About the project

The 21 Day Family Connections Experiment is a family history project that invites individuals to increase their connections with family, both past and present, for a consecutive 21 days.

Why 21 days? We chose this time frame because research suggests that the brain takes 21 days to adjust to significant changes, new habits, or positive lifestyle adjustments. By committing to 21 days, you can create a lasting habit while reaping the benefits of genealogical work and family history connections. And family history connections have many benefits: studies have shown that having stronger family connections, including an understanding of your family’s history, can lead to increased resilience and self-confidence. 

When the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic started, we saw and felt the negative effects of isolation, which reminded us how important connections are. As family historians, we thought it would be an excellent time to do an informal study about how connecting with both living and deceased family members can contribute positively to our overall emotional health and mental well-being. Through pre- and post-experiment surveys, we measure the impact of each connections experiment.

Our 21-day plans implement family history activities that go beyond traditional genealogical tasks. All the activities are short, simple, engaging, and fun, and they can be enjoyed by children and families. These family-friendly activities include discovering and sharing interesting stories of living relatives and ancestors, playing family history games, learning quick and easy genealogy tools, recording and sharing unique personal stories, and more. And the activities are for everyone—whether you’re an experienced genealogist or just starting out on your family history journey.

Most of all, we started this project because we want to share the peace and joy that family connections have brought to our lives. These feelings come through family history, which includes forming connections with both living and deceased relatives. We hope that through this experiment you will experience an increase in overall happiness as well as stronger family connections—just like we have!

Want to help build the project? Join our team! We have both internship and volunteer opportunities available. Learn more:


In The News

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Olivia Jewell

Project Director, Founder

Olivia is a family history presenter who has presented at RootsTech, BYU Education Week, and other related events.

Amidst her busy schedule as a mom of four she has learned to incorporate her technological savvy and family history experience to teach busy people of all ages simple ways they can incorporate family history into daily life using modern technology to make it easy and fun.

Michelle Gardner

Assistant Director, Founding Member

As long as I can remember, I’ve been teaching others of all ages how to use tech to their advantage the easiest way possible. I LOVE connecting with people and creating opportunities for individuals to connect with others, so much so I got a degree in Recreation and Non-profits. This love has also driven me to genealogy work and helping others get through genealogy roadblocks in their own family history.

Taralyn ParkeR

Assistant Director, Founding Member

Taralyn Parker is a journalist turned family historian who runs the blog Keep Moving Forward With Me.

Whether she is unraveling record clues or traveling to ancestors’ hometowns, Taralyn is passionate about sharing family history and stories. She is social media manager for her local Family History Center where she regularly teaches classes.

Amy Nielson

Amy NIelson

CMHC, Mental Health Nuggets

Christine Hess

Brand & Graphics Manager

Sarah Day

Content Creation & Experiment Manager

Lyn Wroe

Social Media Assistant

Matt Armstrong

Technology Manager

jessica Lyman

Finance Manager

Felicia Warner





Founding CONTRIBUTing MemberS

Camille Mecham

Content Director, Founding Member

Russ Seigenberg

Psychologist, Ph.D., Founding Member

Sarah Garner

Brand Manager, Founding Member

Lisa Papenfuss

Founding Member

Devin Ashby

Founding Member

Sydney Orton

Founding Member

Amy Ward

Founding Member

D Michael Hansen

Founding Member

Katie Ward

Founding Member

Camille Mecham

Content Director, Founding Member

Camille Mecham is from southeast Idaho. She still lives there with her husband and 3 kids. 

She has taught at the Rexburg FamilySearch center, the South East Idaho Genealogical conference and at RootsTech in 2020.

She runs The Mommy Genealogist where she shares how to share family history with your family, especially kids.

Maria Zubia





Katie Wilde

Social Media Manager


Social Media and Graphics Consultant

Devin Ashby

Experiment Consultant, Founding Member

Patrice Winn

Special Projects, Founding Member

Kevin Winn

Psychology, Founding Member


Melanie Gardner

Marketing Manager

We'd love to hear from you!

Have a great experience to share? Questions or ideas you’d like us to hear? We’d love to hear from you! 

That's A Wrap!

We've concluded our experiment!

Thank you for participating! We've loved connecting with you!

We want to keep our resources available as long as possible, and will continue to do so while the funds last. Our products and digital downloads will also remain available through the end of the year, these funds will be used to support the website, so be sure to grab them soon. 


Complement your 21day experiment with Your DNA Guide—the Book. It takes you step-by-step through the various ways of using DNA to answer questions about your origins.


Joining us from RootsTech Connect? Press play!

(Be sure to visit our shop and use the 20% off code ROOTSTECH)

Choose Your reminder SErvice


Receive daily emails with your daily plan prompts and information about other events and connection opportunities.

CLICK HERE and enter your email address to be added to this email list.



Receive a text before events.

TEXT the message @FCE-Events to the number 81010.  *If you have trouble, try texting @FCE-Events to (224) 324-3285. 


Download the Connections Experiment App from the
Google Play store for easy access to daily plan prompts.


Join Us

We’re gearing up for our next experiment starting October 1, 2020 for Family History month!

We would love to have you join us! Simply sign up below and we’ll send you a reminder when the initial survey and plans are up! 

We can’t wait to participate in another experiment with you!