About Me

Hi, my name is Trent Smith. I have a passion for working on genealogy and family history research and studying foreign languages, and I'm excited to build this business, to help other people do the same.


How I Got Into Genealogy

One day at church, I was minding my business, on my way to my Sunday School class, when the genealogy expert in our congregation nabbed me, pulled me into the clerk's office, and sat me down at the computer. We logged into my FamilySearch account, and right away he started guiding me up my family tree, looking for someone with missing information. 

Instead of going to Sunday School classes that day, we spent the entire time doing family history research on my great Uncle Mervin and his wife Hallie. Finally, I had found someone who would work with me enough that I felt like I could do it on my own! Since I was out of work at the time, I spent the next few days working like crazy, and not hardly sleeping at all. I felt as though a previously hidden half of me had been suddenly discovered. I felt like I was made to do this!

Sometime later, my wife and three kids and I moved to Indiana for work. Here, I was asked to serve in the genealogy ministry in my congregation. I soon found myself having a ball teaching families and individuals how to do research in FamilySearch and Ancestry.

Then, after a lot of thought and some pivotal personal experiences,  I realized I wanted to spend my life teaching and doing genealogy research.


Education

High School:

I graduated in June 1994 from American Fork High School in American Fork, Utah.

College/University:

  • 1998 - AA International Business, Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho 
  • 2002 - BS Business Information Systems, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
  • 2019 - Family History certificate at BYU-Idaho - graduation pending

See my BYU-Idaho Student Portfolium.

Seminars & Conferences

  • 18 March 2017 - Kentckiana Family Research Conference (German vocabulary and research Techniques)
  • 23 March 2019 - Kentckiana Family Research Conference (German immigration history, Civil War history and records)
  • March 2019 - RootsTech Ward Family History Consultant Coordinator  & FamilySearch app videos

Foreign Language Training:

  • Served as a Spanish-speaking missionary for the LDS Church in the Venezuela Barcelona Mission 1994-1996
  • Passed the CLEP test and took the only upper-division Spanish class at Ricks College
  • Tutored and did TA work for a Spanish teacher at Utah State University
  • Took two semesters of German classes at Utah State University
  • I continue to read, watch videos and online language tutorials, surf the internet, and do occasional genealogical research in German and Spanish
  • Completed two weeks of German immersion training at the Eurocentres school in Berlin in November 2018
  • I read and watch videos and movies in Russian on the internet in addition to constantly studying and trying to learn Russian
  • I've helped an elderly Russian immigrant in my congregation who struggles to communicate in English do some family history research, including writing the names and places in the Cyrillic alphabet in FamilySearch - way cool!
  • Completed four weeks of Russian immersion training at the Liden & Denz Intercultural Institute of Languages in St. Petersburg in October 2018
  • Completed a course in paleology at BYU-Idaho where I learned to read genealogical records written in Scandinavian languages, German and Latin

Skills

Computer Programming

  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript 
  • AJAX (via JQuery)
  • SQL & Stored Procedures (all databases)
  • PHP
  • some bash and Windows scripting
  • Software Localization & Translation

Genealogical Research

  • RootsMagic
  • Advanced Ancestry
  • Advanced FamilySearch Catalog & Wiki
  • Spencerian, Secretary Hand, Court Hand, Round Hand & MIxed Hand
  • Read Gothic Print & Handwriting
  • Read German Kurrent Schrift
  • Spanish, German, Norwegian, Danish,  Finnish & Latin Record Extraction & Abstraction
  • Translation from Spanish, German, Russian
  • Basic Intro to Research Report Writing & Source Citation
  • Most familiar with Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky research, some Utah and Arizona
  • Civil War research


Foreign Language Certifications

LDS Mission Release CertificateLDS Mission Release
Barcelona, Venezuela, Nov. 1996
Eurocentres German B1+/B2 Proficiency CertificateGerman B1+/B2 Certificate
Berlin, Germany, Nov. 2018
Liden & Denz Russian A1+/A2 Proficiency CertificateRussian A1+/A2 Certificate
St. Pbg, Russia, Oct. 2018


Memberships


Work Experience

I have been doing genealogy and family history research on my own family tree since the summer of 2013. Since moving to Indiana in July of 2015, I've taught about three dozen people how to use Family Search and Ancestry.

I have served as an assistant to the High Priest group leader in my church congregation, supervising the family history effort. During that time, we saw our family history research statistics surge as the members enthusiastically embraced genealogy. Those numbers haven't been the same since.

Genealogy Projects:

  • My own family names -- about 1,500 from 2013-2018.
  • Family names of those whom I have taught -- an estimated 3,000 additional names as of 2018.
  • RusGenProject.org Data Extraction Project -- I used a computer program to scrape data from old Russian text files and format it for uploading to a database.


Affiliates, Partners, Providers & Third-Party

Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

AddMe.com


Trent Smith Summary

Trent Smith is a family historian, genealogist, polyglot (fancy word; it means "studies foreign languages") and student of the scriptures.

He is a high priest in his church congregation and has served in multiple positions doing genealogy and family history research. He has written a webpage to help members of his church congregation learn to do family history research. He currently works as a volunteer at the New Albany LDS Family History Center on Wednesday nights. Trent likes to attend Sunday worship and occasional temple services with his congregation and his wife and children.

Trent enjoys taking his kids out for lunch or to the park. He likes playing the organ for church, playing the piano at home, and playing a little bit of guitar. He enjoys reading, researching, and writing on his blog about the scriptures and about genealogy, in addition to studying foreign language every chance he gets.

He lives in New Albany, Indiana with his wife and children. 

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