Ancestors: How did they live? Who did they love? What did they learn?

Three questions. Three questions that Steve Rockwood, CEO at FamilySearch International, asked in his closing remarks at RootsTech Connect. How did your ancestors live? Who did they love? And, what did they learn? This is the expanded vision at FamilySearch as this work continues to go forward. The organization is committed to assisting people, using its combined resources, in transforming the name of an ancestor into real person. A pinch. A dash. Voilà! The real story.

Rockwood shared that FamilySearch has helped people make connections to their ancestors for over 125 years, but he believes that this is only one-third of its mission. Past, present, and future, FamilySearch seeks to connect each person to a record and the records to each other to create one family tree. One family. He says it’s “all about stories.” 

In 2016, Rockwood compared genealogists and family historians to heart specialists. You can read about it here and here.  In this session he suggests that those involved in this work can turn, change, and heal hearts by exploring the questions in the title of this post as they pertain to our ancestors:

How did our ancestors live?

Who did our ancestors love?

What did our ancestors learn?

I might add that we ask ourselves:

How do we live?

Who do we love?

What are we learning?

We might also want to look to our posterity and ask:

How will they live?

Who will they love?

What will they learn?

Steve Rockwood went on to say, “Your real story matters. Your story deserves to be remembered. It’s your story that has lasting value.” 

Do you agree?

During RootsTech Connect I checked out the mosaic—a family portrait of attendees. When I zoomed out, I saw an artistic rendition of a world map. When I zoomed in, I saw individual portraits of friends, colleagues, and people I’ve never met. We make up the world. We each have a story. Since our stories make up our world, let’s assist one another and write some good ones, you know, ones with happy endings! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador and compensated speaker at  RootsTech Connect. 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.”

© 2021 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over—RootsTech Connect

The last few days over one million attendees from over 200 countries and territories attended RootsTech Connect! This portion of the conference was LIVE with speakers and vendors available to chat with attendees about their topics or products. There were also a few live Zoom events that took place. Thanks to the Connection-Experiment’s Desktop Diner, and based on one of my presentations, I added an item to the menu of breakout rooms, “Eat Your Vegetables—Ethical Considerations.” I realize this topic might not be fun nor entertaining, but it is foundational to all credible family history research.

At one point #RootsTechConnect was trending on social media channels. Old friends were reconnecting while those new, about 89% of the conference, were making connections for the first time. Relatives at RootsTech was a popular activity. So many cousins, so little time! Many focused on the keynote sessions. These are now recorded and available for viewing. Paul Chiddicks, author of the blog, The Chiddicks Family Tree, shared in his review of the conference and a very tender moment made possible by technology introduced at the conference. Check it out! If you want to be part of the genealogy Twitter universe, follow Paul @chiddickstree. He’s one of the best!

Since there are more than 800 25-or-less minute sessions available for viewing this next year, there is still time to register for a Family Search account. Just follow the prompts from the RootsTech.org website. You will need an account to create a personal playlist. Chat will also be available until later this week.

For an account, here’s the process once you arrive at the website and click Sign In. You’ll be redirected to the second screen. Once there select “Create a Free Account” and you’ll be on your way to a year’s worth of free educational and industry content. Don’t forget to read the terms of use or the privacy notice. If you choose not to register for an account, you can still enjoy the sessions with limitations.

In closing, I would like to share a post written by fellow ambassador and speaker, Taralyn Parker. She had this to say about RootsTech Connect on Instagram. I hope it resonates with you as it did with me:

We have to give ourselves permission to do the parts of family history that we love. What speaks to you? What tugs at your heartstrings? Lean into it and don’t worry about fitting into someone else’s mold. The family history community needs you because we are literally all part of the human family. We need each other’s stories, skills, memories, research abilities, photos, and expertise. We need a shoulder to cry on when the past is painful. We need a cheering section when a brick wall comes tumbling down. We need each other. The work and joy of family history cannot be completed alone. Whether you are just starting to explore or you have been carrying the genealogical torch for years, there is room at the table for you. I’m grateful for the acceptance I have found with my quirky love of research and social media savvy skills. Inviting you to link arms with me so we can learn and share together. Please save and share if this speaks to you! What parts of family history are you leaning into after @rootstechofficial?

So, what are you leaning into after RootsTech Connect? Who did you connect with? What did you experience?

Finally, I’d like to give a shoutout to RootsTech, FamilySearch International, and the sponsors of this year’s global conference! It truly is amazing what has been accomplished in such a short period of time!

THANK YOU!!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador and compensated speaker at  RootsTech Connect. 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.”

