Tuesday, February 27, 2018

RootsMagic at RootsTech 2018: The GBA.Buzz Scavenger Hunt

For some fun and excitement at RootsTech this year, be sure to play the GBA.Buzz Scavenger Hunt! 


This video explains how to play:

Don't forget to stop by the RootsMagic booth

for another chance to win!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

RootsTech Family Discovery Day 2018

Watch the RootsTech Family Discovery Day 2018 Live Stream Saturday, March 3 

Enjoy a general session with President and Sister Oaks, along with other LDS speakers including BYU religion professor Hank Smith, America's Got Talent finalist Evie Clair, singer Kenya Clark, and prominent Latin American artist Alex Melecio.
My Family, Mi Herencia; Featuring Luz de Las Naciones 

Join us Saturday, March 3 for this free, multilingual production that celebrates cultures and stories from Latin America. My Family, Mi Herencia will feature over 1,000 people in the cast, including a youth and young adult choir, musicians, storytellers, and dance groups. The event will be held in the Conference Center on Temple Square and broadcast live at lds.org/latino2018.

Behind the Scenes at RootsTech

Behind the Scenes at RootsTech

By Jan Mayer

A beehive-buzz of excitement and anticipation grows the deeper you move into the crowds of RootsTech, a trending international conference held in Utah with up to 30,000 in-person attendees and another 50,000 online. It is hands-down, the largest family history-related event in the world. Very impressive for a nonprofit organization. (RootsTech is hosted by FamilySearch, an international nonprofit subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
It's come a long way from its humble roots as a computer genealogy conference in 1998 on the campus of Brigham Young University with 400 attendees. Today, the world-class conference extends over 4 days and encompasses the entire convention center in downtown Salt Lake City. Every corridor of the facility, including the expansive expo hall, are crammed with congenial crowds examining the latest family history-related products, larger-than-life photos towering overhead, or using the show's robust mobile app to check the current status of their daily class schedules or to download electronic copies of a few of the over 300 syllabi for the sessions they will attend.
You can't help but notice the constant roar of enthusiastic chatting that fills the air as the throngs of smiling people—family, friends, colleagues, and total strangers—snap selfies and group photos, engage in discussion over a new family history discovery, or discuss personal goals for the show or where they picked up some cool swag. The instant camaraderie feels as if you’re hanging out with ten thousand of your closest friends, or even family. And that's not an exaggeration. For this crowd, they are really into family connections—and belonging. They resolutely believe that the more we build our family tree—either through DNA or historical sources, in time, we are all connected—literally one big family from the grand perspective of things.
“The atmosphere is electric and vibrant,” expressed Tara Bergeson, program director for RootsTech. “From inspiring speakers to the displays, products, and entertainment, the whole event is amazing!” There is a lot of attention paid to details Bergeson says. She says some attendees have described the energy and ambiance of the show as a hybrid of the Consumer Electronic Show and Disneyland for the family history market.
DNA research is soaring in popularity with the low cost and variety of testing kits and growing online family trees. Large commercial corporations like Ancestry.comMyHeritagefindmypast.com23andMe, and Living DNA are sponsors of the event and all offer DNA services. RootsTech aficionados are accustomed to flocking to these companies' exhibits to snag deep discounts on their DNA kits. They literally line up to purchase them—in some cases, multiple sets for family, friends, or as gifts—before inventory on hand is depleted.
RootsTech is a far cry from the bookish library setting that some might expect of a genealogy and family history crowd. The satellite truck parked behind the convention center, 150-foot main stage, and a 70-foot, high-definition TV screen looming overhead are all additional clues that there is more to this event than meets the eye. In just a few years, RootsTech has arrived, drawing top keynote speakers—the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, Star Trek's Lavar Burton, First Lady Laura Bush, and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, to name a few.
The show usually draws 25,000 + attendees in person and more than 50,000 will view the keynotes and the selection of free sessions streamed daily online. And attendees range in age from children to grandparents, depending on the day and event. Saturday is Family Discovery Day—a free day for families or younger attendees who typically can't peel away from school during the week to attend. The numbers double with up to 20,000 more attendees.
"It's extra magical on Saturday," says Tyler Stahle, RootsTech marketing manager. "You can feel the energy and excitement soar as the crowds of family and youth further fill the event. It's common to see 3 generations, sometimes 4, busily taking in the activities, smiling, laughing, and learning together."
Stahle says the event is a marvel to behold. "People come from all over the country and world to participate." Literally, there are attendees from all 50 of the United States, and 50 countries on average. Stahle says conference goers hail from as far away as Australia, and countries in Africa. Some are demonstrating a new mobile app, online software, or creative new products for preserving and sharing family photos, stories, and memories.
When you're on the ground and caught up in the revel of it all, it makes one wonder, who comes up with the ideas for the show itself and how do they make it happen?
Glad you asked.

