Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mark Your Calendars! - Family History Expo 2008

4th Annual Family History Expo 2008, St. George, Utah and the “Pirates of the Pedigree”

Now is the time to mark your calendar for a great genealogy conference to be held in Southern Utah, the first week of February. Hundreds of genealogists, perhaps more than three thousand, will assemble in the "snowbird" town of St. George, Utah, for the 4th Annual Family History Expo (formerly known as the Genealogy and Family Heritage Jamboree).

The theme for this year's event is “Pirates of the Pedigree” and will be held at the Dixie Convention Center on February 8 and 9 (Friday and Saturday). The main show sponsors are My Ancestors Found and FamilySearch.

With FamilySearch as one of the major sponsors this event will be beneficial to Latter-day Saints as well as those seeking to begin their family history research. FamilySearch is sending a few key employees to teach about the new products that will be released in 2008 to wards and stakes throughout the world. This information will be a sneak-peek for attendees. These new tools will help all researchers increase their ability to connect with other researchers, access online documents, help index the growing number of online documents and so much more.

This two-day event will draw speakers and vendors from all over the U.S. It will feature 101 classes plus more than 60 vendors and exhibitors displaying all the latest genealogy products, services, and technology. The intent is to teach individuals to find their family treasures without letting the pirates rob them of knowing the real stories and facts of their personal pedigree.

When looking at the list of speakers, you may notice many names mentioned frequently in family history circles: Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Arlene H Eakle, Stephen Valentine, Kip Sperry, DearMYRTLE, Kimberly Savage, Janene S. Morgan, Geoff Rassmussen, Bruce Buzbee, Leland K Meitzler, Gaylon Findlay, Paul Nauta, Dennis Meldrum and many others. You can read a complete list of all the speakers and their 101 topics at

Beau Sharbrough will be the keynote speaker. Beau is the vice president of content at the history website,, digitizers of records of the National Archives. Beau will expose those dirty pirates who try to rob us of the true gems that unfold a fabulous family tree.

Even if you are not a genealogist you will enjoy “Come Away with Me” a musical look at events that shaped America and the newly arrived immigrants to this country, during the Friday evening banquet. Entertainment provided by Jean Wilcox Hibben. Jean has been playing guitar for more than 40 years and is a big part of the Riverside (CA) Folk Song Society.

The list of exhibitors at this conference also reads like a "Who's Who in Genealogy." The companies represented include My Ancestors Found, FamilySearch, World Vital Records, Family Tree Magazine, Generation Maps, BYU Center for Family History & Genealogy, Genealogy Today, Legacy Family Tree (Millennia Corporation), The Genealogical Institute, Passage Express, Everton Publishing, The Godfrey Memorial Library, Goldbug, RootsMagic, Sorenson Molecular Foundation, DearMYRTLE, Incline Software, GenealogyBank,, and many more. A complete list of all the vendors is available at

Unlike most of the larger genealogy conferences held in other cities, admission fees at the Family History Expo are rather modest. However, if you register before December 31st, you can obtain the Early Bird Special discount for a greater bargain.

A monthly newsletter is available for those planning to attend or to anyone with an interest in the conference. Subscribe online at

St. George is an excellent place to hold a mid-winter conference. It is in the southwest corner of Utah, only six miles from the Arizona state line and not too far from Nevada. Its year-round population of about 50,000 swells considerably in the winter months as many "snowbirds" move to St. George to escape the cold weather. The winter daytime high temperatures in St. George range from the mid-fifties to mid-sixties. It is perfect weather in which to hold a genealogy conference.

While St. George is in the state of Utah, anyone flying to the conference is advised to travel to Las Vegas, not to Salt Lake City. St. George is about a two-hour drive from Las Vegas but a six-hour drive from Salt Lake City.

Last year’s event in St. George attracted thousands of attendees, and this year's event has already had more publicity than last year's event. We suspect this February conference in the small town in southwestern Utah will be one of the three largest genealogy conferences of the year in North America.

Will we see you there?
For more information about the Family History Expo in St. George, Utah, look at

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