© 2021 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech Connect Begins February 24th–25th Depending on Your Time Zone!

The RootsTech team began with one goal: to bring joy to all people. After ten years of exponential growth in the genealogical community, the team was required to cancel plans for in-person events in London and Salt Lake City due to the pandemic. But, this did not stop them.

Thanks to technology, the 4-pillar RootsTech plan became RootsTech Connect—a virtual, interactive conference with lasting opportunities. In fact, the opportunities will last for at least one full year!

This global event has local offerings with keynote speakers from around the world sharing their messages around the clock. Sports, music, theatre, and inspiration will speak from the Main Stage at RootsTech.org. All of this will begin on Wednesday, February 24th or Thursday, February 25th, depending on your time zone. If you are in Salt Lake City, this means that the festivities begin Wednesday at 5 p.m. MT with the Expo Hall preview while sessions will be launched at 9 p.m. in the same time zone. If you are in London the Expo Hall opens just as Wednesday turns into Thursday with sessions launching at 4 a.m. On Thursday in Sydney, sessions launch at 3 p.m. with the Expo Hall opening for review at 11 a.m. that same day! (See schedule below.)

If the time zones don’t confuse you just a bit, how about the fact that eleven languages will be engaged, plus additional languages for other learning opportunities. Specifics will be provided on the website when RootsTech Connect launches.

As of meetings held this week, RootsTech Connect is approaching 325,000 total registrants from almost 225 countries and territories! Approximately 90% of those registered will be attending for the first time. The good news is that there is room for more to join. If you haven’t already done so, register! (After you finish reading this post, of course!)

A sneak peek at the website indicates that all registrants will be treated to a global educational experience. There are 746 sessions and 280 vignettes with tips and tricks to assist you in accomplishing your family history goals. Not sure what to watch first? Look for the Guide Me instructions on the website.

RootsTech is all about connection. From its earliest days “unconferencing”, informal meetups to discuss aspects of genealogy, happened. The RootsTech team found a way to make it happen virtually. There will be chat rooms for each session. All you will need to do is click Connect on the session you watched to leave your question or comment. Speakers will visit chat rooms to answer questions and discuss the topic for the duration of the conference. You will be able to communicate with other attendees, exhibitors, and cousins, if you are participating in Relatives at RootsTech. These opportunities will disappear after the conference so plan your schedule accordingly.

Registration now requires that you create a FamilySearch account. If you have an account or register for an account, you will have the opportunity to create a playlist, chat with speakers, exhibitors, and other attendees, and participate in Relatives at RootsTech. For the latter opportunity, you must also upload or input your family tree. You are not required to provide a family tree to register for an account. If you’re new to genealogy, you just might not have one.

It is important to note that even if someone at RootsTech does NOT show up on your Relatives at RootsTech list, they might still be your relative. This is an opt-in system that requires a person to have a tree. Also, errors exist and not all parent-child relationships are verified, so your connection is only as accurate as that branch on the FamilySearch FamilyTree.

Regardless, always read the terms of service and other policies. Although you would be limited without an account, you will still be able to view the main stage, the sessions and the Expo Hall.

The RootsTech team began with one goal: to bring joy to all people.

Let me know how RootsTech Connect brings joy to YOU!

Wishing you all the best!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador and compensated speaker at  RootsTech Connect. 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.”

© 2021 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

International Greek Ancestry Conference is this Weekend—And, It’s Free!

When I saw the program for this week’s International Greek Ancestry Conference, I just had to share this great opportunity. If you and/or someone you know have Greek heritage, this conference is for you! No registration is required. Check out the details below:

A free, virtual genealogy conference sponsored by Greek Ancestry and Hellenic Genealogy Geek will be presented on January 29-31. The conference will be live-streamed and recorded on the Greek Ancestry YouTube channel. No registration is needed; just click on the YouTube link to participate.

The purpose of this conference is to share information that will be relevant to both beginning and advanced researchers which will assist them in their quest to learn more about their family history.  Our sessions are presented by professional historians as well as seasoned genealogy researchers who have volunteered their time to share their expertise and knowledge.

The Greek Ancestry website has details on the presenters and sesssions. Please click on this Conference page link to access.

The agenda for the conference is below. All times given are Eastern Standard Time. The international times for each session are on the second half of the document.

If you already have plans for this weekend, don’t be disappointed! All sessions will be recorded and placed on the Greek Ancestry YouTube channel. Enjoy!

