As an Ambassador we were given the opportunity to have a tour of the new Discovery Center in the Family History Library. It is located on the main floor as you walk in the door. You can’t miss it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Discovery Center so just picked up my iPad from the desk and jumped in. You had to sign in using your FamilySearch account or an email address. I couldn’t remember my password so just signed in with an email address. You also took a selfie with the iPad so your image was on the front page. There were people to help you at each station.
When we arrived at the first display we attached our iPads and started exploring. You add in your name, year of birth and some timeline information is on the screen. You can learn the meaning of your first and last name and how many people have those names in the United States. There are 521,774 Ruth’s but only 231,608 Blair’s in the United States. I found out the top television shows were the Flintstones and the Andy Griffith Show. The top movie was the Apartment with Jack Lemmon, Fred McMurray and Shirley MacLaine. A first class US stamp cost 4 cents and a US gallon of gas was 31 cents.
The next station was Picture My Heritage. Here you could have your picture taken in the dress of your ancestor’s country of origin. This was a little difficult because you used hand movements to get the options on the screen to work.
The Record Our Story rooms were very interesting. Here you can record your life story as a single person, couple or family. There are larger rooms for families. You sit down and touch the screen to start the process. You can start talking or answer questions. I chose to answer questions and they were thought provoking. All this was being recorded on my iPad as it was docked at each station I visited.
There was a section where you could select a relative and find out more about the times they lived in. I didn’t have my tree there so I picked an ancestor and added some information. Across the bottom are images of the Temple and the world. The Temple will provide an LDS timeline and the world is a general timeline. Part of Jane’s timeline was the first use of insulin on a patient by Frederick Banting and Charles Best. Disposable diapers were invented when Jane was 75 years old.
The next section was picking a place or origin for your ancestor and having your picture taken with it in the background. So I chose an Irish background and they had a lovely thatched cottage for my picture.
The last section was finding out who your famous relatives were and since I didn’t have a tree on FamilySearch this wasn’t available to me. I did watch my friends doing it and they were having a great time. Some even found they were distant cousins to each other.
This is the image you would get if you had a tree on FamilySearch.
When you are finished you hand back the iPad. I thought since I had used an email to sign in with that I would get the pictures and recordings I had done but that was not the case. Only those who signed in with their FamilySearch account got the images and recordings. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get them but was glad I had taken a few pictures along the way.
This was great fun and it wasn’t just the children in the area who were really enjoying themselves, the adults were having just as much fun.
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