RootsTech 2019—It’s a Wrap!

After 4 days of family history and genealogy immersion, it’s a wrap! RootsTech was filled with inspiring keynotes, educational sessions, a dynamic Expo Hall, and great entertainment. Jason Hewlett was back as emcee, who entertained us with musical impressions and song parodies, including a song titled, Let It Go. [I link to this particular video at the request of a few mothers who know. Jason was kind enough to direct me to this recording when I asked about it on Twitter. Thank you, Jason!]

After the keynote, there was an opportunity to interview Thom Reed, Michael B. Moore, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, and Martin Luther King III.

In his keynote address, Steve Rockwood said what many of us know: “Family history is NOT a spectator sport. Nothing really happens until you act.” The focus this year was on healing that which needs healing within families. Steve Rockwood surprised many by inviting Elder David A. Bednar of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the stage to announce a $2 million contribution to the International African American Museum Center for Family History (@IAAMCFH) to be built in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is the port to which many enslaved people arrived. Construction for the Center will begin mid-2019 with an estimated completion date in 2021. Audience members laughed when Elder Bednar said that the Church no longer issues checks, but the electronic transfer would take place tomorrow. By now the transaction is history.

Patricia Heaton graced the stage on Thursday with talk of family, Hollywood, and motherhood. The audience laughed when she shared how guests in parents’ home responded to her mother’s prayers at the dinner table. She also spoke of her perfect shoe size (6) and how she was sent to Milan as a shoe model. This many seem like a small insignificant piece of trivia but I noticed that on the heels of The Edge Effect, a shoe theme was being made manifest this year. 

The following day Saroo Brierley chronicled his miraculous journey for the RootsTech audience. I had the opportunity to participate in an interview with Saroo. I asked him about a book that I heard is being written about his two mothers. His face brightened as he spoke of Sue Brierley, his adoptive mum. She is in the process of writing this book. She kept detailed diaries of their family’s experience while he was growing up and he said that her story laid the foundation for his story. He hopes that the book will be released in about a year, but could provide no further information. 

Jake Shimabukuro speaks with his whole soul through his music and his shoes entertain me. He said that he only plays one ukulele at any given time rather than have many models. He discussed how an instrument needs to learn to respond to the artist and that this takes practice. Of Japanese descent, he mentioned in the interview that a television program wanted to discover his roots. A few months later the show came back and said that they could not find anything, although he knows the cities in Japan where the paper trail ends.  

And for many participants, the sessions offered at RootsTech hold out hope for answers to scaling those brick walls encountered in pursuit of our family’s history. I statistically evaluated my own RootsTech attendance and discovered that I only made it to 42% of the sessions I selected. How about you? You can still download the syllabi from the RootsTech app

Unlike last year, there appeared to be sufficient room in just about every session. The one exception was Relative Race; this session is like a family reunion that takes place each year since 2016 and attendance continues to grow. So next year … 

And not to disappoint fans, but the news at the conference is that the show will once again return to one season per year! Relative Race Season 5 begins Sunday, March 10th, but Season 6 may begin airing as late as Fall 2020. 

I’ve found that RootsTech brings together an international community of genealogists and family historians. Not only were all 50 of the United States represented, but 38 different countries. There is nowhere in the world like it! Visiting with others can be just as educational as attending a session. Nevertheless, I have already started watching the recorded sessions at RootsTech.org and the virtual pass is still available for purchase. The field of family history and genealogy is synonymous with lifelong learning.

Speaking of which, the DNA Learning Center was a popular choice for many participants. The purpose of the Center in the Expo Hall was to educate those in attendance about the basics of DNA. This opportunity was independent of any particular company and answered such questions as, “What types of DNA are tested for ancestry purposes?, What can I do with my DNA results?, and What in the world is a centimorgan (cM)?” This center was only a month in its planning. With such short notice and evident success, I think this is an element of the RootsTech conference that is here to stay. 

Connecting through music and dance was the theme of this year’s entertainment. The Edge Effect’s excellent performance and DNA reveal, and Derek Hough performing with the award-winning BYU Ballroom team, provided tired minds with a little mental refreshment. If you happened to miss the performances, The Edge Effect was recorded during Wednesday’s session.

There were over 100 entries submitted to the RootsTech FilmFest in 3 categories: youth, amateur, and professional. The prize winners have been announced, but the 12 finalists’ projects are available on RootsTechFilmFest.org.

The winners:

On the final day of the conference I had the opportunity to sit down with Jen Allen, Director of Events, about RootsTech 2019. It was interesting to have her compare and reflect on this year’s successes in light of last year’s fiascos. The introduction of PowerHour, larger rooms for sessions, no badge scanning—with the exception of labs and booths in the Expo Hall, increased the numbers of session per day, lunch for all participants on the first day when food services are not open for business, the Ask Me Anything Crew in turquoise, the Roots Crew in pink, and the DNA Basics Learning Center were all new. Even the keynote sessions were later in the day to allow participants the option of sleeping in rather than miss one pillar of the conference plan. Last year, she knew on day one what needed to change. This year she is satisfied from the initial feedback.The changes have been well received. Nevertheless, the RootsTech team reviews every evaluation and it will only be after this exercise that decisions will be made about RootsTech 2020. So when you receive your survey, complete it and submit it. The team has proven that they listen.

