Book Review: The Chart Chick's Quick Insider's Guide to Salt Lake City, by Janet Hovorka

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Have you ever wanted to go to Salt Lake City to research your family tree? Maybe you are planning to attend RootsTech in 2013. Planning your trip is one thing but knowing more about the ins and outs of a city can make for a great experience. Janet Hovorka, who is President of the Utah Genealogical Association and is a Salt Lake City native provides information all family history researchers will need to navigate this city in her "The Chart Chick's Quick Insider's Guide to Salt Lake City."

As you read this Guide you may be thinking who is Janet anyway? Well Janet and her husband Kim are the people behind the business Family Chartmasters which provides services for designing and printing family history charts. What grew out of need for information about Salt Lake City by those attending area genealogical events like RootsTech and the Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy (SLIG) can benefit any family history researcher as they make plans for a trip to Salt Lake City. You will notice that there are references to the "conference" in this guide but that doesn't take away from the knowledge the Guide gives you in learning about traveling to Salt Lake City.

Covered in this guide is everything from how to get around Salt Lake City to tourist places to visit and where to go shopping (in case you want to do other things aside from genealogy) to where to eat. Her section on food is one to pay close attention to. Many of the restaurants she recommends I have eaten at and agree with her choices. Also, take note of her section on "Unique fast foods." It's here where you will learn about regional food not to be missed in Utah, including fry sauce. For those who have never heard of it, fry sauce is a condiment for French fries that combines mayonnaise and ketchup.

For those with kids, Janet includes places to take your kids in Salt Lake. This is a great section for those of us who have to convince their family that research can be a part of a vacation. My advice is to give your spouse or partner a copy of the Guide and have them and the kids explore the fun places to go while you research at the Library. (Page 22 recommends Thanksgiving Point which I would recommend for the Natural History Museum and other family activities.) Then they can pick you up for dinner and you can try one of the restaurants that Janet recommends.

Janet includes a list of libraries and archives in Salt Lake, besides the world-famous Family History Library. You may want to take note of these and peruse their websites to see if they hold collections that can assist in your own research.

This guide is available as a free PDF by requesting it here or as a printed book available from You can get a link to purchase the printed copy on The Chart Chick blog. If you do request the PDF remember that in addition to printing it out, it's only 22 pages, you can also download it to a mobile device like a tablet, eReader or smartphone.

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