September 9, 2019

Connecting Health and Family History

by Charlene Paul


All people have traits that make them who they are. Passed down from parents to children, these can be physical traits, such as webbed toes, long legs, or green eyes,  or personality-type traits, such as compassion, intelligence, and musical ability. 

Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer can also be passed from parents to children. Since knowing the markers for certain illnesses and conditions is an important aspect of one’s overall health, searching one’s family history for health risk factors might be life-saving. Once you learn about your family history regarding genetics and disease, you will be better equipped to make the changes necessary to stay as healthy as possible. 

So where do you begin? Is it really necessary to search through antiquated papers or slog your way through ancient cemeteries? The answer is a resounding no! On September 27–28, 2019, the Dixie Center in St. George, Utah, will host the Family History Conference, Connect Your Family One Person at a Time. Representatives will be on hand to help you in your quest to learn about your family history. MyHeritage will help you uncover your ethnic origins, find your DNA matches, and analyze medical risks. RootsMagic will help with research, organization, and the preservation of your life stories. With their collection of billions of records, FamilySearch will help you piece together your ancestors’ history. Genealogy Wall Charts will be handing out free family fan charts, and Legacy Tree will be offering free consultations.

From estate planning to Tupperware®, history to photo preservation, and face painting to Indian jewelry, attendees to this family-friendly event will find something for everyone as they meander through the exhibit hall. If you aren’t sure how to write your memoir, there will be a class for that. Do you need to find out about your Danish, Welch, English, or Mexican ancestors? There will be a class for that. Are you having trouble organizing your records? There will be a class for that. With more than sixty classes, your biggest dilemma will be choosing which classes to attend.  

Friday afternoon’s keynote speaker, Stan Ellsworth, a six-foot-two-inch, 300-pound former NFL player, will share his passion for our founding fathers and mothers and the sacrifices they made in the creation of this nation. Stan is the Harley-Davidson-riding host and creator of BYUtv’s American history program American Ride. As a bonus, Ellsworth will lead the Charity Motorcycle Ride on Saturday, September 28, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Participants will receive a t-shirt, swag bag, breakfast, lunch, a chance to enter the Money Machine to win great prizes, and a beautiful ride. Proceeds will be donated to the Dove Center. For more information about this event, visit

Saturday morning’s keynote speaker, Hank Smith, loves to talk. Whether he’s teaching a class at BYU, telling inspiring stories at youth conferences and firesides, speaking with Fortune 500 companies, or talking to school audiences, Smith loves to share his humor and fresh perspective on topics ranging from religion to motivation. Audiences love his enthusiasm and spirited presentations.

McDonald’s will provide free lunch to all youth who attend the free youth event featuring Hank Smith and BYU Vocal Point on Saturday starting at 9:00 a.m. Games, prizes, entertainment, and family history combine for an amazing day for youth twelve to eighteen years old. 

Tickets are on sale now for the Saturday night concert featuring Brigham Young University’s world-renowned a cappella ensemble Vocal Point. This nine-man vocal group combines tight harmonies, out-of-this-world vocal percussion, and crisp choreography for one of the most entertaining performances you’ll ever attend. 

The interactive conference hall will be alive with an authentic pioneer experience, complete with candle making, panning for gold, rug weaving, and blacksmithing. Native-American dancers will be performing and sharing their native history throughout the two-day conference.

Mark your calendar and join us at the Dixie Center on Friday and Saturday, September 27–28, 2019, for two days of exploration, discovery, and education. We’ll see you there!

For more information, registration, and concert information, visit our website at


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