Amy Archibald and children

On a personal note, I would like to thank Amy Archibald who kept ambassadors up-to-date throughout the year. I would also like to thank Anne Metcalf and Virginio Baptista for all that they did to support the ambassadors in their respective duties during the conference. Anne continually provided timely updates and reminders concerning interviews. Virginio was there to film and photograph moments that may not have been captured otherwise. Thank you! You were awesome!

Anne Metcalf and Virginio Baptista

Now it’s on to RootsTech London! It will be held October 24-26, 2019 at the ExCel Centre. This 3 day conference will feature 150 sessions, keynote speakers, the Expo Hall, and evening entertainment. Unlike Salt Lake City, RootsTech London will not offer lab classes or host a Family Discovery Day this year. Registration is now open! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and RootsTech London. As such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s the Premiere of RootsTech 2019!

RootsTech Ambassadors 2019!

It’s a wrap for the Oscars and the premiere of RootsTech 2019! The Media Banquet was held last night at the Salt Palace Convention Center and it did not disappoint. Those who have been with RootsTech from its inception and those who are new this year joined together to listen to Jason Hewlett, emcee of RootsTech, Jen Allen, Director of Events, and Tom Gill, Vice President at FamilySearch.

For those not at RootsTech, log in at FamilySearch.org/discovery

Check-in is a breeze this year—no lines anywhere! Individuals with turquoise t-shirts that boldly say “Ask Me Anything” are everywhere to direct you to the appropriate meeting place. The dinner was delicious and it provided an opportunity to visit with old friends and meet new ones.

Relatives at RootsTech is back and Jason Hewlett demonstrated the unique features of this app. Integrated sections like All About Me, Record My Story, Picture My Heritage, and Compare-a-Face allow anyone to preserve family information and have fun with their ancestors on FamilyTree. Family Search encourages everyone to download the app or log in at FamilySearch.org/discovery. Two things to remember: the results are only as accurate as the input of data and the FamilySearch FamilyTree is a public tree for information on the deceased. FamilySearch does privatize information about the living. Nevertheless, never add an adult living person without his or her permission.

Jen Allen shared one of her favorite submissions for the RootsTech Film Festival! There were over 100 submissions in the 3 categories. Winners will be announced each day with the Grand Prize winner being announced on Saturday. Tom Gill thanked everyone for being here at RootsTech.

 

We had the opportunity to visit with everyone after the event. I caught Jen Baldwin, North America Data Licensing Manager at Findmypast, having a bit of fun with Else Churchhill, the genealogist at the Society of Genealogists in London, and others from the British Isles. Myko Clelland, the Family Historian & Licensing/Outreach Manager from Findmypast was hiding in that booth as well.

There is a lot to look forward to at RootsTech. Jen revealed that Steve Rockwood’s keynote will have key announcements so you won’t want to miss it! It will be live streamed at RootsTech.org.

When I arrived at the Salt Palace Convention Center last night, Relative Race was on display. Relative Race has an interactive booth in the Expo Hall beginning tonight at 6 p.m. I learned from social media that Jerica and Joe Henline, Team Black from Season 4, will be in attendance. On Thursday, February 28th at 4:30 p.m. Dan J. Debenham, host of Relative Race, as well as teams from Season 5 will will present in 250A of the Salt Palace Convention Center.

For those #NotAtRootsTech, enjoy live streaming beginning at 9:30 a.m. The keynote address by Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Just in case live streaming captures your interest to the point you want to travel to the venue, day passes are available at RootsTech.org. Benefits include the amazing Expo Hall, interactive displays, expertise to answer your individual questions and the association with those who are as passionate as you about family history and genealogy. But, if you’re #NotAtRootsTech and live streaming, recorded sessions, and the virtual pass will not answer your questions, contact me. I will take your question to the designated person or booth to see what they can do and get back with you.

Whether at #RootsTech or #NotAtRootsTech, have a marvelous day!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech 2019 Is Almost Here! Are You Ready?

The RootsTech team announced today that the conference will be receiving attendees from all 50 of the United States and from 37 different countries! It truly is an international event and there are plenty of ways to participate!

Each year RootsTech improves on its direct communication to its vast audience. Whether you subscribe by email, follow on social media—like Twitter—and/or register for its blog, you are already in the know about this international conference. But, in case you haven’t heard, the RootsTech team has secured some great keynote speakers this year, over 300 sessions to attend, an amazing Expo Hall—the genealogy-technology Mecca, with a few additional opportunities and services.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

First, the keynote speakers this year are FamilySearch’s own Steve Rockwood, Patricia Heaton, Saroo Brierley, and Jake Shimabukuro. I remember Steve Rockwood’s first keynote address as CEO of FamilySearch at RootsTech 2016. I wrote about it for the FamilySearch blog. Maybe you remember it, too. He suggested that family historians are heart specialists that can bring deep and meaningful experiences to our families. This year’s theme is still a mystery, at least for me.