 

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech—Making & Changing History

RootsTech. It’s always been a different kind of genealogy conference. These past days we’ve celebrated the last ten years and how RootsTech has influenced changes in the genealogy industry. Yesterday we heard from David Hume Kennerly—how “photographing people in the act of being themselves” makes and changes history. He shared his adventures in photography—the story of him—and the power of photography in our lives. Kennerly is optimistic about the future although he has seen life in the trenches. You can watch his keynote address at RootsTech.org.

The power of photography is something that all of you use in your research, it really is able to move mountains. —David Hume Kennerly

Today Emmitt Smith will join us at RootsTech. You can watch it live at RootsTech.org. Here is a list of the other sessions live-streamed at a glance:

I’ve got to run! It’s the final day at RootsTech! Emmitt Smith will be there and, for someone who loves genealogy football, you know it will be a great day!  If you can’t be there, be sure to catch his remarks on the live-stream. Conflict in schedule? You’ll be able to catch it on-demand as early as tonight. Whatever you do, make it a great 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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Turn Around—Two Words That Have Changed Many Lives

Yesterday Leigh Anne Tuohy gave an inspirational keynote on the RootsTech main stage.  Her story made some of us laugh and some of us cry. Some of us laughed and cried. She was so gracious in her presentation and she was most gracious when she first met Henry the Sleuth!

“Turn around”—two words that altered Leigh Anne and her family’s life. Those words brought Micheal Oher into her family and made the difference that inspired the movie, The Blind Side, through a series of miracles.

She praised the audience for the genealogical research that they do to help others find family. She encouraged the audience to “Write [their] story.” RootsTech has posted the recording. I highly recommend it for your viewing.

Today’s live-stream sessions at a glance are as follows:

This is brief. More to come. It’s Friday! Two more days of this fabulous conference! Whatever your plans, have a wonderful 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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech Celebrates 10 Years!

Yesterday was the first day of RootsTech 2020. Sessions were held as early as 8 a.m. and the keynote address was delivered in the afternoon. It was no surprise that we would reminisce about the first ten years. “The idea of a technologist getting together with a genealogist is the reason RootsTech is here today,” said Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. “Family history is continuously being written. Your story matters. We don’t just study family history. We live family history.” If you missed the #RootsTech10 Years celebration and Steve Rockwood’s keynote address, it is now available at RootsTech.org.

It’s another day of live-streamed sessions. Just log on to RootsTech.org.Also, if you love Relative Race, and you are at the Salt Palace Convention Center, you’ll want to catch the Relative Race session at 1:30 p.m. TODAY in Ballroom B! You may also like the Relative Race challenge offered in the Expo Hall. There’s some great swag for those who complete this challenge.

Jenna Mills, a.k.a. Seeking Surnames, found me in the Media Hub. It’s time for #GenChat photos! There are new signs, so no #GenChat attendee will get away with an old photo. (Using an old photo is kind of like some women in the U.S. Federal Census—they get younger than ten each census year!)

It’s great to catch up with friends and make new ones. Jenna and I met at RootsTech in person a couple of years ago, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Diana Richie. Connect. Belong. at RootsTech. Here they displayed their signed copies of Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s mystery novels. Have you read them?

Besides Nathan and many other vendors in the Expo Hall, you can record “The Story of You” just like the segments shown in the opening keynote address. Once your story is filmed, it is sent to you via email as a keepsake.

Finally, at the end of the day, interviews began in the Media Hub. First up was Thom Reed from FamilySearch. Thom has been active in promoting Black History Month. You can read more about it here.

 I do my best to follow what’s happening on social media during the conference and on Twitter it was mentioned that “#NotAtRootsTech FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) was “currently happening.” I could only reply that even if you are at RootsTech, there is so much going on that a person still might suffer FOMO! RootsTech: Truly amazing! Potentially overwhelming! Very rewarding! (Or, would “exhausting” be a more accurate term?)

With day one in the books, this post may be an example of the potpourri of activity going on at RootsTech. It’s onto Day 2!

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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready or Not, It’s Time for RootsTech 2020

RootsTech 2020 is underway at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s an amazing conference whether you are onsite or participating remotely. This year’s theme is “The Story of You” and last night Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, encouraged those of us in attendance at the media dinner to tell not only ancestor stories but our own.

This is my tenth year at RootsTech and Henry the Sleuth joins me for the first time. He has already met a friend, #MiniTGS. It is just one example of RootsTech’s tagline, “Connect. Belong.” There are a lot of people to meet in the next four days. Participants are coming from 49 of the United States and 55 countries!

