Thursday, May 13, 2010

Niue - a tiny island in the South Pacific

I have been very busy the last 1 1/2 weeks since the NGS Conference ended. But I still want to write brief reports about what I learned at the conference. It will help me remember and use the information and maybe it will be helpful to someone else.

The very first event of the conference was a brief video from Family Search that was shown just before the opening session on Wednesday morning 28 April 2010 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

This brief video was about a typhoon that struck the island of Niue in 2004. The devastation was terrible. All the government offices and records were destroyed. Their museum was a total loss. Fortunately, in 1994 the Niue had contracted with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to microfilm important documents. The microfilms were stored in the Granite Mountain Vaults near Salt Lake City.

After the typhoon the LDS Church presented the people of Niue and their government with 28 rolls of microfilm. According to the LDS Church Newsroom: "The records on the reels of microfilm include birth, death and marriage records from as early as 1899; immigration records; and genealogies of Niuean property owners. The records are an important part of land ownership laws in Niue, because property ownership is often established and granted through the genealogical records of families."

It was impressive and reassuring to hear that all the records had not been lost. We were happy for Niue and the importance of preserving family history records was reinforced in our minds. For more information and to view the video online go to Niue Typhoon 2004

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