On Thursday Patricia Heaton will be the RootsTech guest keynote. Also known as Debra Barone from the hit television series, Everybody Loves Raymond, Patricia carved out her place as a star when, in 2000, she was the first to win a Primetime Emmy among the cast with an encore win the following year as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. In 2002 she published her book, Motherhood and Hollywood: How to Get A Job Like Mine. As her career advanced she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012! She followed this with a series on the Food Network, Patricia Heaton Parties, that won her the 2016 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program. Recently she published a cookbook, Patricia Heaton’s Food for Family and Friends: 100 Favorite Recipes for a Busy, Happy Life.

Saroo Brierley will join the stage on Friday. If his name is unfamiliar to you, check out Netflix, or another source, and watch the movie Lion before Friday. Based on his 2014 book, A Long Way Home: A Memoir, this is an amazing story that has touch so many hearts. It depicts the longing for family, even when among loved ones, and how technology played a part to unite him with family over the miles and through the years. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, some have suggested that a person watch this movie with a box of tissues, some have wished that they invested in Kleenex, but I find this movie heartwarming and endearing.

On Saturday Jake Shimabukuro will be on stage. While I do not know if he’ll play “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” a song posted to YouTube that went viral before he knew of YouTube, I’m sure that the RootsTech audience, both onsite and virtual, will be in for a real musical treat. His latest recording is The Greatest Day. A ukulele sensation, who knew?

I’ve said it before, the RootsTech team brings together individuals whose life experiences and successes are varied. RootsTech has brought in speakers from the tech industry, the science community, the writer’s circle, the political realm, the entertainment industry, the sports arena, the bloggers’ sphere and, of course, the field of family history and genealogy. I have never been disappointed!

MATERIAL AVAILABLE FOR OVER 300 SESSIONS, SO DOWNLOAD THE APP!

Whether you’re onsite, participating virtually, or just plan to catch the recorded sessions as time allows, this app is for YOU! Available for iOS and Android, the ratings do not seem to reflect my experience. It’s been a great resource!

There are handouts for many sessions that you can download to your device or email to yourself. If you need a printed copy, you can do that, too! The app is updated about every hour so if there is a discrepancy between the website and the app, go with the information on the app.

The full conference schedule is available with the ability to star each session that you’re inclined to attend and this will add the session to your personal schedule. (Even with the live-streamed sessions, the recorded sessions, and the virtual pass, I have one hour with five possible sessions to attend.🤫) You can share this information with friends, take notes for the session and, finally, rate the session once you attend it. Not sure which session would be ideal for you? Sometimes it’s a challenge, but consider your personal family history goals, check out the speakers’ bios, and review the handouts. This should help you make an informed decision.

With all of the session information transferred to “My Schedule,” you can then set up reminders so that you can stay on track. Tyler Stahle shows you how in this Road to RootsTech video. You can also added to your schedule meetups from various organizations and groups with whom you associate.

There are other interesting aspects to the RootsTech app so take the time to explore it. Just a hint for those who identify themselves with more than one first and/or last name—when filling out your profile, your name will be alphabetized by the first name you place in the surname field. Two-surname individuals may be difficult to find if they place both surnames in the surname field, but go by their last name, such as Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.  If Elizabeth goes by the surname “Anderson,” Elizabeth would place “Elizabeth Garrett” in the first field and “Anderson” in the surname field. But, if Elizabeth goes by the surname “Garrett Anderson,” she would place “Elizabeth” in the first field and “Garrett Anderson” in the surname, or last name, field. Then, under the “Attendees” section of the app, your friends can find you where they expect to find you. There’s been some confusion about the “Attendees” and “Speakers” alphabetical listings in the app, so check both places if you can’t find someone.

EXPO HALL: IT’S A GENEALOGY-TECHNOLOGY MECCA!

If you haven’t been to the Salt Palace, this Road to RootsTech video will give you an idea of the expansive area that houses the latest in genealogy and technology products to assist you in your research. In all of my years attending this conference and its predecessor, I can offer this advice: be prepared to buy, but don’t be sold! There are many useful products and subscriptions to purchase, but know what will best suit your research plan and budget. With that said, RootsTech is one of the best places to purchase genealogy software, subscriptions, DNA kits, and a few crafty items to decorate your home.

NEW: DNA CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS AVAILABLE IN THE EXPO HALL

This year RootsTech is offering basic classes to inform those new to genetic genealogy about what DNA can do to assist them in their research. From what I understand, these classes are independent of the vendors in the Expo Hall. RootsTech was seeking licensed science educators to provide this portion of a RootsTech education. I regret that my only contribution is that I updated my article in preparation for RootsTech, which I titled, “RootsTech 2019 Playbook for the Hail Mary of Genealogy—DNA.” It may be helpful to you as well. Here is the schedule:

FOR THOSE #NOTATROOTSTECH, HERE’S THE LIVE-STREAM-AT-A-GLANCE CHART:These live-streamed sessions will be recorded and available after the conference.

