Friday, August 24, 2012

New Employees

We have two new employees to introduce to you:

Lara Orchard was born in Utah and raised in Indiana.  She is the mother of six children and yellow to the core.  She's not sure who wants more fun--her or her kids.  She loves to read and spend summers in the sun.  She has an appreciation for genealogy that was given to her by her Mother, who is jealous of her job at Family ChartMasters.  Lara has been a great help this summer and hopefully if we haven't scared her off you'll be seeing more of her around here. 

Jenn McKay is actually not really a new employee either.  She was a great help through Christmas Rush last year and after a little hiatus is back with us again now.  Jenn is still in the honeymoon stage with her husband Iain McKay and dotes over her two huge German Shepherds Milo and Izz.  In her spare time, Jenn is working on her Masters' degree in Special Education.  She gives Erin a run for her money for the Detail Oriented Diva position and we are very lucky to have her. 

We are very blessed to have these two lovely ladies working with us.  With their help, we're in a better position than ever to take good care of you and make your genealogy chart a beautiful representation of your family.  We look forward to creating something special for you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Teenager update--Lesson learned.

With our church group, my son recently went up to spend some time at the Riverton Family History library.  I tagged along for a little bit and I had a good laugh when they taught me something I'd never supposed. 

Suzanne Curley, the director of the Riverton library is on my UGA board.  We are working together on the Saturday morning keynote address for the UGA fall conference in September (register at  The title is, "The Cool Parts of Family History: Kids Having Fun." I tagged along with our youth group for a little bit to get some video for our presentation. 

While I was there I got to watch my son and his best friend explore the internet sites they had just learned about.  They were looking for more information on their families.  My son's friend came up with some interesting discoveries that he was excited about.  Look what his response was:

That cracked me up.  What a different world they live in.  He took a picture of the screen with his Iphone in order to save it and send it to his Dad.

Now I don't know if you would have thought to record your findings that way, but I wouldn't have.  And I don't know if this is the best idea on how to record your research, but I'm sure the next one he comes up with will be something I never would have thought of too.  I found this picture to be a great symbol for what I have been learning about how to involve your teenagers.   Let them go.  Stand back and watch, and you will be amazed.  They will teach us new ways to use the technology and accomplish more if we will just get out of their way and watch them figure out how to do it.  When we come in and try to teach them up how to do it, they don't resonate with it.  We have to let them be new and let them explore.

I keep reminding myself--they don't have to do it my way.  As long as I don't squash their enthusiasm, they will be much more skilled at it when they are my age than I am now.  They don't have to be perfect at it.  They can be beginners.

And now I'm going to keep reminding myself--I have to get out of the way so that *I* can learn from *them* how to do it better and how to use technology.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Teenager update--Family history trip

We had a bit of a family history trip this summer with my 15 year old son.  I took him with me to Burbank for the Southern California Genealogical Society conference.  We had a great trip and he helped me with my lectures and with the booth.  It was good to have time to talk to him on the drive.  I took the opportunity to show him around Westchester. CA where my mother grew up and where I spent my summers with my grandparents. 

We went to the house where my mother grew up.  It was easy to find because I still have the address soundly memorized because of all letters I wrote my grandparents as a little girl.  It turns out the house was for sale.  The house didn't look like it was in very good shape, but hopefully there will be new owners that love it soon.  There is my son out in front.  And the pictures below are left to right: My mother and her sister in the late 40s, me and Grandpa in about 1971 and a picture from when we visited in the late 90s after they had moved.  It was so fun to show him the neighborhood and tell him about my adventures in the summers--that's the bumpy sidewalk where I learned to roller skate, and here is the market we would walk to for "pop rocks" candy.  I showed him the church they attended and where my parent's wedding reception was.  It was so great to be in the old neighborhood again. 

We went to her high school.and her elementary school. I told him about how she and her friends would take summer school just to be closer to the beach and then they all would go hang out at the beach afterward.  Mom was in Accapella Choir here with the 60s musical group the Turtles.  We drove past the elementary school too. 

And we went out to the beach, where my Mom spent so much time and where we played as little children. I had forgotten about all the hills going out to the beach and how it seemed we would never get there--even though it was only a few minute's drive. 

He put up with me getting all sentimental.  I don't know how much he appreciated the tour but he was good natured about it.  But I was really struck with the fact that it is now up to me to pass on these memories.  I had never purposely gone back to that neighborhood on my own.  We have been past there several times with my parents since my grandparents moved in 1991.  We've taken trips down to Disneyland, etc and we always take a drive through Westchester to see how the house is doing.  But my parents were always in charge.  This was the first time I had driven there myself to show the next generation where it was. 

As we drove around, the memories were thick--I can still see my grandparents living there and smell the jasmine bush next to the kitchen window that would smell so good in the evenings when the windows were open.  I can see the strawberry cookie jar and hear the way the washing machine rattled.  But he knows none of that.  It was up to me to make that come alive for him.  I was amazed that even as young as I am--and with my parents still very much alive--the torch had already passed to me to pass down memories of people the next generation didn't know. 

And I loved my grandparents so much.  I really wanted him to know them.  I'm still working on that.  But we had a wonderful afternoon. 

And guess what--we were blessed with a little bit of serendipity.  I think my grandfather smiled down on us.  When we were done, we drove over towards the grocery store where my grandparents always shopped looking for a late lunch.  It has been turned into a strip mall.  Right where we went shopping all the time was Grandpa's favorite resturaunt.  So we had lunch there--wishing Grandpa was really there to enjoy it with us.  Maybe he was.  Maybe he really was. 

UGA's Fall Family Conference

We're at the BYU conference this week (come visit us!/ Our Schedule) but I wanted to tell you about the very different conference UGA is sponsoring in September.  Registration is at
The Utah Genealogical Association is excited to announce their Fall conference "Come Climb Your Family Tree"

Bring your family to explore your roots: the Utah Genealogical Association Fall Conference will be a new kind of event for teens and adults.  Classes, vendors and activities will include all experience and interest levels.  Activities for young children from 1pm to 4pm Saturday.

This fall we've focused on a family friendly conference to enhance the record numbers this year with teenage involvement at the Riverton Family History Center, the Family History Library and in indexing the 1940 census.   There are two hours of classes Friday evening on the latest technology and getting started as a beginner that are perfect genealogists and people just getting started.  With a fresh schedule and vendor's activity booths, this will be different than any genealogy conference you've ever seen. 

Friday September 21, 9:00AM-8:30 PM and Saturday September 22, 9:00 AM-5:30 PM.  Lunches will be available for pre-order and pizza and snacks will be available to purchase Friday evening.  

The conference will be at the Sandy Campus of Salt Lake Community College near the 106th South off ramp of I-15

There is individual, family and partial conference pricing.  Free Family History Consultant track.  Limited seating available.

Reserve your spot today at