Kalli Eaton, the BYU-Idaho Family History Research Center‘s student manager, dedicates her Wednesday nights to aiding students and local residents in their quest for family history knowledge.
Every Wednesday, under BYU-I’s I-Serve initiative, the center hosts events to facilitate students’ exploration into genealogical research while performing service.
“I love it here,” Eaton said.
Now in her third semester at BYU-I, Eaton transitioned her major to Family History after developing a fondness for genealogy during her first semester of I-Serve participation. Currently, she oversees the Wednesday events, inspiring others through family history.
Eaton’s role includes tallying participants, assisting those who need help and guiding participants in various family history facets, such as indexing and attaching sources to family trees. While Wednesday is designated for the event, Eaton emphasized that the center is open for research throughout the week.
“While we host this event on Wednesday, you are welcome to engage in family history any day,” Eaton said. “We always have service missionaries ready to assist.”
For Eaton, family history’s allure rests in the personal bonds formed and the narratives discovered. When asked about her message to students regarding family history’s importance, she responded that family history isn’t just for the elderly.
“Regardless of your identity or hobbies, you can discover something intriguing in family history,” Eaton said.
Eaton aims to increase awareness of the Family History I-Serve Nights and encourage more students to participate. She invites anyone curious about their ancestry or genealogy in general.
“If we have a turnout of four, it’s a successful day,” she said, referring to the current weekly attendance. “I hope to see more students become aware of this.”
Whether students are penning their personal histories, linking generations by adding sources to their family trees or merely probing the past, Eaton and the Family History Research Center‘s I-Serve Nights provide a launching pad for any family history expedition.