ADDITIONAL RECORDED SESSIONS FOR VIEWING

There are also other sessions that will be recorded, so if you are at the Salt Palace Convention Center and deciding between 2 or more sessions, scroll down and check this list at RootsTech.org. It may help you in making your decision onsite. These sessions are being recorded, but not live streamed, and will be available to everyone shortly after the last day of the conference. I have placed them in a table to view at a glance for your convenience: This table is accurate at the time of publishing, but the RootsTech app is updated hourly so confirm any information that is important to you.

THE VIRTUAL PASS

There is so much more that is being offered at RootsTech this year, but let me mention one last option for participation. If you cannot make it to Salt Lake City to be onsite, if the live streaming and recorded sessions leave you wanting more, there is the virtual pass. It is a stand alone pass for those not attending the conference and a discounted add-on if you are attending onsite. This pass can be purchased up to 2 months after the conference. These sessions will be posted 10-15 days after the conference. Those registered will receive notice of availability by email. The individual may view any of the 18 sessions up to one year from RootsTech 2019.

However you will be participating in RootsTech 2019, enjoy this opportunity to further your education in the pursuit of your family tree! I’ll do my best to keep you posted!

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Although there is no additional cost to you, as an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from any qualifying purchases if you click on the product links.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Henry the Sloth Becomes Henry the Sleuth at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Henry the Sleuth Genealogy & Other Adventure Series

It’s been 6 years! Six years since I attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). I’m not a stranger to it. I’ve known about it since its inception. It replaced a winter genealogy conference that took place for a couple of days each January. SLIG was different in concept. Unlike a conference, an institute allows a person to pursue more concentrated learning about a particular topic. There is always more to learn as it relates to genealogy.

This year the course offerings were exceptional. Upon review of my options, I registered for The Family History Law Library with Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL and Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA. As Judy is known to say, ‘the law is anything but boring’ and her entertaining style is always a bonus. To truly understand a record a person, must know the law(s) from which it was derived. Laws have purpose. Laws give context. And, although I have spent time in law libraries and in research, digging into the websites recommended in this course makes me feel like ‘a kid in a candy shoppe!’

SLIG is about education. It’s also about networking, friends, and fun. I saw a photo of an elk in the SLIG Attendee Facebook Group and upon arrival to my course, I found Laurie Desmarais with a baby elk on her desk.

Henry finally arrived at his desk for the second session of The Family History Law Library!

I must have forgotten I tossed him in there, but when I opened my case second hour, there he was—a sloth. A gray, 3-toed sloth who had been named Henry on Christmas Day. I promptly placed him on my desk as my genealogy companion for the week. Henry had many opportunities to meet people. He’d introduced himself to those who were having breakfast when he arrived early. He was introduced to J. Mark Lowe, C.G., the coordinator of the Advanced Southern Research course, with interest, but learned that Mark’s course didn’t go south enough for Henry to pursue his family tree. Mark’s course focused on the southern United States, not South America. I would highly recommend Mark’s course in the future for anyone pursuing their U.S. southern roots.

On Monday night, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL gave an outstanding plenary session titled, “We’re All in the Same Boat Now!” One consistent takeaway expressed by those in attendance was that researchers have a responsibility to publish their findings and make searchable the names of those in the records. This is especially important to connect African Americans to their families. DNA has clearly identified that we are all in the same boat. Garrett-Nelson was the coordinator of Course 7 this year: 1619-2019: Four-Hundred Years of African American Genealogy sponsored by FamilySearch. Henry and I stopped by on a break to visit a couple of friends.

Old friend, Thom Reed of FamilySearch, and new friend, Sherri Camp, the Vice President for Genealogy at the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS.org) at SLIG 2019.

Henry and I left the law cohort and met up with members of Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques (GGT&T) Facebook Group for a photo and lunch at nearby Olive Garden.

Members of the Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Facebook Group at SLIG 2019. (Photo courtesy of Blaine T. Bettinger)

We were actually late to the photo shoot, but were able to catch Blaine for the official supplementary photo.

The official supplementary photo of members of Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques Facebook Group at SLIG 2019. (Photo courtesy of Blaine T. Bettinger)

GGT&T is an active group with over 51.2K members! It includes beginners as well as those at the forefront of DNA as it applies to genealogy. If you’re interested in genetic genealogy, why not join us?

A face-to-face meeting of GGT&T arranged by Leah LaPerle Larkin. Thanks, Leah!
Henry received help at the Family History Library and discovered a same name dilemma. You will always know Henry by his FAN club!

