Friday, February 5, 2016

RootsTech From My Rocking Chair Part 1


     Livestreaming of RootsTech 2017 began on Thursday. A way for those of us who could not attend to watch from home, in our favorite chairs, and in some cases, still in our jammies! 
     The keynote speakers were inspiring.

Steve Rockwood
    Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch started off the day by talking about the importance of family stories. He explained that everyone in the audience had medical masks on their chairs. Why? No, they weren't worried about an epidemic. It was to remind everyone that "We are heart specialists". The stories we uncover about our families touch the heart like nothing else can.

Stan Ellsworth
  We heard from Stan Ellsworth, host of BYUTV's "American Ride," who made a grand entrance on his Harley. Stan spoke about the importance of telling stories.
Paula Williams Madison
   Paula Williams Madison, an author, and filmmaker, told the story of her search for her Chinese ancestry. She described how it took her from feeling like a nameless, faceless person to one who has found her roots in her multicultural family. It was touching to hear her say that she knew they would want her as much as she wanted them. 

Bruce Feller
    Bruce Feller, a best-selling author, gave this advice about how to tell a family story. He asked "Could it work around a campfire? Do they have emotion?"

 Classes shown via livestream were:

Mike Mansfield
7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries -Mike Mansfield 
  This session was a tour of the MyHeritage tools for helping to research our family tree. uses record and tree matching to help grow your tree. Their OCR recognition tool is impressive and will help in to find ancestors within their record collection.

Amy Johnson Crow
     Best Websites and Apps for Local History-Amy Johnson Crow 
  In her session, Amy tells of the importance of getting to know the communities where our ancestors lived. Knowing what the city or county was like during their life time may lead to new discoveries. Amy shows where we can find historical pictures of ancestor's towns and how we can use maps to give us a better understanding of their lives. She showed an example of finding a military base near the site of her ancestor's home. This clue helped her discover why her ancestor relocated. It was to work at the base.  
One of the best presentations of the day.

Ron Tanner
 What's New in FamilySearch for 2106-Ron Tanner.
  Ron, in his usual way, gave an update on what has changed in FamilySearch and what is planned for the future. One of these changes will be the opportunity to see living relatives in a safe, private area.

Joseph Richardson
     The last session of the day was Virtual Family Reunions-Joseph Richardson.
  In this class different ways to meet and share family information that would save time and money were shared.
 Tools were demonstrated to help share ancestor's stories, and platforms for virtual gatherings were explored.
     Joseph explained that we should start with one of the suggestions, see how it works for the family and then add others. With generations often living far apart, we should take advantage of technology to keep in touch and tell our family stories.
   The Livestream for all of these sessions has been uploaded to youtube. 
To watch, click on the link below

    Later in the evening, an indexing marathon was held live from the convention center. Those who were not able to be there in person could participate online. The goal was to index as many of the Freedman Burea Records as possible in 90 minutes. I joined in the Livestream broadcast of the event and got some indexing completed. This morning it was announced:

Fantastic news!  A valuable record collection is now even closer to being available to search.

Day 2 promises to be as good! More on that tomorrow. I need to get back to watching RootsTech from my rocking chair.

Are we kin? Please contact me.Together we can find our people.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. It looks like you and I are doing the same thing this weekend, Cheri!

    1. I am so glad to be able to watch via livestream. I was able to be there in person last year. I learned a lot and had so much fun! Have a great weekend!

  2. Add me to the "RootsTech From My Rocking Chair" fan club. One day I will get a real vacation out to Roots Tech !

    1. Yes! Proud to be in the club with you!! I would like to go back again. Thinking about 2017. Would be great to see you there!