Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday at RootsTech 2017~Laughter,Tears and Smiles

Every morning as we came into the hall for the opening session of RootsTech, we were treated to the comedy of Jason Hewlett. He warmed up the crowd with jokes, impressions, songs and facial expressions.
 On Friday he treated us to hits from Motown and had us up and dancing!
Jason Hewlett

Bernice Bennett getting her Motown on!

The Catholic Heritage Archive Announcement
 Exciting news came from Findmypast  The Catholic Heritage Archive was announced. This initiative to digitize Catholic Records is a first in the United States. To learn more visit their website with the link above.

The first African American Day was held this year at RootsTech.
The keynote speaker was LeVar Burton of Roots, Star Trek, and Reading Rainbow fame.

LeVar had us in tears after his touching words, but that was just the beginning of one of the most memorial moments from the conference.
 Thom Reed from FamilySearch came on stage and presented him with several generations of his genealogy.
 LeVar asked "Is that what y'all do all day?", to which the audience yelled "Yes!". 
 Then, while looking at the pedigree chart on the screen he exclaimed "Those are my people!"
 LeVar was visibly touched with the gift of discovering his ancestors.

Genealogy presented by Thom Reed
Unfortunately, LeVar Burton's Keynote address, although live streamed is not available now. Contract issues may be to blame. For those who were not there or missed the live broadcast, there are some excellent blog posts that capture the eloquence and emotion of his words.
The RootsTech Blog, Michelle Goodrum's Turning of the Generations and Jenny Joyce on Jennyalogy all contain a good recap of this inspirational talk. 
LeVar Burton Interviewing in the Media Hub
  Next up: The Innovator Summit Finals!
Innovator Summit Finals
With 5 still in the running, the judges listened again to each of the short presentations of each contestant and then deliberated.
 The audience was able to tweet and vote for the People's Choice Award.
And the winners:

There were some fantastic entries this year. You can learn more about all this year's entries by visiting the RootsTech Innovator Summit page and watch Jason Hewlett as he hosts this year's finals by clicking here.

Interviews with the Winners and the Judges
Yep, that's me sitting on the left edge of the far couch!

Winners and Judges Interview

Talking to the winners was fun, but I especially loved being able to ask the judges a few questions. My question of what is lacking in the genealogy tech community brought interesting answers.
Thomas MacEntee shared his thoughts on the need for the desire to search for our ancestors and would like to see products that would light that fire and interest more people. 
 The others discussed apps to help understand DNA results. They also wanted ways to make doing genealogy easier but with a clear understanding that "easy" also means correctly.

Helping out in the FGS (Federation of Genealogy Societies) Booth was next on my agenda, and once again, friends found me there!

Lottie Johnson from home!

Eowyn Langholf from WikiTree

After a packed day, it was time for the infamous MyHeritage Party!
My post about the much talked about event and to watch the video click on the link
MyHeritage After Party 2017-The Video!  Enjoy!

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