Henry also went to the Family History Library. Upon doing some research, Henry learned that there is another sloth named Henry the Sloth on Twitter. Don’t be confused! Henry is the genealogy sloth and you will know him by his FAN Club! After his week at SLIG, Henry has officially changed his name to Henry the Sleuth. He looks forward to his next genealogy journey—SLIG Academy. :-)

I’ve always heard that a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge. I don’t know the truth of that statement, but I know that a good genealogist knows how to find the laws related to sources and the information therein to evaluate genealogy evidence. One site that may be of help to you in the United States is A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873. As the site explains:

Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America’s national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings. The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress make up a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation and the development of the federal government and its role in the national life. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.

Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832, Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75.

The week culminated with a completion banquet and awards. Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG. CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS gave the keynote titled, “A Most Enjoyable Journey.” He outlined his remarkable lifetime interest, education, and opportunities afforded to him in the field of genealogy. He is retiring as course coordinator of Advanced Genealogical Methods, but don’t lose heart. I have it on good word that he still plans to teach.

Always a favorite instructor, he was one of Lynn’s early mentors in family history and genealogy.

John Phillip Colletta, PhD, FUGA received the Silver Tray Award. As the Utah Genealogical Association website explains, “The Silver Tray Award is given for scholarly contributions to the field of genealogy and family history.Since 1988, it has traditionally been given for publication efforts.”

Karen Mauer Jones CG, FGBS received the Utah Fellow award. According to the UGA website this award is given “[i]n recognition of those living individuals whose distinguished contributions and on-going commitment to the field of Genealogy are of national or international scope, this award may be evidenced by any combination of publications, teaching and speaking, or leadership of major genealogical organizations over a significant period of time.”

Tom and Karen Jones, one of my favorite couples in genealogy! I met both of them in 2012. They have, by example, been significant mentors to me (even though I haven’t mastered all that they have taught and look forward to learning even more).

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG. CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS received the Award of Merit, given to honor his service above and beyond the Distinguished Service Award. Tom is a humble man with a plethora of post-nominal letters. :-)

It’s been a busy week for me and Henry. There are over one hundred photos of people Henry and I met at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. As soon as time permits, I will be preparing these memories for publication.

SLIG will be held in 2020 from January 12th through the 17th. Check the UGA website for more details. As of the time of this post, it had not been updated. Registration opens July 13, 2019 at 9 a.m. MDT. The most coveted classes fill within minutes so, if you are interested, mark this date on your calendar.

Happy genealogy sleuthing!

Copyright ©2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a. the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Ease into the New Year with #FindingYourRoots

It’s been a hectic and joyful holiday season. As many rush to fulfill New Year resolutions, I prefer to ease into the month of January. This year I’ve been looking forward to easing into the new year with Finding Your Roots hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He’s back with Season 5 of his award-winning PBS show to introduce 25 notable guests and their genealogies over a 10-week period. Each episode has a theme and Dr. Gates will introduce each guest to their “Book of Life.” If you like stories, you’ll love this show. The reveal through the “Book of Life” demonstrates the possibilities of what a person may find when they pursue their family history. Each episode is worth watching!

The show is scheduled to air tonight at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Central and Mountain Time, but check local listings. I learned this morning that KUED, the PBS station originating from Salt Lake City, will push back its scheduled airing of this episode from 7 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m. to allow for the U.S. President’s prime-time address and the U.S. Democratic response, which will be covered by the PBS NewsHour.  

Episode 1 is titled, “Grandparents and Other Strangers—The Stories Encoded in Our DNA.”  It features Andy Samberg, a member of the comedy music group, Lonely Island (@thelonelyisland), and a former cast member of Saturday Night Live. It also features George R. R. Martin. Mr. Martin, (@GRRMspeaking), tweeted about this episode saying, “…I’m not the man I thought I was …” You might know his work The Game of Thrones, which was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2018.

The remaining episodes are themed as follows with their featured guests listed:

  • Episode 2: Mystery Men with Felicity Huffman and Michael K. Williams.
  • Episode 3: Reporting on Reporters—Truth Tellers with Christiane Amnapour, Ann Curry, and Lisa Ling.
  • Episode 4: Dreaming of a New Land (Between Worlds) with Marisa Tomei (Italian roots), Sheryl Sandberg (Russian roots), and Kal Penn (Indian roots).
  • Episode 5: Freedom Tales with S.Epatha Merkerson and Michael Strahan.
  • Episode 6: Roots in Politics with Paul Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marco Rubio.
  • Episode 7: No Laughing Matter with Seth Meyers, Tig Notaro, and Sarah Silverman.
  • Episode 8: Hard Times with Michael Moore, Laura Linney, and Chlöe Sevigny.
  • Episode 9: Eye of the Beholder with director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, artist Marina Abramović, and painter Kehinde Wiley.
  • Episode 10: All in the Family with Ty Burrel and Joe Madison.

The final episode will feature a summer camp for children that uses genetic genealogy. Check out Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings,filmed at Penn State University, and follow 13 youth explore their family histories. A curriculum for teachers is available to download and customize for their classrooms.

Additionally, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gave the keynote address at RootsTech 2018. It is still available to view at your leisure.

