It’s Time to Start Thinking About RootsTech 2018!

 

I’ve been invited to be a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador! It was such an honour to be asked again. It was my first time being an Ambassador last year. I met so many new and interesting people not to mention all the genealogy related products and classes where I learned something new each day.

In 2018 RootsTech is being held from February 28th to March 3rd in the Salt Palace Convention Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Registration is now open!

 

 

 

RootsTech is a place where global genealogists meet up every year. There are people coming from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Israel and other countries from around the world. We will spend almost a full week chatting about family history, sharing stories, learning about new records and technologies to help us on our ancestral trek. Sometimes you may even find a cousin or two.

 

 

You didn’t think I would forget to mention that Salt Lake City is the place for all those who research their family history. You will have access to the Family History Library and all the records the library contains. You won’t have to worry if it isn’t digitized yet as you will have access to microfilms. If you have been looking at something that has the icon indicating that you have to be at a Family History Centre computer to view then you will have no problem. Most of my research is done on Basement Level 2. This is the British, Irish and Australian section. There have always been available microfilm readers, computers and lots of help to aid you in your discoveries.

If you have never been to RootsTech then please give it serious consideration. Christmas is coming maybe Santa would give you a gift to remember. If you can’t make it don’t worry because there will be live streaming keynotes and lectures every day. There is a group called #NotatRootsTech and they are just as enthusiastic as those of us in attendance. I have been part of that group and you can almost feel like you are there in person.

RootsTech is a bucket list trip for many genealogists. It is a time when we can find like people who won’t glaze over when we start talking family history. You would think family would find their own history interesting but then many of you are very familiar with that glazed expression they get when we start talking about it.

Registration for RootsTech is open and you can also book your hotel rooms now.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at RootsTech 2018!

© 2017 Blair Archival Research – All Rights Reserved

 

 

Genealogy takes a back seat to life

They say that moving house and a death are two of life’s big stressors and I have experienced both this year.

In January my Mum decided to move house leaving our family home of 50 years to move into an apartment. My Dad is in long term care and the house was getting to be too much for her. It was all her decision and thankfully she had cleared out the clutter years ago it was just a matter of downsizing. I say just a matter of downsizing but it was a big job. She donated a lot to charity, family, friends and friends of friends. She was happy just to know things she loved had gone to a home that would love them too.

The work to be done before the house was sold stressed my Mum out as people had to come into the house and move her things for the staging. As soon as the house was sold everything was moved back. I was with her every step of the way. The house went on the market just in time for the Victoria Day weekend in May and was sold before the weekend ended.

She moved out almost 50 years to the day after we had moved into the house. She found a lovely apartment in an area of town she liked so that was half the battle. On the day of moving my brother took over organizing the move and I did the clearing and cleaning after everyone had left. My nephew stayed to help me for a while but work beckoned. I also had the job of doing the final walk through and making sure everything was clean the day before the closing. I always get these jobs and I don’t know why.

Shortly before my Mum moved my Aunt passed away. This was rather sudden but she had been ill for a while. She was my Dad’s sister. My Aunt had no family of her own so the five nieces and nephews took care of everything. We organized the Celebration of Life and started clearing out her home which it turns out was a huge job.

Now when someone moves and someone dies what does the genealogist end up with? A dining table full of photo albums, boxes of photos and various family papers and ephemera. There are four boxes of slides that will have to be looked at to discover the secrets they hold. I have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to start sorting through them. I did a quick sort through of the photographs as some were needed for the Celebration of Life. Gathering all the photos for the montage was a trip down memory lane.

 

 

I came across some very interesting family documents and some items that had a family connection but were not directly connected to family. There will be blog posts coming with regards to these lovely treasures.

So this is why the blog has been quiet most of this year. My hope is to start blogging more regularly but please bear with me if it takes a while.

Hope your summer was filled with wonderful genealogical finds!

© 2017 Blair Archival Research – All Rights Reserved

The Social Side of RootsTech

 

RootsTech is not just a genealogy technology conference. It is THE genealogical social event on the calendar. So many of us are connected through social media and our blogs but we have never met in person. You know names but not faces. You know blog names but not the person behind them. You have heard a speaker present a webinar but never heard them in person. This is the opportunity that RootsTech provides. The chance to put a face to the name and to meet in person.

 

I find it easier to get to know people in person than through social media. There is nothing like sitting down and having a natter about our favourite topic – FAMILY HISTORY! And you will not find a glazed look amongst them! We get excited about each other’s stories. As one is sharing their story you may find some commonality with your own family story. Maybe they came from the same place, have the same name, you may even find a collateral connection – unfortunately I haven’t found this one – Yet!

