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04 May 2017

Salt Lake City Success: Our Annual Trip to the Family History Library

by Lisa S. Gorrell

Seven members along with myself serving as the trip leader, made the trek to Salt Lake City, Utah for six days of research at the genealogy mecca of the west coast: The Family History Library.

Member Dick Baker, who along with his wife Lynda, really enjoyed his second trip to the Family History Library this year.  Dick said, “As a beginner, the resources in the library were a bit overwhelming.  Without Lisa’s help, we would have been lost.  She kept me on track by helping me stick to my plan.”

What was it like?
We stayed at the Plaza Hotel, which is just a short walk out the back door to the library. Since it was a bit nippy and wet this year, being next door to the library was a blessing.

The schedule for the week was loose, so there was plenty of time for researching and socializing. Sunday evening was our first get-together dinner at the Olive Garden restaurant where we had a private room.

Monday, we attended an instructor-led class about getting the most out of the FamilySearch Library catalog. It was presented well and being able to use lab computers to follow along was very helpful. This class was well received and even I, who have used the online catalog for years, learned some new tricks!

Each day at lunch the group met in the lobby for a short walk through Temple Square to the Latter Day Saints' office-building cafeteria. At the cafeteria, there were many varieties of items that were reasonably priced. Some members bought extra during the week to have for dinner, so they could keep on researching!

The Temple Square gardens were gorgeous with multi-colored tulips, daffodils, Iceland poppies, pansies, and other flowers.



It was a great place to take a walk for exercise.

Wednesday evening’s group dinner was held at the Garden Restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith Building. Our table was right at the windows where the view was spectacular.


Fabulous Finds
Each day, Lisa helped participants with research questions, computer searching, or with microfilm use. Each of the members had successes: 

  • Jacqueline found photos and information from a local society’s newsletters, and a county history book that had many pages about her family—so much so, she may buy the books.
  • Linda found an obit that allowed her to correct a death date and the husband’s death year, and DAR records that connect her third-great-grandfather.
  • Kate helped confirm marriages without vital records, and using city directories in Savannah, Georgia was able to sort out Horrigan, Charlton, Pates, and McAuliffe families.
  • Lynda connected to her Utah family line on FamilySearch Family Tree.
  • Dick worked with entering information in his family tree program and found documents that might point to his grandmother’s maiden name.
  • Nancy found original documents from microfilm to back up sources found online.
  • Shirley found her husband’s Witherell line in Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts that had many more generations than the family had thought.


Final thoughts
The wrap up dinner was held at Tuscan Brio Restaurant in the City Creek Shopping Center. At the end, we all toasted each other’s successes and vowed to return again next year.  



2018 trip is planned for April 22 through 29. Will you join us?


Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

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