Until next time … All the best in the New Year!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador for RootsTech and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright ©2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

🎁 Merry Christmas from the Single Leaf!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! As this day is set aside to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, I am reminded of a quote by Reverend Frank W. Boreham:

We fancy that God can only manage His world by big battalions . . . when all the while He is doing it by beautiful babies. . . . When a wrong wants righting, or a work wants doing, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it. That is why, long, long ago, a babe was born at Bethlehem.[1]

As we study our ancestors lives, may we consider the big picture and the God-given purpose for which they were born. What was the context from which they were brought into this world and in which they lived? What were their childhoods like? Were they brought up in faith? If so, describe. What did faith mean to them and what does their faith mean to you? What opportunities for education did they receive? What did they really believe? What did they accomplish? Who did they influence? Were they happy or discouraged throughout their lives? How did they contribute to their society and to your future existence?

These are some questions to consider as we pursue our family history. Christmastime is an ideal time to consider the babe in Bethlehem and what He means to you and yours, past and present, and the heritage that we are passing on to our posterity.

As you consider the questions above, and additional questions that come to mind, please share them in the comments below. It may help someone else consider in more depth their ancestors’ lives and stories.

Wishing all of you the very best on this Christmas Day and always!

[1] Boreham, Frank W. (1919). Mountains in the mist some Australian reveries. (pp.169) Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Fallen Leaves of 2018

It’s the holiday season. Thanksgiving transitions to Christmas. Love begins to manifest in gift-giving as evidenced by my neighbors’ gifts upon my porch. I am grateful for my neighbors and, yes, I love them. Not for what they give, but because they’re part of my life. Life is much more meaningful when we’re in the day-to-day together.

Yet, returning from Thanksgiving, I had time to reflect upon those I’ve known that I won’t be seeing or hearing from this year. Maybe it’s just that my social circles have expanded, but 2018 has been such a year of loss.

Fallen leaves. Not all from my tree, but, nevertheless, connected like aspens. And, if not within the root system itself, from the heart. I could list each person by name, but their names may not be as meaningful to you as they are to me.

January 2018

The first notification I received of the passing of someone within my sphere was Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether or not you are a member of this particular Church, if you are involved in family history and genealogy, I hope you would recognize the sacrifices made by a century+ of leaders and members to collect records worldwide so that we may enjoy the plethora of information today in pursuit of our family trees. I had the privilege to stop by the Conference Center on a break from the Family History Library to pay my respects. It was a solemn experience.

The next passing occurred 3 days later on January 5th. This man was one of my genealogy students from over a decade ago but he and his wife stayed in touch. I had reconnected with them during the previous Fall when my son and I brought them some of our family’s signature cupcakes. My former student invited us to dinner after the holidays to “talk genealogy.” It never happened. His health began to decline soon after the exchange. I saw him once more at the local temple. With his memory failing, I was happy that he remembered my name. He gave me a hug and his hearing aid squeaked. We all laughed. It was a noise out of place in this quiet and reverent space. His funeral was insightful. The stories were inspiring. This humble man went about doing good, but no one knew the extent of his kindness and generosity. Quiet acts recounted, gathered at his funeral. History. Personal history. Family history. Community history. History. I recently sat down with his widow and she shared even more stories. The sacred kind. The kind that lift, bless, and testify that there is a God and, like Mother Teresa said, that demonstrated that we can be a pencil in God’s hands.

It seemed that the pattern of departures continued and each week I would hear of another that transitioned to the after life. It was enough for me to consider not answering my phone or engaging with social media.

Spring, then Summer

There was a reprieve in the Spring and early summer. There was still loss, just not as personal. The concept of death once again was placed in the abstract. It happens, just not today. But I had a nagging feeling.

Shortly upon my return from a summer trip, I was contacted by a woman I had met earlier in the year. I planned to write a story about her father and their family that was to be published in October. It was such a delight to meet them and learn about this family’s passion for aviation. Her note informed me that her father had unexpectedly passed away and asked if I would be willing to forward the photos I took for possible use at his memorial service. Upon review of the folder’s contents, I recognized how often this man avoided the camera. And, I, not to be intrusive, photographed the process, not the people. I did film the entire take down of the balloon, approximately 9 minutes. It’s not the best footage, but it was his last take down in this life. I am grateful to have met him. I have a photo that was taken of all of us, 3 generations plus me, in which I was invited to be included and almost declined. I’m so glad I didn’t. When I look at this photo, it brings me joy!

Probably the most difficult passing was of a family member who struggled with an infection that went undiagnosed. Three specialists. No answers. No treatment. She was still in the process of addressing her condition when she was found unconscious. She never awoke from her coma. Ironically, or a life lesson wrapped in tragedy, she died on the very day that in previous months I noted to myself to contact her. It was the day my schedule would “open up” and I would have the time. My comfort is in learning the stories of her final weeks, the quality of her friendships, and the desires of her heart. But, I missed something, or rather, I missed someone.