Survival Guide to RootsTech 2018!

Only a few days until RootsTech! Whether it's your first time to the event or you're a conference regular, we want you to be as prepared as possible. Our survival guide has the answers! From where to park to when to check-in, here's everything you need to know to make your RootsTech journey a success!
RootsTech 2018 Survival Guide

Connect with your cousins at RootsTech 2018!

The theme of RootsTech 2018 is "Connect. Belong."
We're excited to let you in on a special way to celebrate this theme in a fun and interactive way.
We call it Relatives at RootsTech.
While onsite, you'll be able to use the FamilySearch Family Tree mobile app to see if you're related to others at the conference.
Here's how:
Before the conference
  1. Download or update to the latest version of the Family Tree mobile app.
  2. Allow the app to use Location Services by clicking Yes when prompted or in the OS settings.
At the conference
  1. Launch Family Tree from inside the Salt Palace Convention Center.
  2. Tap the Relatives at RootsTech option at the top, and follow the prompts to opt in.
  3. Discover who at the conference is your cousin!
Meet up with your cousin in a special place in the FamilySearch booth in the expo hall. People who share their photo on social media using #RootsTech are eligible for a special prize (while supplies last)
More information will be available at registration and in the FamilySearch booth.
See you at the conference, cousin!

Don’t miss these 4 exciting events at RootsTech 2018!

Attending the exciting events scheduled throughout RootsTech is a fun way to celebrate your own family history experiences and connect with friends and colleagues. Here are 4 special events you won't want to miss!
General Session and Innovation Showcase | Wednesday, 4:30 P.M.
Don't forget that RootsTech officially begins on Wednesday, February 28! Join us for the all-new general session featuring popular speaker Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, at 4:30 p.m. MST. Following Rockwood's address will be the Innovation Showcase. Learn more about the Showcase here.
Expo Hall Preview Night | Wednesday, 6–8 P.M.
Visit the gigantic RootsTech Expo Hall for a sneak peek. Now open on Wednesday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free soda will be available on this night only!
Opening Event: Celebrating the Greatest Generation | Thursday, 6 P.M. | Main Stage
Our opening event will feature vignettes of 1940s era dance, music, and narration to celebrate the greatest generation. Enjoy entertainment from the BYU Ballroom Dance Company and Synthesis, a jazz band ensemble from BYU. The event will be narrated by the Emmy award-winning Bruce Lindsay.
Closing Event: Luz de Las Naciones | Saturday, 6 P.M. | Conference Center on Temple Square
Wrap up your conference experience with the closing event, My Family, Mi Herencia, a Luz de Las Naciones production that celebrates cultures and stories from Latin America.
*Download the RootsTech mobile app, and begin planning your schedule today!

Popular RootsTech 2018 Announces Free Online Broadcast Schedule

The following is from FamilySearch.

