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The Ultimate Genealogy Birthday

I really do have it all! This weekend we celebrated my 30th birthday for the 11th time. And for the first time ever, my wife and all four children were in Salt Lake City's Family History Library - with me - on purpose! Not once was the "when can we go now?" question asked because I think there was a little part of each person that actually wanted to be there.

Here's me and the kids, Tanya took the picture:


It started with a treasure hunt. They learned how to locate microfilm. The two oldest already had their Genealogy merit badge, so they helped the younger ones.


I taught them how to hold the microfilm...


...and how to load it into the reader. This is probably my all-time favorite picture.


One by one, they each located a different land record of John Nelson Brown.


Remember John Brown? Through DNA testing, we learned that he DOES belong to our Brown family, now we just have to prove the relationships.


The only certain proof I have so far is the proof of my kids enjoying genealogy.


I did have to tell them to whisper a few times though.


Using the skills I learned in Mary Hill's webinar, "Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records", I snapped digital photos of all twelve deeds.


Using the step-by-step instructions from my upcoming book, Digital Imaging Essentials 2.0, the digital images are now organized and preserved on my hard drive, in my Legacy Family Tree software, and in my Google Photos account. How's that for a shameless plug?

They wanted proof that their dad was famous, so I led them to my three volume series of Washington County, Tennessee tax record indexes on the third floor. They weren't so sure that a book of names qualified for fame though.


We then toured the amazing Conference Center.


Went hiking at Cascade Springs (Utah's mountains are beautiful!)


And concluded with some birthday cake while we watched the Olympics.


If there is such a thing as a perfect day, this day would be it. And so will be the day when I finally identify John Brown's parents.


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What a beautiful family and a great way to celebrate together.

Geoff, I couldn't imagine a more perfect day! Blessings to you all, for I bet no one will forget this day.

You have a beautiful family! Your birthday celebration looks like the perfect day for a genealogist. The children looked like they enjoyed the events too! You'll make genealogists of them all, I'm sure ;)

Am I the only person in the world who doesn't know how to use those microfilm readers? I wish someone would do a video on how to use them and find the information quickly. It wouldn't have to be a long video, but it sure would help. Thanks.

I hope your family is with you when you find proof of John Brown's parents!

What an awesome gift that party was to you and your family. Your blog is also a gift to those of us who now have an outline to use to have our own family history day.

An idea: to prove that you are famous, show your children the Legacy User Group facebook page where at least 10,112 people think you are famous. Then, show them how many people sign up for your classes at RootsTech and other family history conferences. All of those people are at least aware of your name--which is really what fame is, right? :)

Geoff, thank you for showing us how to know more than dates, names and places. Legacy is a perfect name for your Family History software.

A section of a poem I wrote years ago called "Family Search".

It seems that my ancestors
Gone on before
Want me to remember
That they're something more--

Than names on a tombstone,
In census, or book.
They want me to know them,
They want me to look.
Thank you so much for all of the encouragement and helpful lessons you have taught to me during the many years I have used Legacy, attended your classes, and read your newsletters and blogs. What you teach us truly does help me to want to KNOW more than the names, dates and places of my ancestors.

what a super birthday!
you will never guess what I did today.
made reservations for xmas week in dunedin, new zealand with my son, his wife and four children and visiting warden cousins I met on our legacy cruise. thanks to you I would never have known them.

Sandra - how kind of you! and what a sweet poem of yours. Thank you for sharing.

Janelle - I'm so happy for you. Have a great time!

Hi Geoff

Your kids are cute. I can't believe that I have been reading along for the last 2 births and maybe more. I am eternally grateful for the people that steered me toward Legacy Family Tree.

Geoff, thanks for sharing. Loved your birthday pictures and story. What sweet kids, and a sweet day with all of them. Congratulations :)

Wherever they have microfilm readers, the people there are usually happy to show you how it works. The readers aren't all exactly the same. Even though I have used them before, I have had to ask for help.

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