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: 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.

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.

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.

Relative Race in Pursuit of the Genetic Family Tree

It’s a new season for Relative Race! The show premieres tonight, Sunday, September 16th at 7pm MT on BYUtv. Four new teams, new challenges, and new family connections will be discovered as teams enter a 10-day race for a $50,000 winner-takes-all prize.

As I have watched the show evolve through the seasons, I’ve considered the difference between the genealogical family tree and the genetic family tree. Relative Race addresses the latter. Your genealogy family tree encompasses all of your biological, legal, and/or adopted lineages. Your genetic family tree is a subset of your genealogical family tree. Not every cousin can be identified through genetic genealogy. After about 4-5 generations, a person may not receive a DNA inheritance from those back in time. This, of course, leads to a loss in connecting with those descendants through DNA testing results. Relative Race focuses on the most recent generations so autosomal DNA (atDNA) should catch them all. The paper trail, traditional genealogy, ultimately determines the actual relationship among the possibilities.

Relative Race uses AncestryDNA to identify family members found throughout the race. Unlike Season 1, genealogists are retained to verify the relationships discovered through DNA results by pursuing the paper trail.

As in the past, this season consists of 4 teams. The names have changed, but the colors remain the same:

  • Team Red consists of Mike Brown and Austen Williams, a father/daughter team whose goal is to find out more about Mike’s biological father for Austen’s children. In other words, one of the purposes of this journey is to connect Mike’s grandchildren to a paternal great grandfather. In this case, Mike’s the autosomal DNA test results will contain more of the information needed for Team Red to find that great grandfather they seek.
  • Team Green consists of Paris and Preshious Anderson, a married couple with 2 children ages 7 and 3 years. Their goal is to find the biological parents of Preshious, and any unknown relatives of Paris to make connections and win the $50,000 prize. Obviously, Preshious’ atDNA results will be key to finding her biological parents and Paris’ atDNA results will be crucial to finding any unknown genetic relatives on his side of the family. Depending on the disclosure agreement that may list known relatives, Team Green will be taking a journey of a lifetime! I don’t want to downplay the cash prize, but the legacy they discover for their children will be priceless.
  • Team Blue consists of Josh and Tiffany Lewis, a married couple of 4 years, who is on a quest to find Josh’s biological father with the focus on winning the $50,000. (They say that they can return to visit the newly discovered family after receiving the prize money.) Since each person receives approximately 50% of their DNA from their father, this is not necessarily a problem with a direct match. However, familial searching can be used to narrow down possible candidates. This team’s goal relies totally on the results of Josh’s DNA test results and the ability to master the challenges.
  • Team Black consists of Jerica and Joe Henline, siblings from Ohio, who are in this race for the fun of it! What did they get themselves into? Interestingly, the genetic family tree expands the possibilities of connecting with more cousins because Jerica and Joe have received a different DNA inheritance from each of their parents.

DNA is a valuable, even indispensable, type of evidence in discovering one’s family tree. But, on the eve of the premiere of season 4 of Relative Race, I like to remind myself that DNA inheritance is not the whole story, just a part of the amazing journey called LIFE!

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

Family History and Genealogy—It’s No Fun

Family history and genealogy are popular pursuits. So is football. The combination is my game. It can be fun and entertaining, but it’s never fun to be sidelined and that is where I’ve been for the past 3.5 years. It’s the injury that’s no fun. You may have seen me at RootsTech, but I haven’t made it to an Institute. I’ve written some, but not enough. I’ve tweeted, but rarely posted to Facebook or Instagram. And, forget Pinterest. It’s been a long recovery. If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen me at my best.

I set a goal to publish today and it seemed an appropriate segue to highlight Extreme Genes, hosted by Scott, or Scotty, Fisher.* This week Fisher hosted two segments with NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2005 recipient Steve Young about his book, QB: My Life Behind the Spiral. Young shared his journey about writing his personal history, which, of course, expands into family and NFL history. Young’s intention was never to publish his memoir for general consumption, but to counter a taunting narrative by his young son’s classmates. (Maybe taunting is too strong of a word, but I’ve taught elementary school and the social interactions among children can be brutal.)

Young enlisted a friend’s help to write this history, who then produced a manuscript for Young in chapter form. With Young’s permission those chapters were shared with others and Young was persuaded to go public. He acquiesced when he realized that his battle with anxiety could serve some purpose. It could possibly help others in their struggles. I encourage you to listen to this episode of Extreme Genes to learn more and to discover the epiphany Young had on air. It’s an unintentional well-kept secret among family historians.