Popular RootsTech 2018 Announces Free Online Broadcast Schedule

RootsTech 2018 keynotes and select classes will be broadcast live daily at RootsTech.org.Mark your calendars! RootsTech, the world’s largest family history and technology conference, happening February 28 to March 3, 2018, announced its free live online streaming schedule. It will broadcast 19 of its popular sessions, including former Olympic gold-medalist Scott HamiltonBrandon Stanton, founder of the Humans of New York photo blog; host of the popular PBS show Finding Your RootsDr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; Natalia Lafourcade, internationally recognized singer songwriter; and Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. The live broadcasts give those unable to attend in-person a sampling of the show's marquee content. Interested viewers can watch the select broadcasts live at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams.
"RootsTech 2018 offers over 300 sessions for those able to attend in-person," said Tyler Stahle, RootsTech marketing manager. "However, the 19 sessions we will live stream for free will expand the show's reach and give more people the opportunity to participate remotely in this world class conference." In 2017, streaming sessions garnered more than 50,000 views, and that number continues to grow each year.
The streamed sessions will include the popular general sessions and a sampling of technology and family history presentations appealing to varied interests.
RootsTech Live Streaming Schedule  
Watch at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).
RootsTech Streaming Schedule  
Time (MST)
Class Title
Class Description
Speaker or Speakers
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
9:30 a.m.
Family History in 5 Minutes a Day
Explore 20 ways to effectively do your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day.
Deborah Gamble
11:00 a.m.
DNA: One Family, One World
(Sponsored by Living DNA)
A new project by Living DNA is mapping the world's DNA, building one world family tree through genetics. Gain insight into how this will impact your family history.
David Nicholson
1:30 p.m.
Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections
Step-by-step direction in organizing, preserving, and cataloging photo collections for future generations and identifying, digitizing, and sharing collections using family trees and social media.
Ari Wilkins
3:00 p.m.
Finding the Answers: The Basics of WWII Research
Fire destroyed many US military and civilian service records. Alternative record sources exist to reconstruct service history. Learn how to research World War I and II records.
Jennifer Holik
4:30 p.m.
Wednesday General Session and Innovation Showcase
Steve Rockwood explores where industry giant, FamilySearch, has been and is going. Introduction of the all-new RootsTech Innovation Showcase.
Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International
Thursday, March 1, 2018
8:30 a.m.
Thursday General Session
Brandon Stanton started Humans of New York, a photography and storytelling blog. HONY has built a devoted following of over 20 million fans across several social media platforms.
Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York
11:00 a.m.
MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results
(Sponsored by MyHeritage)
Learn about the MyHeritage DNA service and how the process works, from taking the test to the lab analysis. Learn about MyHeritage DNA's over 40 ethnicities and how to optimize your DNA matches.
Yaniv Erlich
1:30 p.m.
Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve, and Share
Google Photos is a powerful, free app for storing, organizing, and sharing. Learn how to edit and create photo projects and automatically add your photos to the app from digital devices.
Michelle Goodrum
3:00 p.m.
Unlocking Roman Catholic Records
The Catholic Church is essential for uncovering the lives of millions of immigrants from many nationalities. See how findmypast and the Catholic Church are working to make these records easily accessible.
Brian Donovan
4:30 p.m.
A Gift of Life: Who's Writing Your Story?
Only you can tell the real stories of love, loss, forgiveness, and change. Don't leave the task of finding the answers of your life's history to someone else. Take the time to write your life story.
Deborah Abbott
Friday, March 2, 2018
8:30 a.m.
Friday General Session
Scott Hamilton is the living example that good guys CAN finish first! He is an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, television broadcaster, speaker, author, husband/father, and eternal optimist!
Scott Hamilton, Olympic Skater
11:00 a.m.
findmypast's British and Irish Hidden Gems
(Sponsored by findmypast)
Explore some of the wonderful findmypast.com collections that can help you break down your British ancestry brick walls, go back further in your family research, and add untold color and detail to your family story.
Myko Clelland
1:30 p.m.
Finding the Right DNA Test for You
DNA testing is becoming an integral tool, but what is it and what does it do? How can DNA actually help your genealogy? If you are brand new to genetic genealogy, this is the class for you.
Jim Brewster
3:00 p.m.
How Not to Leave Your Genealogy Behind
Nobody wants their genealogy research to end up in a landfill. Hear a few horror stories of genealogy materials destroyed and how you can avoid those mistakes.
Amy Johnson Crow and Curt Witcher
4:30 p.m.
Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch
Learn new skills and techniques used by the experts and lesser known record identification tools and features of the FamilySearch website.
Robert Kehrer
Saturday, March 3, 2018
8:30 a.m.
Saturday General Session
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of popular PBS Finding Your Roots series, and Natalia Lafourcadeone of the most successful singers in the Latin America pop rock genre, will keynote this opening session.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Natalia Lafourcade
11:00 a.m.
Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales
England and Wales national indexes and recent innovations at the General Register Office have opened up new possibilities and completely new indexes.
Audrey Collins
1:30 p.m.
Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA
(Sponsored by Ancestry)
Learn what new tools AncestryDNA has to advance your research and get more out of your DNA results.
Anna Swayne
3:00 p.m.
Pain in the Access: More Web for Your Genealogy
Library, archive, government, and specialized websites have much to offer. Discover these sites and strategies for getting more online data.
Curt Witcher
About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.