Monday, February 23, 2015

DONNY!!! I Mean-Day 4 FGS/Rootstech 2015

Waiting for the Opening Session to Start
With Hilary Gadsby and Valerie Eichler Lair

     Saturday's Opening Session couldn't come fast enough!
Having been a Donny Osmond fan since I was a pre-teen, I was so excited to hear him give his Keynote address to the FGS/Rootstech crowd.

 The first speaker of the day was award winning author A.J. Jacobs who talked to us about his plans for the Global Family Reunion to be held in New York in June 6, 2015. This is to be quite a party! There will be games, entertainment, speakers and food with the proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Foundation.  A.J., whose tag line is"I Am A Cousin" came out on the stage with everyone in the audience holding a "I Am a Cousin" sign. He took a selfie with all of us holding up our signs in the background.

A.J. Jacobs-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2015

A.J. Jacobs with George and Barbara Bush
I Am A Cousin!

    This was a fun and entertaining Keynote talk. The Global Family Reunion sounds fantastic. I won't be able to attend this year, but am hoping that it will be held again in the future.
          Then, be still my heart, it was time for Donny!
Donny Osmond-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2015

Donny, sharing family stories
FGS/Rootstech 2105

Honoring his ancestors
Donny Osmond-Keynote FGS/Rootstech 2105
      Donny began by entertaining us with songs from his past. It was so much fun to sing along with "Puppy Love", "One Bad Apple"and "Soldier of Love". He told us that his Mother had given him her 4o years of Genealogy work and asked him to continue on with it. Donny showed us pictures of his Welsh ancestors that had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bravely left their homeland to come to America. Their example of courage, he said, has helped him throughout his life.
       He also spoke of his father's hard life growing up and the faith of his parents as they went on to have more children despite being warned not to by Doctors after their first two sons were born deaf. Further examples of courage that have boosted him in times of trial.
    Donny reminded us that his life had been recorded in one way or another since he was very young and he asked "If you haven't started recording your life, why not?"
Photo with Donny!!

    What a wonderful morning! A fantastic way to begin the last day of the conference.
    My sessions for the day began with She Came From Nowhere:A Case Study Approach to Solving a Difficult Genealogical Problem-Michael Lacopo followed by The Power of DNA: Introduction to Genetic Genealogy -CeCe More and my last of the conference was Manuscripts and More -Pamela Boyer Sayre. Each was very good and gave great insight and practical ways to use each subject with my genealogy research.

 Fun photo opportunities came throughout the day!

Pre-Concert photo with David Archuleta 

Geneabloggers with photo bomber A.J. Jacobs

With WikiChic Eowyn Langholf
She was a teenager the last time I saw her!

With Valerie Eichler Lair and Caitlin Gow

      What a day! Learning, laughing, making and renewing friendships.  It was hard to believe it was almost over.
      In order to get a spot for Caitlin Gow and I for the Evening Social featuring David Archuleta and Studio C it was important to get to the media seats early. What I thought was the end of the Family Day presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints turned out to be a break instead. It was an honor to be able to hear the last part of the presentation that included the One Voice Children's Choir and Elder Quentin L. Cook.

One Voice Children's Choir

Elder Quentin L. Cook
with quote from Elder Boyd K. Packer

       Studio C began the Closing Event with a Q&A session and then performing a comedy skit involving a lip- syncing game. I love Studio C and thoroughly enjoyed them!
Studio C-Q&A

Studio C-Shoulder Angel

David Archuleta
Fantastic performance
FGS/Rootstech 2015

David Archuleta
 FGS/Rootstech 2015

      David Archuleta was up next and performed several songs for us. The first was a cover of Justin Timberlake's Mirrors. David told us that he chose to sing the song after learning that it had been written for Justin's Grandmother. Makes the song mean so much more! 
       Once the concert was over, it was time to meet up with our ride to the After Party at Myrt's. The ride was an adventure in itself and was a great opportunity to get to know Peggy Lauritzen and her husband Kerry. Thanks again for the ride!
     Dear Myrtle (Pat Richley-Erickson) and her husband Gordon graciously opened up their home to over 40 of us where we were fed and given the opportunity to mingle with wonderful people. Several joined in Myrt's weekly Genealogy Game Night on Google+.
  On a tour of their home, we were able to see where the magic of Monday's With Myrt, Wacky Wednesday, Genealogy Game Night and various Study Groups take place. Yes, Cousin Russ was there too! We also were shown many of the family's keepsakes and treasures. 
  Thanks to Pat and Gordon for your hospitality. A perfect way to end a wonderful four days!

At Dear Myrt's After Party

Dear Myrt's After Party
What a great group of Genealogists!
  With that, my conference week had come to an end. I can't wait to do it again! What a loving community of people.Thanks to all who taught, befriended and encouraged me. This will be a week to remember.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.


  1. Cheri, sounds like you are having a marvelous time! I would be jealous but I am here in Virginia with the most adorable grandson in the world. We'll have to meet up again at another conference.

    1. It was a marvelous time! And being with the grands? Priceless! Glad you can spend time with your grandson. Hope we can get together again soon! Thanks Colleen!

  2. I expected to read you were made an honorary Osmond. You certainly made the most of this trip -- great report!