One of the big events for the Liberty Missouri Stake in March was our second annual GenealogyKC conference. It was
held March 21-22 in our stake center.
I wasn’t as involved this year as I was last year, but I was still somewhat involved as the stake presidency member who oversaw it. This year, our stake president’s wife, Rebecca Morgan, was the chair of the event. And she did a fantastic job!
We had much better presenters this year than we did last year. For example, we had Jill Crandell, director of the Center for Family History and Genealogy at BYU, Amy Harris, associate professor of history at BYU, and our own Bob, founder of LineageChase and a researchers at the Center for Family History and Genealogy! We also had Katy Barnes, one of Bob’s classmates and a colleague at LineageChase, and a number of presenters from such organizations as the National Archives, Midwest Genealogy Center, Ancestry.com, and other places. We had more than 700 people register and it looks like we had about that many–or perhaps a bit less–actually attend. That was up from about 500 last year. It was a terrific event!
For our family, rather than traveling in and out of Liberty each day, we decided to stay at a hotel in town. It started out for us on Thursday, 20 March, when Mom and I took John in to the stake center so he could help with setup while we took Katy and Chase Barnes on a tour of the local Church history sites. The Barnes had flown in late on Wednesday night and had stayed at a member’s home near the stake center. Mom and I picked them up at about 10 or 11 a.m. on Thursday and took them to the Liberty Jail, followed by the Community of Christ temple in Independence. We then went to lunch at the most amazing barbecue place–it’s actually called A Little BBQ Joint–based on a recommendation from a member of the Community of Christ. It was so tasty! And very large portions, as well!
We then went to the LDS Visitors Center in Independence and enjoyed a very nice tour, after which we went back to the stake center. Mary Ann had come in from work shortly before we arrived at the stake center, and so after dropping off the Barnes, the four of us went to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We went to the Smokehouse Barbecue in Zona Rosa. . .another great meal! We then went to the hotel, and at about
11 p.m. I went to the airport to pick up Bob.
On Friday, 21 March, we made it to the stake center just in time for GenealogyKC’s opening plenary session. We spent the next two days instructing and being instructed. It was absolutely wonderful!
One of the huge highlights this year was a special youth fireside featuring Sister Elaine Dalton and her husband Stephen. They arrived on Friday and stayed with some friends. Then on Saturday they went on a tour with our stake president, arriving at the stake center at about 5:00 or 5:30 on Saturday afternoon. All of the youth who attended GenealogyKC were invited to a special pizza reception with the Daltons. Fortunately for us, Mary Ann was able to meet Brother and Sister Dalton with other members of the stake presidency before the reception began. It was awesome! Mary spoke with Sister Dalton about her plans for a mission, and Sister Dalton was so impressed. We were thrilled that Mary Ann had that opportunity!
John also met Brother and Sister Dalton during the reception, and although he didn’t appear to be quite as excited about it as Mary Ann was, we know he had a great experience.
The fireside that night was absolutely awesome. Sister Dalton has such a wonderful way and gift of connecting with you. It was great to see her in person.
Overall, I would say that GenealogyKC 2014 was a fantastic success! Not only did we have a lot of people attend, but our family learned a lot, were edified, and got to spend time with Bob!