RootsTech is a fast-paced conference so I will be communicating mostly in photos on this blog. I post to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @thesingleleaf, so follow me for the latest updates. Follow the hashtags #RootsTech and #RootsTech10Years on social media to hear from all of the RootsTech ambassadors.

Today’s live-streaming schedule is as follows. Just log on to RootsTech.org and you’ll be virtually onsite. It’s a great opportunity to expand your genealogical education. Don’t forget to download the RootsTech app for access to all of the handouts.

There is always someone who can offer assistance at the Help Desk. In addition, there are people in RootsTech “Ask Me Anything” turquoise t-shirts and the RootsTech Crew ruby t-shirts who can provide just about anything you need.

Don’t miss Steve Rockwood’s keynote address as he highlights #RootsTech10Years and delivers an important announcement.

The Expo Hall opens at 5:30 p.m. tonight right after the keynote address.

RootsTech knows how to make the best of a situation. With the south end of the Salt Palace under construction, they’ve had to make accommodations since the former restrooms are out of order. I took the “toilet quiz.” It says I’m a “Modern Toilet.” Ha! Ha! An essential piece of information to include in “The Story of Me.”

It’s on to day one of RootsTech 2020! If you can’t view the live-streaming today, RootsTech will be posting the sessions on the website for later viewing. Enjoy your 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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

#RootsTech10Years: a Compendium of Content

RootsTech is a family history, genealogy, storytelling, technology conference hosted by FamilySearch International each of the past nine years at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has become the premiere event in the industry and a big family reunion. It attracts people from all, or almost all, 50 United States and dozens of countries. In honor of this year’s #RootsTech10Years celebration, I created a page listing a compendium of RootsTech content. It’s always convenient to have material available all in one place.

This year is destined to the best yet as RootsTech will host a look back from the beginning and host keynote speakers: Leigh Anne Tuohy, David Hume Kennerly, and Emmitt Smith. It seems like RootsTech organized this year’s event perfectly for my game—genealogy football!

There is still time to register for onsite attendance and/or register for the virtual pass which will provide delayed recorded sessions for the coming year! In addition, there is always live-streaming of keynote and other sessions of the conference. Unfortunately, I have confirmed that the entertainment portion of the conference, Ryan Hamilton on Friday night, will not be live-streamed or recorded for later viewing.

RootsTech has helped people make many family connections and find relatives around them right at this event. In the process it has supported an environment in which many people have formed lasting friendships and helped propel the genealogy community into the global sphere. This year’s theme is “The Story of You” and complements my essay, The Story of the Single Leaf. Won’t you join us for this epic event?

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.”

© 2020 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

‘Tis the Season for RootsTech 2020 Giveaways

Don’t let the photo deter you from entering… Read on! This post is friendly to all!

‘Tis the season for RootsTech 2020 4-Day Pass Giveaways and I may have one just for you! The pass retails at $299, but you can currently register for $169 using the promo code HOLIDAY. If you win a RootsTech giveaway RootsTech will reimburse you. If not, you have a discounted pass to attend this amazing conference.

The RootsTech conference is scheduled for Wednesday, February 26 to Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. This year’s theme is “The Story of You.”

As I’ve mentioned, there are three 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. This year RootsTech has announced that David Hume Kennerly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, will keynote Friday’s session. Additional announcements are forthcoming.  
  1. RootsTech offers a customized learning experience 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.
  1. 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 15-minute presentations about some of the products on the floor. Also, new this year RootsTech will host a large enclosed classroom in the Expo Hall with scheduled in-depth sessions on some of the products and services offered by sponsors and vendors. The Discovery Zone will still offer interactive displays that provide opportunities to come to know your heritage in fun and unique ways. 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. And, as requested by past participants, this year there will be more dedicated hours for participants to survey and engage with what is happening in the Expo Hall.   

In addition to my initial three 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. This 4-day pass does NOT include sponsored lunches or Lunch & Learn sessions, computer labs, transportation, lodging accommodations, meals, or any other expenses that you may incur.

So, how do you enter this giveaway? Tis the season for genealogy football!

Share one of your genealogy touchdowns OR share your prediction(s) for what NFL teams will make it to the Super Bowl!  

What is a genealogy touchdown?

A genealogy touchdown—that glorious moment when research comes together and you feel 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. 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(ies) 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 to notify you if you are the winner. The contest runs from now until to Monday, December 23, 2019 at midnight MT. The winner will be notified by Monday, December 30, 2019 by email. As mentioned before, if you have already registered with RootsTech and you win, RootsTech will reimbursed you for the full amount that you’ve prepaid.

Enter today! Good Luck! Hope to see you at RootsTech 2020!

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.”

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