogy and family history community including education, design, Family History Library research assistance and more.

A.C. Ivory is the driving force for Find My Ancestor. A.C. Ivory has been involved with genealogy and family history for over 4 years. A.C. Ivory is only 23 years old and full of genealogy knowledge and ambition.

Follow Find My Ancestor on Facebook (, Twitter (http:// and on our blog at