Family History Youth Conference / Activity Night

Cedar City Utah Family History Center


     Every human being who comes to this earth is the product of generations of parents.  We have a natural yearning to connect with our ancestors.  This desire dwells in our hearts, regardless of age.  Consider the spiritual connections that are formed when a young woman helps her grandmother enter family information into a computer or when a young man sees the name of his great-grandfather on a census record.  When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us.  We feel part of something greater than ourselves.  Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors through ordinances of the temple.

“Generations Linked in Love,” Elder Russell M. Nelson, April 2010 General Conference


Objective:  The objectives of the conference is to introduce the youth of the Cedar City area to the work of family history and to provide experiences that will bring the Spirit of Elijah into their lives.  


Individual Preparation:  In order for the youth to have a positive experience they will need to come prepared with a few items. 

1.  A completed five generation pedigree chart. 

2.  Each participant will need to have an LDS account and know their username and password.

3.  If possible, bring personal lap top.  Three of the classes need computer access.


Ward Preparation:  For the youth leaders.

1.  On the suggested schedule at the end of this document, ward leaders will notice the activities that they are responsible for providing.  This includes the meals and snacks.

2.  When dealing with family relationships, it is important to be sensitive to the issues of adoption, blended families, and divorce.  As youth leaders, you might want to address this with the young men and young women while they are completing their five generation pedigree chart.  Some young people might not know which line to follow such as adopted line or biological line, or biological father verses step father.


Class and Activity Descriptions:  Following are the class and activity descriptions that will be offered as part of the conference.  The Family History Center Staff members have done the ground work for these classes and are prepared to present them.   Attendees will be divided into small groups as they rotate through the experiences.  There are seven classes listed here and six rotations.  Wards may choose up to six of the seven.


Timelines:  This class will introduce the youth to the value of timelines in researching and writing histories of family members.  Using the information from their personal pedigree chart, they will be able to log into websites that give information on world events during the time of interest and discover what their ancestor may have witnessed in their lifetime.

Family History Research:  This class will provide an introduction to the big five records that researchers use in adding new generations to their pedigree.  The youth will be given a family group sheet with very little information.   Their goal will be to “fill in the blanks” with the big five records that are provided.  The family that they will be researching will not be their own but one that is provided by the staff.  The participants will then select an individual on their pedigree chart that they would like to gather information and records to complete missing information that could possibly be found in the FamilySearch databases.

Interviewing Grandparents:  The ward will need to provide a “seasoned couple” that is willing to be interviewed and share their past.  The youth will learn the proper types of questions to ask.  They will then be challenged to select a grandparent from their pedigree chart and conduct an interview with them in the coming months.

Jeopardy:  Be ready for a lively game that will teach and quiz participants on research and websites.

FamilySearch:  Conference attendees will be taught the tools that are available on the FamilySearch website and will learn about an individual buried at the Cedar City Cemetery.  Or, they may conduct research on an individual from their own pedigree chart.

Journal Writing and Scrap Booking: Participants will be taught how to write an informative journal entry and create a journal page featuring their experiences at the youth conference.

Indexing:  This class will teach the youth about the Indexing Program of the church.  The participants will learn how to transcribe records that will later become available to researchers on the internet.

Game of Concentration:  Participants will explore the doctrine of family history through matching quotes and scriptural references with their sources.

Folk Dancing:  Another option for a class is engaging the youth in learning the Virginia Reel and other folk dances.  The center has the music and the knowhow.  Our immigrant ancestors brought many traditions with them including dance.  Wards might consider doing this with the whole group rather than the smaller groups.


An alternative to the youth conference would be to choose from the list of activities and bring the youth to the Family History Center during a youth night or nights. Staff members would be available to present the activity.   Wards would need to call the Family History Center to make the arrangements.

Suggested Schedule

Individual wards and youth leaders are better equipped at knowing the needs of their youth.  The Family History Center Staff is willing to work with you in any way that will best meet those needs.  If you would like a shorter day with only a few of the rotations, we would be happy to comply.  The possibilities are numerous for providing opportunities that will teach participants about the work of family history, that will invite the spirit of the work into their lives, and that offers hands-on learning with documents and web searches. 

Day One:

Evening Fireside:  Speaker is provided by the ward and can be held in any setting that the ward desires.  The speaker should address the “why” and doctrine of family history work.   The family history center has a reader’s theater available for wards to use at this fireside if desired.

Day Two:

8:00  – 8:45             Breakfast (Provided by ward.)

Announcements and other instruction. (Family History Center Staff)

9:00  – 9:45             First class rotation (Family History Center Staff)

9:45 – 10:00             Break and activity in cultural hall.  (Family History Center Staff) Possible snack provided by ward.

10:00 – 10:45           Second class rotation (Family History Center Staff)

10:45 – 11:00            Break and activity in cultural hall.  (Family History Center Staff) Possible snack provided by ward.

11:00  – 11:45            Third Class Rotation (Family History Center Staff)

11:45 – 1:00               Lunch (Provided by ward.)

1:00 – 1:45                Fourth Class Rotation (Family History Center Staff)

1:45 – 2:00                Break and activity in cultural hall.  (Family History Center Staff) Possible snack provided by ward.

2:00 – 2:45               Fifth Class Rotation (Family History Center Staff)

2:45- 3:00                 Break and activity in cultural hall.  (Family History Center Staff) Possible snack provided by ward.

3:00 – 3:45               Sixth Class Rotation (Family History Center Staff)

4:00 – 4:45               Trip to Cedar City Cemetery to place flowers on graves of

those researched in FamilySearch class.  Flowers provided by the wards.

5:00                            Dinner and evening festivities.  (Provided by the ward.)

Day Three:

This day could be spent traveling to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.