Pima Family Discovery Day draws a crowd

Brooke Curley/Gila Valley Central: The Danseries members, Marci Barney and Cliff McNeil, perform the Korobushka at this year's Family Discovery Day in Pima.

By Brooke Curley


PIMA – By knowing where you came from, you can better decide where you’re going.

Pima’s fourth annual Family Discovery Day was bigger than ever this year, with open labs for novice family historians and live dance performances by the historical dance troupe the Danseries.

Suzi Smith, who has orchestrated the event for two years and is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Pima Stake family history consultant, said she was impressed with the attendance.

“We’re very surprised with the number that came,” Smith said.


Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Tanya McNeil flares her dress while performing the historical dance Korobushka.

Brittany Ferrin was one of the family history consultants at the event who worked with those who needed one-on-one help. Ferrin also said this year’s event was well attended.

“We’ve had a lot more people than we expected, which is a good thing,” Ferrin said. “From what I’ve heard, they’re having really good participation in the classes, and people are really enjoying it. It’s been a really great event.”

Ferrin, who is 19-years-old, has found more than 500 family names since she started researching her genealogy four years ago. Having been in each of the yearly events, Ferrin told Gila Valley Central that she first fell in love with researching family history when she was given a name to research on a trek. After finding the name of this distant relative, she went on to unlock the history of multiple family members who had been forgotten to time.

“Finding out where you come from gives you a sense of identity and helps you understand yourself better,” Ferrin said. “It gives you an appreciation of what your ancestors went through to get you here.”

Ferrin appreciated the event because it was a way to compare ideas and research with other historians.

“Just being able to come together and share different experiences and different methods – It’s good to get other’s ideas for your family history,” she said.

The Danseries, led by Gayla Curtis, performed several historical dances. One dance, in particular, was the lively Korobushka, which is a Russian folk song. The Korobushka involved rotating partners, clapping, spinning and then switching sides.

When asked what she would say to a family history enthusiast at the very beginning stages of research, Smith encouraged everyone to find a family history consultant.

“You need help,” Smith said. “You need somebody that will sit beside you and help get started. We all needed that when we started.”

For more information and tips to start working on your own family history call or visit the Family History Center.

Safford Family History Center- The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints
Address: 515 W 11th St, Safford, AZ 85546
Phone: (928) 428-7927

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Family history enthusiasts gather to get started on their personal journey in genealogy.