 

One night all the bloggers from the Commonwealth countries got together. We may be from different areas of the world but our one commonality is our countries connection to Britain.

 

 

The next day all the GeneaBloggers got together for lunch. This brought together people from a wider range of countries.

 

 

The RootsTech Ambassadors were from around the world. The attendees came from around the world as did the speakers and vendors.

 

 

At the “Music – It Runs in the Family” event I was sitting next to a lady from Australia whom I hadn’t met before. There were other people around me that I had just met the day before and some I have known for a while.

 

 

The RootsTech Welcome Party, MyHeritage Party and the GeneaBloggers’ Dinner hosted by DearMYRTLE were similar times when we sat around a table and talked with people we wouldn’t normally get a chance to speak with.

 

 

It is RootsTech that brings us all together. This time I made new friends Marie Cappart from Belgium and Lilian Magill from Australia. I met Jennie Fairs for the first time but I have known her for a while through the Surname Society. Met many new friends and caught up with old friends from the UK, Australia, Canada and the United States.

 

Marie Cappart and Ruth Blair

 

 

Ruth Blair and Jill Ball

 

 

This year we also had a large Canadian contingent at RootsTech. We are hoping for a larger one next year. It was difficult to get us all in one place for a photograph so this is a small part of our group.

 

 

Collecting ribbons for your name badge has become quite a thing at RootsTech. I remember as a Girl Guide collecting and giving away badges during trips. At one time it was the thing to collect pins. We all had our own ribbons to give away and they were flying fast during the dinner and lunch gatherings before RootsTech started.

 

 

I would almost say that the social part of RootsTech is right up there with the keynotes, lectures and expo hall. The world is shrinking and we are trying to make connections with people who may live in another hemisphere. It is easier to socialize without a 16 hour time difference.  Genealogy is a global pursuit and RootsTech is a global conference.

© 2017 Blair Archival Research – All Rights Reserved

The FamilySearch Discovery Center Tour at RootsTech

As an Ambassador we were given the opportunity to have a tour of the new Discovery Center in the Family History Library. It is located on the main floor as you walk in the door. You can’t miss it.

 

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Discovery Center so just picked up my iPad from the desk and jumped in. You had to sign in using your FamilySearch account or an email address. I couldn’t remember my password so just signed in with an email address. You also took a selfie with the iPad so your image was on the front page. There were people to help you at each station.

 

 

When we arrived at the first display we attached our iPads and started exploring. You add in your name, year of birth and some timeline information is on the screen. You can learn the meaning of your first and last name and how many people have those names in the United States. There are 521,774 Ruth’s but only 231,608 Blair’s in the United States. I found out the top television shows were the Flintstones and the Andy Griffith Show. The top movie was the Apartment with Jack Lemmon, Fred McMurray and Shirley MacLaine. A first class US stamp cost 4 cents and a US gallon of gas was 31 cents.

 

 

 

 

 


The next station was Picture My Heritage. Here you could have your picture taken in the dress of your ancestor’s country of origin. This was a little difficult because you used hand movements to get the options on the screen to work.

 

 

The Record Our Story rooms were very interesting. Here you can record your life story as a single person, couple or family. There are larger rooms for families. You sit down and touch the screen to start the process. You can start talking or answer questions. I chose to answer questions and they were thought provoking. All this was being recorded on my iPad as it was docked at each station I visited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a section where you could select a relative and find out more about the times they lived in. I didn’t have my tree there so I picked an ancestor and added some information. Across the bottom are images of the Temple and the world. The Temple will provide an LDS timeline and the world is a general timeline. Part of Jane’s timeline was the first use of insulin on a patient by Frederick Banting and Charles Best. Disposable diapers were invented when Jane was 75 years old.

 


The next section was picking a place or origin for your ancestor and having your picture taken with it in the background. So I chose an Irish background and they had a lovely thatched cottage for my picture.

 

 

The last section was finding out who your famous relatives were and since I didn’t have a tree on FamilySearch this wasn’t available to me. I did watch my friends doing it and they were having a great time. Some even found they were distant cousins to each other.

This is the image you would get if you had a tree on FamilySearch.

 

 

When you are finished you hand back the iPad. I thought since I had used an email to sign in with that I would get the pictures and recordings I had done but that was not the case. Only those who signed in with their FamilySearch account got the images and recordings. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get them but was glad I had taken a few pictures along the way.

This was great fun and it wasn’t just the children in the area who were really enjoying themselves, the adults were having just as much fun.

 

© 2017 Blair Archival Research – All Rights Reserved

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