Family history specialists to converge on SLC

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Starting Wednesday, more than 2,000 family history specialists, librarians and ancestral sleuths will swarm Salt Lake City for the annual meeting of the National Genealogical Society.

Though Utah long has been seen as the epicenter of genealogical record-keeping, this is the first time in 25 years the society has held its annual meeting here.

And the city promises a veritable feast of information for professional and amateur genealogists starved for information.

"We've got a who's who of genealogists who will provide classes and workshops," said Paul Nauta, spokesman for Family Search, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' genealogy division. "It's a tremendous opportunity to hear from the most notable authors and researchers in the field."

The four-day conference will feature a free performance by famed American historian David McCullough and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Thursday evening in the giant LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Although the tickets have all been distributed, stand-by seating will be available that night, Nauta said.

Professional researchers will offer free assistance to conference attendees each day in the exhibit hall at the Salt Palace.

During the conference, Provo-based will offer free photo and record scanning for those who want to create digital copies of treasured family documents. It also will host a "Who Do You Think You Are?" season finale celebration for conference-goers and the community to enjoy the final episode together. The NBC series features celebrities discovering their family histories.

The national meeting runs through May 1.

"It will be the largest and most spectacular week of family history presentations and activities ever," Nauta says. "It's a chance for people who have hit a brick wall in their family history research to come and hear from the experts who are doing the work."

National Genealogical Society annual meeting

When » Wednesday through Saturday

Where » Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City

Info » Visit