RootsTech – The Final Goodbye for 2018

Saturday started early with the MyHeritage Friends Breakfast. It was a chance to catch up with some friends I hadn’t had a chance to connect with yet. MyHeritage were promoting the new advancements in their DNA database as well as their historical records database.


Today’s Keynote Speaker was Henry Louis Gates Jr. and everyone was excited to hear him speak. The other Keynote Speaker was Natalia LaFourcade who sang the song Remember Me in Coco and was performing it at the Oscars the next night.

Natalia LaFourcade started the Keynote talking about here family history and the song Remember Me. She performed several songs and when her session was finished FamilySearch presented her with a copy of her family history. More tears. These are always very touching moments particularly when they can prove some of the family legends of the Keynote.


You can hear their Keynotes and view the live streamed sessions here.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. was a more traditional kind of keynote. He talked about his family history research, his PBS programs and a new initiative to get children involved in exploring their family history with DNA and research. He has started a summer camp for children to help them learn and explore their personal history. It is called The Seedlings and you can learn more here.


I didn’t get a chance to interview Natalia LaFourcade but I did get to ask Henry Louis Gates Jr a question. I asked if he considered doing a show about the family histories of African American families who ended up in Canada via the Underground Railroad. He seemed interested in the idea. The stories could be an exciting journey.


Ancestry was the featured sponsor during Saturday’s Keynote.

Saturday is also Family Discovery Day at RootsTech so there are lots of children in attendance. It is nice to see the next generation getting involved in family history. They bring a new perspective. It is always a very busy day and I spent most of the day revisiting exhibitors that I wanted to learn more about.


Coco was a big theme of this Family Discovery Day event at RootsTech. Face painting was all the rage and even those who are a kid at heart got in the act. Some of the kids were wearing balloon hats. It was just a good time all around.


I took another Lab on Saturday. It was about the company called Forever. They provide online storage for your photographs and you can create books and other items through the website. Since I have a dining table filled with photographs this type of thing was on my mind. We had to download the app to our phone or iPad and I had it on my iPad. It was very easy to operate and afterwards I went and took advantage of the RootsTech special price for their storage packages. I am still getting the photographs organized and just about ready to start scanning and once that happens I have a place I can store my photos and create items to give as presents.


Labs are a great class to take. They cost an extra fee of about $20 but they are small and usually give you hands-on experience with the topic you are learning about. I find this very useful especially when there are people there to help answer your questions. I took my first lab last year and will take more next year.


By the end of the day I was wandering all around the Expo Hall to say goodbye to my friends and new acquaintances. I wanted to make sure I caught up with everyone. Then it was an early night as I had to be at the airport early the next morning. Not to mention the snow storm that came overnight. There was a slight delay leaving but by the time we left it was sunny and blue sky. We just had to wait for de-icing and snow plowing. While wandering around the airport I ran into other Genies who were on their way home so there was time for more chat.

I am so looking forward to next year’s RootsTech. It has become a must do event on my genealogy calendar.


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