News Story

One World--One Family Unites 300 Family History Enthusiasts

The sixth One World—One Family Conference brought together over 300 family history enthusiasts from across Ontario on August 22, 2015. This annual event, hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brampton, Ontario, has become a fixture in family history conferences in eastern Canada.

People at all levels of genealogical expertise want to know the identity of ancestors beyond their parents and grandparents. This desire for knowledge begins a life-long journey into family history – a quest to discover one’s roots.

The conference offered 20 workshops focusing on topics ranging from Chinese, French-Canadian, Scottish and Ukrainian family history to preserving family heirlooms and to accessing information about ancestors lost during World War 1.

Kyle Seeback, member of Parliament for Brampton West, read a letter of welcome from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and shared how knowing his own family history has influenced his life.

“Through family history we discover the most beautiful tree in the forest of creation – our family tree. Its numerous roots reach back through history, and its branches extend throughout eternity. Family history is the expansive expression of eternal love. It is born of selflessness. It provides opportunity to secure the family unit forever” (J. Richard Clarke, “Family – Expression of Eternal Love,” April 1989 general conference).

Keynote speaker Lesley Anderson, representing, attended the first One World—One Family Conference six years ago. With a passion for genealogy, she volunteers at the Church family history centre in Ottawa, Ontario, and has been involved in the research of her own family tree for over 40 years. Anderson joined Glenn Wright (archivist, author, historian and genealogist) in the plenary address to share their 10 best genealogy tips.

“Silent No More: Researching Our Great War Dead” by presenter Glenn Wright provided the direction Beth Newton needed to bring a sense of peace about one of her husband’s relatives whose plane had been shot down over the Mediterranean during World War 1. After the conference she discovered online that his name was inscribed on a memorial in Malta. Newton now has a permanent record of his sacrifice to share with her family. “It means such a lot to know his name is recorded on the memorial,” she said.

The conference’s 2015 Award of Distinction was presented to Helen Billing, editor and publisher of the Toronto Family History Centre Bulletin, which is emailed weekly to over 1,100 recipients in five countries. The bulletin includes the most current updates on recording and preserving family histories. A volunteer at the Church’s Toronto family history centre, Billing has devoted up to 20 hours weekly for eight years, researching, teaching and sharing information with grateful recipients.

Mormons believe family relationships continue beyond this life and have long been encouraged to research their heritage in order to connect with their ancestors., sponsored by the Church, is one of the most popular genealogical resources in the world.

Knowing that millions of people worldwide have their own reasons for searching ancestral records, the Church makes its collection of over one billion digital images and indexes of records freely accessible.  (See

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.