#RootsTech – The Countdown is on!

We are just over a month away before the start of RootsTech and the excitement is growing for the 10th Anniversary celebration!

If you haven’t signed up for RootsTech yet there is still time and there is a discount on the registration that ends on Sunday so sign up now. You can meet genealogists from across the globe and the lectures provide something for everyone!

If there is just no way you can make it then there is the live streaming. RootsTech announced its live streaming schedule and you can check it out here.

Another option is the Virtual Pass. You pay extra for this but you get 30 lectures that you can view online at your leisure.

The last two keynotes have been announced. They are Leigh Anne Touhy and Ryan Hamilton. You can read more about them and the other keynotes on the website.

One item that is a must for everyone attending RootsTech is the app. It has been updated and you can download it now. If you have downloaded it in previous years just open it up and it will update itself.

If you are going to be there in person I hope you have started working on your research plan for the Family History Library. They have extended their opening hours for RootsTech attendees.

RootsTech also have a Survival Guide that will help you navigate your way around the conference and city.  You can find it on their website.

If you are from the Commonwealth Countries then there is a meet up at the Blue Lemon restaurant at 55 West South Temple. We will meet on Monday February 24th at 6 pm. We go to the back of the restaurant so as not to disturb the other patrons.

So I am hoping to see many of you at RootsTech. If you see me come up and say hello. This is where we will need to read those name badges very carefully.

My Adventures at RootsTech – The Official Start!


The first official day of RootsTech started very early for the RootsTech Ambassadors. Before the Keynote we had a tour of the marketplace. It was lovely view everything before it was full of genealogists and family historians wanting to learn about the new and latest offerings as well as visiting vendors with whom they are familiar.



Next was the Keynote session featuring Drew and Jonathan Scott aka the Property Brothers. The first Keynote speaker was Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. He shared the importance of family food traditions. This was a theme of this year’s conference. The importance of family food traditions and how they are connected to your family history. Steve shared the importance of the Rocky Road fudge his Mother made every Christmas and how it is now being passed down to the next generation.



FamilySearch have a new section on their website where you can download and share family food traditions. You can even add a special family recipe. What are your family food traditions?


Jonathan Wing from FamilySearch came on stage to share his family stories. He is originally from Ontario Canada so got a large cheer from the Canadian’s in the audience. His story travelled the world but then don’t do most of our family stories. They shared that FamilySearch had the largest collection of Chinese records outside of China.


FamilySearch have heard us. You can upload your gedcom and no one can change your information. It can be a read only file.



Drew and Jonathan Scott are high energy and very charismatic. They shared their family stories from Alberta and British Columbia. Their family trips to Scotland and other places around the world. Their parents encouraged curiosity. This comes through with the interests they shared with us. You can see the importance of their family history in the stories they shared. Particularly with Jonathan and his finesse playing the bag pipes. My Dad played the pipes so I learned an appreciation early on. Their Mother came from Ontario and they remembered her high school cheer, which they duly performed for the Ambassadors who were interviewing them after the show.




One of the Ambassadors that I got to meet was Lara Diamond. She lectures on Jewish genealogy and had a live streamed lecture at RootsTech. You can view it on their website. She writes the “Lara’s Jewnealogy” blog. I recommend it for anyone doing Jewish or Eastern European research.


This year RootsTech added a Getting Started stream for those just beginning this wonderful journey.


I did my first lab this year, well two of them actually. You paid extra and it was held in the computer lab. They were between one and two hours long. The first one I did was on Thursday and was called “How to edit digital photos using free editing software.” I am technically challenged and need a little help getting started with some programs. This one used Pic Monkey and I found myself getting very comfortable with the basic steps and now am ready to go in and try it on my own. Things change so quickly in technology that sometimes it is hard to keep up with all the changes. These labs help.



Thursday ended with the incredibly moving performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III and guest soloist Dallyn Vail Bayles at the Conference Center at Temple Square. We heard music from Carousel, Sound of Music, The King and I and other memorable Rodgers and Hammerstein productions.

You can watch Thursday’s live streaming on the RootsTech website.

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