Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Visiting the Family History Library

Open Minded in Salt Lake City

Genealogists are focused and hit the ground running when they smell the Salt Lake City air.  Everything needed is within about a four block square - food, hotels, tram, Temple and the Family History Library (FHL).  The library is home base for one (but who stays for just one) to several days. 

However, I venture to guess there is more to Salt Lake City (SLC) than the far away mountains, the downtown area, and the Gateway shopping/eating area.  Perhaps, a little adventure in the social bit of the city, may give me a hint as to why this place was not only established but has a stronghold on the reputation of being the genealogist’s Mecca!

My research of Salt Lake City began at the Red Iguana restaurant.  Where did the locals eat?  This popular authentic food, with spicy delicious salsas (I tried 3 types) was a treat. The only issue: I had to pay homage at FHL with a full stomach and a nap was more appealing. But, I was in Salt Lake City, even though I hadn’t carried one file to work on. 

This trip was purely for education.  I’m attending the National Genealogy Society conference for 5 days, and I just want to soak in knowledge – a one way street. Knowledge in, nothing but smiles out. Sure some genealogists actually decided to split their efforts between the conference and research, but I am dedicated to keeping the “intake” of knowledge as my goal. 

I walked into the FHL with nothing in hand but me and a “give it to me attitude.”  And, that is exactly what I received after two hours just on the first floor of the library.  I found a friendly volunteer, who somehow looked bored, with a couple billion or so genealogists clicking away on computers and pulling every book off the shelf.  And, I decided she was mine! We played on the FHL website to explore what I could do onsite that I couldn’t do from home.  And I was able to play with several new trials, and have access to BYU’s genealogy collection.  For the coup de gras, she showed me the pluck and plot map software which was a wonderful tool that gave me the timelines of counties in the USA that changed and altered the boundaries as I clicked through the years.

Ok…now I’m impressed.  More tomorrow on my SLC discovery, but for now...off to bed for my 8AM session. 

Accurate, Accessible Answers


  1. Kathleen,

    I didn't know you were coming to NGS. If I don't see you around make sure you come by the APG booth on Thursday from 2 - 3 PM and I will give you your Geneabloggers ribbon!

  2. Sounds like a great educational few days are in store for you...have fun and learn a lot!

  3. Kathleen, It looks like this is your first SLC / FHL trip, so enjoy and I'll be following you along in what you write. I miss it, but not the crowds.

  4. No Barbara, I've probably been a dozen times, but usually I come on behalf of clients and I have time limitations, and specific goals. So, I've never been able to just play with Beta tests, trials or visit BYU's collections. This is why this trip is so fun. No researching just exploring.