Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Family History Saturday

The Lobby of the Masonic Lodge of Whittier
Saturday I enjoyed spending the day with friends at a Family History Seminar put on by the Whittier Area Genealogical Society (WAGS).  It was my first seminar with this group, and the first time I'd ever seen the inside of the Whittier Masonic Lodge.  (It was nice inside.  I just noticed that they still have their Christmas wreaths up - see the above photo!)

The social hall was full of displays from various groups
Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot of fun to you, but, believe me, it's more entertaining than you'd think!  I love the stories about how our ancestors just "want to be found" and how miracles sometimes happen when you're researching your family.

I got the feeling that I and my friends were among the youngest people there!
I met a couple of friends there.  Lisa and Danika are both interested in family history research, too. The place was packed.  There were approximately 200 attendees, which appears to be a WAGS first.

Lisa and Danika
 I also ran into other people I knew!  That was fun!
Jessica (right) and her family friend Suzie
My young friend Jessica shared she is planning on serving an LDS mission later this year.  You go, girl!

The main hall was the site of the presentation
We heard a series of four lectures, two in the morning, and two in the afternoon, with a luncheon in between.  One of these lectures was a live Webinar.  It was amazing to hear people from all over the globe check in to participate with us.  Around 450 people were tuned in on their computers from far-away places like Australia, Wales and France, if I remember correctly.

Geoff Rasmussen preparing for the Webinar
Our lecturer was Geoff Rasmussen.  He had a lot of useful tips on research techniques.  I particularly enjoyed his time-line approach to solving the problem of two people with the same name and how to determine which is your ancestor!
Our lecturer, Geoff Rasmussen
Geoff Rasmussen's bio says he graduated with a degree in Genealogy from BYU (Brigham Young University, also my Alma Mater!) and has served as Director and Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association.

From what I understand, he helped develop Legacy Family Tree software, and is now the host of the Legacy Family Tree Webinar Series.  In addition, he has authored books, videos, and articles about Family History research.

Geoff told a funny story about meeting his wife - and eventually proposing to her - in the Family History Center in Utah.  He was an engaging speaker, and provided lots of useful information about the challenges of family history research, and how to overcome them.

WAGS had a large crowd attend, as they advertised through Legacy Family Tree

This was an informative and fun way to spend a Saturday.  Now I just need to do the work on my own family tree!

To see the free Webinar we watched being recorded, titled "Googling With Geoff", check out:
Googling With Geoff Webinar

For more information about Legacy Family Tree Webinars, visit:

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