Family History is no longer just about pedigree charts and DNA. It’s about seeing pictures and getting to know your family and ancestors through stories. It’s also about preserving your own story for future generations to come.
The new Family Discovery Center at the FamilySearch Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (formerly the historical Hotel Utah) that is like stepping right inside the FamilySearch website and watching your story unfold right in front of your eyes.
My two children, ages 9 and 11 years old, were amazed at all they discovered about where they came from and the people that helped make them who they are. They are already asking to go back.
Preparing for your interactive experience:
- Scheduled appointments always take priority over walk-ins, so go online to www.FamilySearch.org/discoverycenter and schedule a time to visit.
- Because this is all about you and your own specific family, a “Museum Of Me”, you want to make sure you know your login and password for FamilySearch.org. If you don’t have a free account, make sure you set one up before going. There is so much to discover here, that you don’t want to waste any time on trying to log in.
The Center is divided into 7 different sections:
- Begin My Story: Your story is important and worth remembering
Upon arrival, you are given a tablet to use at each of the different stations. Take a selfie, and watch your own personal history come alive as you dive into each of the interactive exhibits.
- Discover My Story: Your story is unique and influences history
Your story begins with you! Discover fun facts about you, such as how many other people in the U.S. spell their name the same as you, how many people have your same last name, fun facts about the year you were born, and much more!
- Explore My Story: Your story is about fascinating people and places
Your story has a beginning somewhere in the world. Discover where you ancestors came from, and interesting facts about them.
- Experience My Story: Your story is realized through remarkable details
Here is where you dive more into each individual ancestor. You can view their home might have looked like during the time period they lived, or pull up journal entries and photos.
- Picture My Story: Your story is rich with heritage – capture it!
When you plug into this station, you will see your heritage and what percentage of you makes up that heritage. See what you might have looked like living in that part of the world.
- Record My Story: Your family story is important and should be recorded
Family history isn’t just about your ancestors. Recording and documenting your history for future generations is an important part of family history work. At this station, follow prompts to record your own thoughts and feelings.
- Share My Story: We are all connected. Sharing your story can inspire others
After completing all the other stations, your “Museum of ME!” will show up on the wall for all to view. You will also receive an email with all of your discoveries from the Family Discovery Center. Share them with others; your story can inspire others!
“Family history is the joy of connecting ourselves to our ancestors,” said Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch. “So much of what I am is because of my ancestors. It’s moving, it’s exciting, and it’s completely shareable. For most people, it’s simply the joy of discovery.”
The Family Discovery Center is located at the FamilySearch center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building at South Temple and Main Street, adjacent to Temple Square.