On a personal note, I met up with Young at a local book signing in 2016 when his volume was first released. It wasn’t my intention, but serendipity has its way. As the Single Leaf, I’m always interested in a good memoir or biography. Besides, Young is a part of the Broderick family’s history. (Although the scene I’m about to share never made it into his book, it’s one of my favorites.)

“Love them dwags!”

While at a local golf event, Young was sitting alone in his cart chowing down on what would now be known as a JDawg in Cougar Country (a.k.a., BYU and Utah Valley). As I was walking by with my two young children, Young said in a declarative voice, “Love them dwags!” and my little one dropped to her hands and knees and began to bark. Okay, she was only 5 years old so it was absolutely adorable! Hopefully you can see why this story is part of our family’s history … lol :-)

Are we related?

Scott Fisher mentioned that he and Young are cousins. It provoked me this week to explore Relative Finder, a program that can delineate one’s relationship to traditionally notable people in history to the degree that FamilySearch Family Tree is accurate. According to the results, I’m related to Young as well, so does that mean that Fisher and I are cousins? Who knew?

It’s Time to Renew Your Commitment to Family History and Genealogy

As the regular NFL season begins tonight, it is my hope that you will also make family history and genealogy your game this season! Steve Young once said,

“Football is a unique sport. There is no statistic, touchdown, or passing yard that is achieved by a single person.”

The same is true for family history and genealogy. Let’s talk about it this season!

As a side note, first to call RootsTech the “largest coaching conference in the game,” I am once again a RootsTech ambassador for the 2019 season. I will be giving away a 4-day pass in the coming months. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss the opportunity to enter and win!

Cheering you on from the bleachers!

*Scott Fisher has never asked me to highlight his podcast, but then again, we’re family. :-)

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

Surname Series Published on the RootsTech Blog

This past Friday RootsTech began publishing my three-part series about surnames, surname distribution maps, and where to find surname distribution maps online. Since I’ve been a bit preoccupied with spring activities, including a photo op with these cute creatures, I thought I’d share the link to part 1 of the series titled, “What is a Surname?

The Calico Kid

Ole Blue Eyes

Such a good mother to her 3-day old kid.

This Kid Has Attitude!

“Here’s looking at you, kid!”

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

RootsTech 2018: “Connect. Belong.” Another Year in the Books.

Dalton and Caitlin are cousins who live on different continents but converge at RootsTech!

As a genealogy technology conference, RootsTech 2018, with live-streaming, social media interaction, and a global emphasis, delivered once again. The theme was “Connect. Belong.” and from many accounts this is exactly what happened as we close the book on another year.

“Relatives at RootsTech” was a big hit with attendees connecting with many cousins! The success of the app depended on how deeply an attendee was connected to the FamilySearch Family Tree so while some had a plethora of cousins, others had none. A few that thought that they would not find any cousins, found at least one or two. Some messages were sent, some contact information was exchanged, some screen shots were captured for later consideration. “Relatives at RootsTech” was a benefit for those in attendance, but the program upon which it is based, Relatives Around Me, is a relatively new feature on the FamilySearch Family Tree app that you may want to experiment with at your next genealogy event or maybe just at a neighborhood gathering. There is one caveat—the results are only as accurate as the FamilySearch Family Tree.

For those #NotAtRootsTech, I am starting to see posts containing photos of items won by virtual attendees. The #NotAtRootsTech experience may not be the same, but it is the next best thing to being at the conference. For those who missed the live-streamed sessions, they’re now available at RootsTech.org. Other sessions were recorded, but not live-streamed, and are also available.

As I mentioned in a post leading up to RootsTech, attending this conference can be overwhelming. There is so much to hear, see, and do. It is impossible to do it all. Knowing your “why” for attending can make all the difference. It is a strategy that I use each year and it works. I have never been disappointed.

One of my goals this year was to connect with my genealogy community of friends—the ones who share a passion for family history, love to hear the latest ancestral stories, and brainstorm ways to break down brick walls. Many of us know each other online but we’ve never met in person. It can be quite humorous to see someone and remember their handle but not their name. Jenna Mills, a.k.a., @SeekingSurnames, suggested that I wear my trademark as a mask so that I would be easily recognized. I never thought about it before, but it could be fun. Maybe next year. :-)

Since I am the self-proclaimed “Human in Salt Lake City Reporting on RootsTech,” I would like to introduce you to some of those in attendance this year:

What would a genealogy conference be without at tree? Seriously, I met RootsFinder in 2017, but this year I insisted on a photo capturing his roots. Look around on social media and you will find that most photographs cut off his roots. This is totally contrary to the purpose of a conference like RootsTech. :-/

When I caught up with Scott Fisher, of @ExtremeGenes, and Judy Russell, a.k.a., @legalgen, they were discussing their plans for the Innovation Showcase. I may have overheard a word or two about the predictions but I was sworn to secrecy.

