Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Family History Mission: Conferences, Webinars, Presentations, and Posts

Maryland State Archives
No. 72

Note: You can do a Google search for "A Family History Mission James Tanner" to see all the previous posts in this ongoing series. You can also search for "James Tanner genealogy" and find them or click back through all the posts.

This past week we were asked by FamilySearch to help with a conference in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. We traveled up to Pennsylvania and stopped off to have a nice dinner with my daughter and her family who live outside of Philadelphia and the continued on to the conference. It was the 91st Conference of the Registers of Wills and Clerks of Orphans' Court Association of Pennsylvania

The purpose of our attending the conference was to help the representative of FamilySearch meet and offer to help the individual counties of Pennsylvania preserve their records and share them with FamilySearch. It was a busy conference and we met dozens of Registers of Wills and Clerks of the Orphans' Court. It was very successful in making a lot of attendees aware of what FamilySearch can offer in the way of records preservation. The FamilySearch representative made a lot of contacts. We spent two busy days and then drove back to Annapolis in time to work on digitizing records on Thursday and Friday. 

For us, a major part of our full-time mission has involved doing the same things we have been doing for years, that is, teaching, presenting and attending conferences. So far, I have done a few presentations on genealogical research and a couple of webinars. I recently did one for the Brigham Young University Family History Library and have more planned for each upcoming month. Here is one I did this last month.

Technology and Genealogy: A Perfect Match

I have also been spending every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at the Annapolis, Maryland Family History Center helping patrons and doing a lot of genealogical research. Every Sunday, under the direction of the Branch President of the Spa Creek Branch (Spanish) we are also helping the branch members with finding their own ancestral names to take to the Temple. They recently had a successful excursion to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Temple to do ordinance work. The Washington, D.C. Temple is closed for two years for renovation. We spend the Sunday School time in the Family History Center and assist the members in signing on to FamilySearch and as a result, they have seen an almost 100% increase in activity. That is really an accomplishment for such a small Branch. This increase has come about from the direct involvement of the Branch President and the Elders Quorum President in encouraging the members to meet with us.

In addition, we have been helping the other missionaries serving with us with their own family history and several other people we have met while here in Annapolis. I also carry on my usual round of posts on my blogs and helping people remotely using the Consultant Planner. I just finished helping the wife of one of our friends from Provo find some ancestral names.

A full-time Senior Mission can be a wonderful opportunity to serve and use your own talents to assist the members and others in your area with opportunities to learn and grow in their testimonies and activity. We will continue to have opportunities to help both members and those outside of the Church during the rest of our mission. As I mentioned, I have more webinars coming for the BYU Family History Library. See the schedule on the Library's webpage. I will also be presenting at the Washington, D.C. Family History Center in August. We joined the Anne Arundel County Genealogical Society and I will be presenting a conference on October 27th. I will also be presenting for the Family History Expos Virtual Conference in October. I will also do additional webinars for the BYU Family History Library. That is what is planned so far.

As we are able, we are still involved in helping The Family History Guide. We do plan on helping more actively when we return to Provo however.

Meanwhile, we work all day every weekday that the Maryland State Archives are open digitizing records for FamilySearch and the Archives.

Please consider taking advantage of your opportunity to serve a full-time or part-time mission as a Senior. 

1 comment:

  1. Hope some counties take you up on the offer. Allegheny County PA just ran an article a few weeks ago that they found many documents that no one knows what they are, they want to digitize them and I think they want to do it with the Heinz History Center. I think it will take a very long time.