Hundreds Attend 42nd Annual Family History Conference in Massachusetts

Contributed By Lindsay Hull, Church News contributor

  • 4 May 2017

Ryan Koelliker addresses over 400 attendees at the 42nd annual New England Family History Conference hosted by the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in Franklin, Massachusetts, on April 8, 2017.  Photo courtesy Hingham Massachusetts Stake.

Article Highlights

  • Knowing your family history not only empowers your children but also connects you to your ancestors, which builds confidence and self-esteem.

FRANKLIN, MASSACHUSETTS

Hundreds of novice and expert family historians attended the 42nd annual New England Family History Conference, hosted by the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in Franklin, Massachusetts.

The free event had 19 breakout sessions, during which participants of all levels learned about a variety of genealogical topics. Sessions ranged from using the Massachusetts online genealogy databases to discussing the legacy of the Orphan Trains that once crossed the United States. Other subjects included indexing, Hope Chest software, lineage and genealogical societies, census records, and region-specific research. Numerous individuals were helped one-on-one with their personal family history and research needs.

One example of individuals receiving personalized help was Ruth Perkins and Amanda Perkins, both of Groton, Connecticut. The women share not only the same last name but also a genuine interest in genealogy. They attended the conference for the sole purpose of finding out if they were related. Event organizers connected the two women with an expert genealogist, who is working with them to find the answer to their question.

Joe McCamish was the closing speaker during the 42nd annual New England Family History Conference hosted by the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in Franklin, Massachusetts, on April 8, 2017. He is a filmmaker and personal historian who interviewed the surviving family members of Sgt. Alvin York, one of the most decorated U.S. Army solders of World War I. Also pictured is his sister, Patricia Donohoe, genealogist and resident of Cape Cod. Photo courtesy Hingham Massachusetts Stake.

The keynote speaker of the conference was FamilySearch’s senior product manager, Ryan Koelliker. He outlined how genealogy can impact researchers’ living family members in a positive way. He spoke of how knowing one’s family history not only empowers his or her children but also connects a person to his or her ancestors, which in turn builds confidence and self-esteem.

The conference concluded with speaker Joe McCamish, filmmaker and personal historian. He interviewed the surviving family members of Sgt. Alvin York, one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I.

Ruth Perkins and Amanda Perkins, both of Groton, Connecticut, attended the 42nd annual New England Family History Conference hosted by the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in Franklin, Massachusetts, on April 8, 2017. They attended for the sole purpose of finding out if they were related. Photo courtesy Hingham Massachusetts Stake.

Hundreds of participants of the 42nd annual New England Family History Conference hosted by the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in Franklin, Massachusetts, on April 8, 2017, gather for lunch. Photo courtesy Hingham Massachusetts Stake.

Keynote speaker Ryan Koelliker, FamilySearch’s senior product manager, opens the 42nd annual New England Family History Conference hosted by the Hingham Massachusetts Stake in Franklin, Massachusetts, on April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy Hingham Massachusetts Stake.