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One World One Family History Conference

Hundreds of enthusiastic genealogists gathered at the third annual "One World, One Family" History Conference at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kitchener, Ontario.

James McBride, local leader of the Church welcomed participants "as family" telling them,"...it is our belief that we are all brothers and sisters." The conference was held in August as a public service by the Church and was eagerly attended by family history enthusiasts from all around the province of Ontario. Previous conferences have been held in Brampton and Toronto.

Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) spoke in the opening ceremonies on the importance of recording family histories. Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling urged listeners to interview members of their families to hear and record their stories first hand. Member of Parliament Harold Albrecht (Kitchener-Conestoga) attended afternoon workshops.

Woodworth read a letter of congratulations from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who wrote, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with its vast genealogical library and global network of research centres, is well suited to helping people of all backgrounds trace their family roots. I am sure that in tracing your own ancestral lines, you will gain a better appreciation of our diverse Canadian citizenry and the links that exist among all members of the human family."

Paul F. Smart, recently retired FamilySearch Outreach Manager from Salt Lake City, gave the keynote address and taught workshops throughout the day on FamilySearch. Reflecting the diversity of the population in Ontario, workshops were also held for those from China, Germany, French Canada, Spanish-speaking countries, and Great Britain. Classes on Canadian records, Mennonite history and the Waterloo Region brought many local residents to the conference as did workshops on GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communication) files, blogging, indexing, digital record keeping and writing and publishing a family history.

The conference was historic as organizers worked with technological staff to webstream parts of the event from Kitchener all the way to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where family history enthusiasts had heard about the conference and requested sessions to be streamed 5,000 km away in Canada’s north.

The first "One World One Family" Award of Distinction was prepared for Brian Gilchrist, well-known Canadian genealogist in appreciation of a lifetime of genealogical research and support.A stunning black marble award was presented to him in hospital where he unfortunately found himself the day of the conference. Organizers were grateful to Steve Fulton, chair of the Ontario Genealogical Society Niagara Branch, for taking Mr. Gilchrist’s workshops at the last minute, and to Don Hinchley, past provincial president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, for giving the plenary address in his place.


Participants are eager to attend next year's event held on 24 August 2013 in Brampton, Ontario. For more information on the event, visit www.oneworldonefamily-theevent.com

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.