LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – People in Davis County have a new free place to learn about their heritage. Directors say the Layton Utah FamilySearch Center is more comprehensive and advanced than any other in the world.
Touch screen TVs and super speedy scanners — that is what family history work of the future looks like.
“This is taking it to a whole other level,” said Lyle Elmore, Director of the new center.
It used to be that genealogy was tedious, tiring work, but not anymore, according to Suzanne Curley, who helped design the state-of-the-art facility. The 14,000 square-foot building is equipped with experts and tools to help people discover new things about themselves and their families.
“There are activities and so many things that they can do together… they can scrapbook, they can convert their old VHS tapes to DVDs,” Curley pointed out.
With the touch of a screen, interactive monitors will show people their countries of origin and interesting facts of about the year they were born.
“This shows me what happened in 1997 — the year I was born. So, WIFI was actually invented in 1997,” LDS missionary, Sister Shelby Drake showed Good 4 Utah’s Ali Monsen.
Visitors can even learn what famous people are linked to their family trees!
“For example, if I scroll down here with entertainers… Walt Disney is my eighth cousin!” Drake smiled.
Memebers of the public are also welcome to go convert their old photos into digital versions.
“It’s amazing! We’ve gone through this [pile] in maybe five minutes…” Layton mom, Hilary Goodwin pointed. “You just want to bring a flash drive, so you can take them home,” she explained.
In addition, the facility has two HD recording studios where people can sit down with family members and digitally document their own stories for future generations.
“An engaged couple might come and talk about their anticipated marriage. You might have a family member who wants to bring in a relative and capture their story,” Curley explained.
And that is just scratching the surface.
Directors say kids, teenagers, and families of all ages and religions are all welcome at the resource center.
“We invite all. There’s no restriction, there’s no cost… it is user friendly. This is not a hush-hush library. We expect there to be kind of a little bit of noise sometimes when somebody discovers something that excites them,” smiled Elder Kyle S. McKay, an Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Experts say a good place to start is clicking here to create a free FamilySearch account online.
The Layton Utah FamilySearch Center is also doing open house tours through Saturday.