Do You Hear What I Hear

Last year, about this time, I failed to hear from a distant cousin I met through my genealogical research and who lived on the ancestral farm. I noticed. I waited thinking life may have caused delays. I never heard. Christmas day passed. New Year’s day came. As I looked through our cards I realized once again that we didn’t hear from him. I decided to call. I’m glad I did.

I discovered during the course of our conversation that his wife’s health required greater assistance. The move was a major life change. As he continued, he reminisced about life on the farm and how much he loved it! I had the pleasure of listening (and taking a few notes for the family history). A few weeks later I received a call. I answered. I anticipated my cousin’s voice in reply but it was his widow. He had passed. On the farm. Just like he wanted. And, the family lost another great storyteller.

As genealogists and family historians we are accustomed to seeking out our dead, yet let us not forget the living for time is finite. It seems it’s human nature to fail to reach out when life is too good, or too distracting, or more often, too challenging. When it’s challenging it is usually a matter of survival, or at least a matter of a more concentrated focus. Life happens to everyone, but this season I am reminded to be aware of those I do not hear from and those whom I do not see.

Last Monday night I had the opportunity to hear Paul Cardall perform at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center to welcome in the #LightTheWorld campaign. A heart transplant recipient, Paul shared his testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how he knows that all of us will be resurrected. For those who have lost loved ones, it can feel that any such promise cannot be fulfilled soon enough. This time of year can seem unbearable. #LightTheWorld is a reminder to reach out. Yes, let us not forget the living for time is finite for each of us.

© 2018. Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Food, Football, & Family History—It’s About Tradition

Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday in America with an estimated 54.3 million Americans expected to migrate, at least for the day, 50 miles or more this year!

Thanksgiving is known as the day of America’s greatest food consumption! Think turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie as the traditional game plan of the Thanksgiving banquet. Many families have other traditional favorites as well.

Football has also been a traditional favorite at this time of year. Whether it is a friendly game at a local field or watching one or more of the 3 NFL games offered throughout the day, it has become part of the holiday for many Americans. In addition, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest running days of the year with morning Turkey Trots offered throughout the nation!

So, what about family history? Tradition speak volumes and it is never too late to adopt or create a new tradition. As individuals, we determine what we carry forward and what we create. The Smithsonian Folklife & Oral History Interviewing Guide is a free resource available for download that offers tips on how to make the most of your family conversation to capture family history this holiday season. As mentioned in this publication, “[h]aving a clearly defined goal is key to conducting a successful interview.”

“Out of shared telling and remembering grow identity, connection, and pride, binding people to a place and to one another.”
—Tom Rankin, folklorist

One more way to connect with family about family history is to share a brief replay of a genealogy touchdown—that glorious moment when research came together, you entered your genealogy end zone, and you felt like spiking the ball in celebration (a.k.a., doing the genealogy happy dance as it has been described for generations). Share your excitement of this year’s discoveries and you might just recruit another team member. If not, maybe you’ll expand your cheer squad.

Food. Football. Family History. Touchdown!

For those traveling, may you travel safely. For those celebrating in the United States, have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday! For everyone reading this post, enjoy your day!

P. S. A Note of Thanks to all who entered to win the RootsTech 4-Day Pass Giveaway—Dr. Who Style. Congratulations to Christy!

There are still a number of RootsTech 2019 Pass Giveaways going on now. Check them out at ConferenceKeeper.org!

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

A Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pecan Pizookie — A Pizza-Cookie Recipe

A few Relative Race days ago, Joe Henline of Team Black asked on Twitter what snacks everyone would be enjoying for that day’s premiere. Our family has a tradition of baking pizookies each Relative Race night. A bit of interest was shown in the recipe, so here it is with a holiday twist:

Preheat oven to 400º F.

Whisk together in a bowl —
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Set aside.

In another bowl mix together —
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup white sugar
Add —
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 whole egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (or your own pumpkin puree)

Beat until creamy, then add —
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix in the dry ingredients.

Fold in —
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, and/or milk)
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Add 1/4 cup of mixture to each 1- or 2-cup ramekin, small baking dishes. Press down. Bake through until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add toppings as desired.

Yields about a dozen.

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech 2019 4-Day Pass Giveaway—Dr. Who Style

Just in case you did not know, the TARDIS is a fictional time machine & spacecraft that appears in the popular BBC television program Doctor Who.

It’s time for another RootsTech 2019 4-day pass giveaway! The RootsTech conference is scheduled to be held Wednesday, February 27 to Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. This is exciting news! But, did you know that in the midst of preparing ambassadors for Salt Lake, the RootsTech team announced that it is also traveling to London in the autumn of 2019? More exciting news! This link will allow you to sign up for exclusive deals and timely details.

This announcement, coupled with the recent experience I had when I received complimentary tickets to FanX (formerly Salt Lake Comic Con) to hear David Tennant—the 10th doctor of the BBC hit series Dr. Who—I couldn’t help but structure this giveaway around the thought of traveling in the blue box called the TARDIS. I actually look forward to a day when such travel can bridge the time warp and answer some of those really challenging family history and genealogy questions! [Wouldn’t it be an exciting announcement at a future RootsTech?]

