On Friday, February 13th, during RootsTech, I had the opportunity to experience the new FamilySearch Discovery Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. If you are planning on visiting Salt Lake City, this is a "must do" for your itinerary. I had heard about this place in September 2014 during another family history conference and had been waiting impatiently for an opportunity to visit. I'm so excited that it is finally open to everyone.
When you arrive you are given an iPad and you Sign In with your FamilySearch account. Then you take a picture of yourself for the adventure.
You move throughout a half dozen stations (with huge touch screen monitors) where you dock your iPad with its amazing magnetic case.
The first station I visited provided information about my name and the events of the year I was born.
I could adjust the year and look at anytime in history.
Next I decided to visit the photo booth. Again I docked the iPad and the screen instructed me to hold still and the camera automatically adjusted to my height. Then I saw images of women with the percentage of my ethnicity. I chose a few images and held my hand in the air to select the option that took my picture and placed my head in the image of the woman. Here are the two I chose to keep:
There is a recording booth for telling your own story. I didn't take advantage of that experience on this visit; though I plan to on a future visit. You need to bring your own USB for saving your recordings.
The next station I docked at was the maps. I could stay at this station for hours. This is where the majority of the group I was with spent most of our time.
This image to the right was emailed to me at the end of my visit. All the images in this post with the #DiscoverMyStory banner at the lower right cover were emailed to me. All other images are ones I took with my low resolution cell phone camera. The next few images are photos of what was on the touch screens.
This is my 4th great grandmother and according to this display she was my 1st chronological ancestor to convert to the LDS Church in 1832. This is intriguing to me, because her mother also joined the LDS Church very early. Though when I look at her mother Leah Lewis' records in FamilySearch, her baptism date is listed as being vicariously performed in 1943. Though I know from other records that Leah herself performed vicarious baptism ordinances for others in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1842. Very intriguing mystery that needs to be solved.
When you touch an ancestor's dot on the map, this data card opens up and shows you information about the ancestor: Their name, their relationship to you, their birth and death date and any photos and stories. The information about them comes from FamilySearch Family Tree. If nothing comes up, that just means you have more work to do in finding photos and stories of your ancestors.
This image shows family migration.
You can zoom into any area of the map. This is where my great grandparents are from in Germany.
My grandparents in Iowa and Illinois.
The last station I docked at was what I call the time machine.
I could select anyone from my fan chart and look at stories and images on a large screen. I could also shift the time frame and view an interactive old home and I could tap images in the room and read stories about that time frame. I would like to come back to this place and explore more.
A map and magnify glass ... going on a treasure hunt.
I hope you are interested in visiting this new Discovery Center on your next trip to Salt Lake City. Follow this link to schedule your visit and learn more about the FamilySearch Discovery Center:
#RootsTech #DiscoverMyStory #FamilySearch