Friday, March 16, 2018

RootsTech 2018 ~An Opportunity to Learn and Build Skills

A Beautiful Morning View at RootsTech 2018

Every year at Rootstech there are many classes to choose from. There are traditional classes on various subjects, labs to help you learn by doing and demonstrations of techniques and products and small group instructions in the expo hall.
There is no excuse to come away without having learned something to help you be a better genealogist!

D. Joshua Taylor
Presenting "Big Data: Buzz Word or Family HIstory Revolution?"
@Cheri Hudson Passey
Photo by permission

This year I attended Josh Taylor's class on Big Data, a class on how we can take various types of data gathered from different record types and come up with conclusions for our research. One interesting idea was the possibility to recreate the 1890 census by gathering the data from city directories, the 1890 Veteran's Schedules, and other resources. That would be quite the project! 
As genealogists, we need to look at sets of data to see how we can combine them in new ways to come up with answers to our questions. As usual, Josh was an engaging speaker and had the audience wanting to start on some of the projects he mentioned!

Amie Bowser Tennant
Presenting "Deed You Hear About These Underutilized Records"
@Cheri Hudson Passey
Photo by permission

Amie Bower Tennant shared methods of finding clues in deed and other types of records that are often not thought of when researching our families. Amie went through the various types of deeds and where to look for them and discussed other records commonly found in court records. 
The information provided in them may lead to what we need to break through brick walls.
This presentation provided good information that could be easily understood by all levels of genealogy research experience.

Curt Witcher
Presenting "Beyond Hatched, Matched and Dispatched: More Stories
@Cheri Hudson Passey
Photo by permission
The importance of gathering all the information available about your ancestors was the main point in Curt Witcher's talk. He began with a short explanation of the Genealogical Proof Standard which emphasizes doing reasonably exhaustive research. In a world of access to many documents and other records, we can be too quick to add people to our trees with no further investigation to the stories surrounding them.  Connecting with our ancestors through the stories of their lives makes them real and can teach us as we learn from their experiences. Newspapers are a rich source of information on the day to day lives of our ancestors. 
Curt is a great speaker and those in the class were inspired to look beyond the names, dates, and places on their genealogy charts by looking for and adding stories to enhance their research.

Amy Johnson Crow
Presenting" You're On Social Media, Now What?"
@Cheri Hudson Passey
Photo by permission

How to use social media in the right way was a class for those with a genealogy business. 

Amy Johnson Crow gave advice on how, when and why of using social media platforms to promote and share our message without being obnoxious or overbearing. 
There is proper etiquette for social media use! She shared best practices for each type of platform.
Thanks for the tips, Amy! 

Tony Burroughs
Presenting "Platting Plantations"
@Cheri Hudson Passey
Photo by permission 
Tony Burroughs shared six phases of African American genealogy which included how to determine the name of the last slave owner. If a name can be found, the next step is to see if the owner had a plantation or other piece of land that can be found in records. Tony showed how deeds and land plat maps can be used to draw and place on a map where the land is today.
Walking the land our ancestors walked is a life-changing experience.

Many of the talks from RootsTech 2018 were recorded and can be watched using this link.

Walking around the expo hall can provide many learning experiences. Many of the booths offer classes with schedules posted to allow you to plan your day and others have demonstrations of their products to help you learn how they can help you in your genealogy research. 
Taking time to stop by and speak to those who represent the many companies represented in the hall can lead to learning tips and tricks, receiving discount offers and getting information about upcoming new features. 

There are so many ways to learn and build your genealogy skills when attending RootsTech!

Did you attend? What skills did you enhance by being there? 
What is the most important tip you learned?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,


  1. It is that and so much more. I was sorry to have missed it, this year but was still able to watch the live sessions.

    1. Absolutely! More post coming about the other wonderful things that are a part of this unique conference. Missed you this year!!