Are you ready for #RootsTech 2020!

Well now that RootsTech London has come to a successful finish it is time to start planning for RootsTech 2020 in Salt Lake City. This is the 10th anniversary of RootsTech. The theme is “Discover the story of you.”

I remember going to Salt Lake City in April 2010 for the NGS conference and found another conference being held a few days before so signed up at the door. It was called “Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy – Strengthening Ties That Bind Families Together Forever.” I still have the syllabus!

As I was leaving that conference on the last day I told the organizers this was a fantastic conference and I would love to see it again. Now I am not sure this was the first RootsTech. Someone who knows better might be able to enlighten me.

My first trip to RootsTech was in 2015. This was the year that RootsTech and FGS had conferences going on at the same time in Salt Lake City.

In 2016 I was a member of the Not At RootsTech group and we had a great time with the live streaming and chatting on Twitter. I made friends on Twitter that I have met in person and it has been fantastic. The Not At RootsTech crowd are just as spontaneous and excited as the RootsTech crowd.

The last few years I have had the honour to be a RootsTech Ambassador. This has provided me with a different view point of the conference. It has also allowed me to make many new friends that I meet at other conferences and chat to occasionally online. These are friends from around the globe not just North America. It used to be I had to write to pen pals to get friends around the world now I attend a conference and chat on social media.

If you have never been to RootsTech then 2020 could be the year to attend. Here are 10 Reasons to Attend RootsTech 2020.

RootsTech passes would be a great Christmas present for your family history enthusiast. You can register here.

In the last four years I have only missed one RootsTech in person and I am going again in 2020. I really hope to see a lot of you there. Who’s with me!

© 2019 Passionate Genealogist

FGS and NGS to Merge

FGS and NGS have announced that they are going to merge. I received the following press release via FamilySearch. They stated that: ” David Rencher, FamilySearch CGO, said this is a significant move forward for both organizations. FGS has wanted to better serve individuals, and NGS has been seeking ways to better serve societies. Combining their efforts is a win/win for all genealogists at the local, state and international levels. FamilySearch is thrilled with the leadership of both organizations coming together to better serve all genealogists and family historians. “

What do you think of the merger? How do you think this will change the world of family history and genealogy conferences?

Press Release


(21 August 2019)–In a historic move, the boards of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today their intent to merge. The two organizations, both non- profit leaders in the dynamic genealogy industry, will form one consolidated group that will continue to operate as the National Genealogical Society. Both boards approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this week, and jointly announced the news at the Opening Session of the FGS Family History Conference in Washington, D.C., this morning.

Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.

The organizational structure of NGS will be modified to increase functions that support genealogical societies and family organizations. Digitization projects of genealogical importance such as the War of 1812 pensions will continue. The two organizations will continue to operate independently while all details of the merger are completed, no later than October 1, 2020.

Faye Stallings, President of FGS, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to combine with a premier organization that has been in operation since 1903. This will allow for improved and expanded services to help support societies.” Ben Spratling, President of NGS, commented, “We look forward to continuing the strong legacy of FGS as a ‘gathering point’ for family historians and societies all across the nation.”

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Time for the Passionate Genealogist’s RootsTech Pass Giveaway!


As a RootsTech Ambassador I am fortunate to be able to give away one complimentary RootsTech 2019 4-day pass valued at $299 US to one of my followers.

This does not include hotel, flight, meals or any extras such as paid lunches or labs.

What it does include is:

■ Over 300 classes

■ Keynote / General Sessions

■ Expo hall

■ Evening events


You can find out more about RootsTech on their website.

RootsTech is a fantastic conference and there is lots of activity on-site and online. If you have ever wanted to attend RootsTech now is your chance to win a free pass.

How do you enter? Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you really want to go to RootsTech 2019 then tell me the one thing you really want to do while at RootsTech.

The contest will close on 08 November 2018 so add your comment to this post now!

Good luck everyone!

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.


© 2018 Blair Archival Research – All Rights Reserved

1 2 3 4 106