I connected with Hilary, a.k.a., @Genemeet, Cheri Hudson Passey, a.k.a., @CarolinaGirlGen, Marie, a.k.a., @histfamilles, and Melanie, a.k.a, @ShamrockGen at the Media Dinner. We welcomed Melanie as a new RootsTech Ambassador this year!

It is great to schedule time to sit and chat. This particular chat included Cheri, @JasonHewlett, who is incredibly entertaining and MC’ed RootsTech, and @LauraLHedgecock. Cheri and Laura are also on the board for the @GeneaBloggersTribe.

I also connected with Angie, a.k.a., @arodesky, and Ruth, a.k.a @PassionateGenea, at the @Living_DNA booth. Living DNA was a platinum sponsor this year with announcements that included an incredible conference price and an upcoming feature, Family Networks, using DNA results, gender, and birthdate to populate the family tree. Angie is a Living DNA U.S. ambassador. Ruth is the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference Program Chair this year. The conference will be held June 1-3, 2018 in Guelph, Ontario.

One of the wonderful aspects of RootsTech is that it attracts family historians from all 50 of the United States as well as 42 countries this year. @JennyAJoyce, from Australia, brought Jaffas to share. Thank you, Jenny! Yum!

Although we’ve had plenty of interaction on Twitter, this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Jenna, a.k.a., @SeekingSurnames (and a @Chiefs and @Royals fan), and Beth, @BGWylie. Just an FYI, #genchat will be held tonight on Twitter at 8 p.m. MT. Follow the hashtag and @_genchat, too! Join us!

Long over due, I finally connected with my good friend True Lewis, a.k.a., @MyTrueRoots. True is a former U.S. Army Veteran and co-host of @BlackProGen.

Unlike those who blog or who are active on social media, Debbie and Glen serve as writers for FamilySearch. They also double as bouncers for the Media Hub so when I took this photo they had their eye on someone. Glen’s most recent post for the FamilySearch Newsroom is titled, “Quest to Find the Painting of the Ship Brooklyn.”

When I was sitting by Ellen, I had no idea who she was! But then as we began to talk I realized that we were Twitter friends. Meet the Family History Hound! She a “Hound on the Hunt” and she doesn’t want you to “bark up the wrong tree”.

Marian Pierre-Louis attended RootsTech for the first time this year! I know Marian from her blog, Marian’s Roots & Rambles, the fact that she solved Geoff Rasmussen’s “Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown’s Parents” and as a current host of Legacy Family Tree Webinars. It was great to connect!

Michelle, @SoSleuth, and I met back in 2015 when she was an ambassador for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference held in Salt Lake City in conjunction with RootsTech. It was great to see her again. Meeting up at conferences is like a family reunion. This year RootsTech was on its way to verifying this simile as fact with “Relatives At RootsTech.” I may not be related to Michelle by DNA, but I claim her as family anyway!

In the final hours of the conference I was wrapping up the conference with these wonderful women: @MichelleGoodrum, Tierra Kellow, a.k.a. @Pressingback, @AmyJohnsonCrow, Lara Diamond, @larasgenealogy, and Kenyatta Berry, @kenyatadb. Although I can name the year that I connected with each of these women, whether an old acquaintance or new, the important fact is that we each belong to the family history and genealogy community. :-)

And, where would we be without the RootsTech team! They work hard each year to put together this conference, striving to improve that which needs improvement. The 2018 statistics are in and there were 17,210 registrations, 111,699 unique live-stream views, 38,288 unique households that watched the live stream, 125 unique countries that watched the live stream, 11,237 tweets using #RootsTech, and over 26,000 Family Discovery Day participants!

Participants could not help but be aware of some of the challenges this team faced this year with the changes and growth, but they’re on it! They’re working toward a better onsite and virtual experience for everyone next year! RootsTech will be held February 27-March 2, 2019 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Early bird registration will open September 2018. Hope to see you at RootsTech 2019!

FYI: I have identified Twitter handles for many that I mention in this post, but the highlighted handles are linked to their respective blogs or other relevant information.

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.”

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