Thursday, March 21, 2013

RootsTech Official Blogger Dinner

Tonight the activities for RootsTech began for me and some of my friends. FamilySearch hosted an Official RootsTech Blogger Dinner this evening at the Lion House in Salt Lake. It was my first time eating at the Lion House after only living in Utah for the past 24 years.  The food was great and presentation were even better.

Paul Nauta, Manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch, began the evening giving us some stats.

  • FamilySearch Indexing began in 2006. Sometime this week we should reach the milestone of 1 Billion records being indexed. It has only taken 6 plus years to reach that figure.
  • In 2012 there were 4,090 registered attendees for RootsTech.  As of 5:30 pm tonight there are 6,700 registered attendees for RootsTech 2013. There are an additional 1,982 registered youth attendees, between the ages of 12 and 19. That makes a total of 8,682 people that be in attendance this week. The figure is expect to increase to at least 7,000 registered adults by weeks end.
  • The Expo Hall is 40% larger than it was in 2012.  The Expo Hall is open to the public so if your in town, stop by and join the party.

Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch spoke to us and said: "This is a love story..we want to help folks fall in love with their ancestors."
  • We are indexing 1.1 million records a DAY!
  • We are expanding RootsTech to others. One way is inviting the youth.
  • They are exporting RootsTech to 16 other locations in 7 countries remotely. These are local Family History Fairs connecting to RootsTech.  There will be an estimated 4,000-5,000 members in attendance. That is something I was aware of before hand. Dennis didn't mention any particular locations at the dinner, but I have a link to Kansas City's Family History & Technology Conference that is one of the pilot locations. Visit: and look under FAQ where they mention RootsTech.
  • The goal next year is to have 600 remote locations, with an estimated 120,000 world-wide attendees.

Ben Bennett, over FamilySearch Patron Services Experiences, sorry if I butchered that my notes are cryptic. He was the final speaker at the dinner. He told us what START stands for.

  • S is for Stories and Photos. Now I understand why Stories and Photos are such a big focus in RootsTech this year.  The FamilySearch Family Tree will be adding these features to help people begin to know their ancestors.
  • T is for Discovering Together as a family
  • A is for Assistance and Help. He told us about the Help services were you can speak to someone on the phone, chat or email for help in researching your family.
  • R is for Really Obvious way to start. He demonstrated the new website design.  The colors stand out much better. It will be available in nine different languages. The site is more user friendly in helping those that don't know how to even start their family history. 
  • T is for Time - only a few minutes
Ben showed us two exciting things being displayed tomorrow.

1. The new logo

2. Interactive Fan Charts - coming soon to It's a new way to display your family while working on it live.

Afterwards we all got to chat and mingle. I am looking forward to another fantastic RootsTech experience.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!


Jana Last said...

I just wanted to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

Jane N Rollins said...


Thanks for your summary of the official Rootstech 2013 bloggers' dinner. Maybe next year, I'll be of your august company!