Dr. Who is a transformative character that has been played by many. As a young boy the role became David Tennant’s aspiration. As an adult he actually won it! He said that the role was demanding and that it might not even be possible to accept today as a father to 4 young children. At FanX, in response to an audience member’s question about dealing with the demands of the business, Tennant said that he finds renewal in going home to his young family, because “ultimately that’s what it’s all about.” It sounds like the David Tennant family is making their own history, just like you, me and our families.

So this year to honor the RootsTech theme “Connect. Belong.” send me an email that describes the place and time period you would most like to explore if you were given the chance to travel via the TARDIS. It’s that simple.

As I’ve said before, there are 3 reasons I enjoy RootsTech:

  1. Keynote addresses from individuals whose life experiences and successes are varied. RootsTech has brought in speakers from the tech industry, the science community, the writer’s circle, the political realm, the entertainment industry, the sports arena, the bloggers’ sphere and, of course, the field of family history and genealogy. I have never been disappointed.
  2. RootsTech offers a customized learning opportunity with over 300 sessions from which choose. I’ve heard in the past individuals lamenting because there were too many choices and the participants were placed with the difficult task of choosing one favored session over another. The good news is that if a session fills quickly, there is always another quality session to attend.
  3. The Expo Hall provides the greatest gathering of organizations, societies, and vendors to explore the latest in the field of family history and genealogy. There’s the Demo Theater with presentations about some of the products on the floor and the Discovery Zone where interactive displays provide opportunities to come to know your heritage in fun and unique ways. Innovation Alley was introduced 3 years ago, highlighting new tech tools and products. The Heirloom Show and Tell is back, where you can bring a small item or a photo of a larger item and have an expert tell you more about its historical significance.

In addition to my initial 3 reasons, one cannot forget that the RootsTech venue, the Salt Palace Convention Center, is within walking distance of the Family History Library. Prepare now to access some of the greatest collections on earth that will help you find your ancestors! There are about 600 reference consultants and volunteers from all over the world on hand to provide helpful assistance at no cost to you.

This 4-day pass allows entrance to the daily keynote addresses, your choice of over 300 RootsTech sessions, entry into the Expo Hall, and all of the evening events. If you’d like to learn more about record access and preservation, it is important, at no additional cost, to pre-register for the Access and Preservation 2019 session to be held on Wednesday, February 27 from 8:00am-12:30pm. This event will be taught by working archivists and librarians. This 4-day pass does NOT include sponsored lunches, computer labs, transportation to or from the conference, lodging accommodations, meals, or any other expenses that you may incur.

Again, how do you enter this giveaway? It’s simple.

The RootsTech theme is “Connect. Belong.” and our family history pursuits provide opportunities to connect and belong to places and points in time throughout history. So send me an email that describes the place and time period you would most like to explore if you were given the chance to travel through time and space via the TARDIS. It’s that simple.

Submit entries via my Let’s Talk Family History page or share on Twitter by tagging me @thesingleleaf. Participants may submit more than one entry if the entries are submitted separately. Each entry is one chance to win. This contest is void where prohibited.

I ask your permission to include quotes from your entry in future posts. If your submission is used, proper attribution will be given. If you’d rather not be quoted in a future post or you would rather remain anonymous, please indicate in your submission. The more you enter, the greater your chance to win!

So, why wait? Send me a message via my Let’s Talk Family History page. Provide your name, email, and in the comment section describe the place and time period you would most like to explore if you had the opportunity to travel via the TARDIS. If you’re not interested in TARDIS travel, send me a description of one of your genealogy touchdowns, a.k.a., genealogy happy dance moments. Tis’ the season for genealogy football and another way to enter to win:

What is a genealogy touchdown?

In my opinion, there is no better way to connect with others about family history than to share a brief replay of a genealogy touchdown—that glorious moment when research came together, you entered your genealogy end zone, and you felt like spiking the ball in celebration (a.k.a., doing the genealogy happy dance as it has been described for generations). This option is open to all interested in family history and genealogy, including those who do not like football, but it is void where prohibited. Football terminology is not required and entries may be of any length. Submit entries via my Let’s Talk Family History page or share on Twitter by tagging me @thesingleleaf. Each entry is one chance to win. Participants may submit more than one entry if the entries are submitted separately.

I ask your permission to include quotes from your entry in future posts. If your submission is used, proper attribution will be given. If you’d rather not be quoted in a future post or you would rather remain anonymous, please indicate this with your submission. The more you enter, the greater your chance to win!

As mentioned, this contest is void where prohibited. Please remember that I will not use your email address for any purpose other than entering you into this contest and to notify you if you are the winner. The contest runs from Saturday, November 10, 2018 to Monday, November 19, 2018 at midnight MT. The winner will be notified Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by email. If you have already registered with RootsTech and your entry is drawn, RootsTech will reimbursed you for the full amount that you’ve prepaid.

Enter today! Good Luck! Hope to see you at RootsTech’19!

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2018 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.