About the project

The 21 Day Family Connections Experiment, a family history project, invites individuals to increase their connections with family past and present for a consecutive 21 days. Measuring the results with both a pre-experiment and post-experiment survey.

Studies have shown that having stronger family connections, including a personal understanding of your family’s history, can lead to increased resilience and self-confidence. Started during the world-wide pandemic, we, as a group of family historians, 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.

The family history activities in this 21 day experience go beyond traditional genealogical tasks. In fact they are short, simple, engaging, fun and 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 your own unique stories, and more.

Why 21 days? Research suggests that the brain takes 21 days to adjust to significant changes, new habits, or positive lifestyle adjustments.

Most of all, we want to share the peace and joy that family connections can bring to your life through a broader perspective of family history, which includes family connections with both living and deceased relatives. We hope that as a result 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 Internships and Volunteer opportunities available, learn more:


In The News

The Church News
Try this 21-day experiment to boost your mood, strengthen family connections during COVID-19. An article highlighting the first round of the experiment by Sydney Walker on TheChurchNews.Com
View Article
Exactly Enough Time Podcast with Stacy Julian
Olivia Jewell and Taralyn Parker share how to take advantage of an easy opportunity through the 21 Day Family Connections Experiment to create family memories and connections—during a time that can otherwise be overwhelming, discouraging, confusing and exhausting.
Read ARticle



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.

Camille Mecham

Perspective 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.

Taralyn ParkeR

Inviting 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.

Michelle Gardner

Experiment Benefits 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.

Sarah Garner

Business Director, Founding Member

Sarah is a wife, mom, graphic designer, story lover and family history nerd from Gilbert, Arizona. 

She is the founder of The Kindred Press and Sarah Garner Design. She is passionate about helping others create connections in their lives and businesses and to feel the significance of their own stories. 

In her free time, you can find her playing with her cute kids, enjoying nature, reading or baking and eating pie. 

Russ Seigenberg

Psychologist, Ph.D., Founding Member

Dr. Russ Seigenberg has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University.

He has worked at Bear River Mental Health in Logan, Utah, LDS Family Services and Utah State University. He also maintained a private counseling practice until retiring in 2020.

Team Members

Quincy Walker

Gen Z Consultant, Marketing

Devin Ashby

Business, Marketing & Experiment Consultant, Founding Member

Christine Hess

Graphic Design Manager

Felicia Warner

Website Manager

Lisa Papenfuss

Graphics Assistant

jessica Lyman

Finance Manager

Sarah Day

App Manager

Elisabeth Larson

Social Media Assistant

Patrice Winn

Special Projects, Founding Member

Lyn Wroe

Social Media Assistant

Makayla Blackburn

Special Projects

Katie Wilde

Special Projects

Founding Members & Contributors

Sydney Orton

Media Relations, Founding Member

Amy Ward

Founding Member

D Michael Hansen

Founding Member

Jared Bender

Social Media

Katie Ward

Teen Consultant & Marketing, Founding Member

Kevin Winn

Psychology, Founding Member

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!