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.

BYU Forum With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a favorite PBS show among genealogists and family historians. The show chronicles the ancestry of many noted Americans and brings historical context to these ancestral stories. At the end of the show Professor Gates provides each of his guests with an ancestral chart and a Book of Life. We were fortunate when Professor Gates gave the keynote address at RootsTech in 2018. He received a standing ovation for his remarks. I was fortunate once again this week when I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a BYU Forum.

His lecture was titled, “Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow.” He began by saying that, “I love being in Utah. I love being in Salt Lake City because I love genealogy.” He also shared a preview of the upcoming 6th season of Finding Your Roots. In the local market, the first two of 16 episodes have already aired. The remaining episodes resume January 2020. He mentioned that Nancy Pelosi is one of the guests and quickly add that Mitt Romney will be featured in the 7th season, stressing that PBS is bipartisan. 

He recounted the reconstruction period and the pushback freed black men experienced, including high fees to exercise their right to vote and the abhorrent act of lynching. He said we must address “the past that haunts our present” and enlightened the audience about the necessity of the civil rights movement. 

Henry the Sleuth, my plush associate, had the honor to meet Professor Gates after the forum.

He observed that history is repeating itself once again and that as a people we need to be vigilant about protecting our rights. “Now it’s time to change the narrative. History repeats itself only if we let it.”

 Once he shared his prepared remarks, students were given the opportunity to ask questions of this accomplished educator, author, and Emmy award-winning filmmaker. Only a handful of students were able to ask questions because of limited time, but here is what I was able to capture from Professor Gates’ responses to specific questions:

Dr. Gates recommends reparations in the form of affirmative action. He believes that “guilt is not inherited”, but “social issues have a traumatic effect.” He encourages leveling the playing field and providing equal opportunity. He suggested that, as a nation, we should provide an equal amount of money spent per child for education eliminating rich and poor districts. He reminded the audience there was a time when if you obeyed the law and worked hard your children would do better in life, but it’s “not true anymore.” 

He believes that “every woman, no matter race, has benefited from affirmative action.” He encouraged that we “be vigilant about the Supreme Court. Pressure the court to defend the rights of the individual.”

His call to action is, “We must suppress white supremacy whenever it rears its ugly head.” In context he acknowledge that white supremacy is not related to skin color as much as it is an attitude. 

He said, “Racism is racism…if you say bad things about people and characterize them as a group, that’s racism.”

Henry the Sleuth shares a sweet moment with Professor Gates after the forum.

“We have to fight racism whether it’s coming out of the mouth of a white person or black person.”

“We all come from the same pie. We all come from Africa. Mormons are big genealogists…Do that tree back 50,000 years ago, everybody would look like Michael Jordan walking around here.”

“Racism and oppression were not invented in America. It is enormously complicated.” 

“Be honest about the past, admitting it [racism] was wrong and ugly in the sight of God.”

“Talk about it [the past].”

“Be open to it [concerns and conversations about the past].”

“Confession is very powerful.”

“We all have to be aware we have blind spots.”

Professor Gates suggested that oppression is economically motivated. “Every society has demonized someone else within that society for economic reasons.” Then he asked, “Who is going to have access to the pie? What happens when there’s only one piece of pie?”

I appreciate his remarks and provoking the conversation. War, law, and social history played out through the individual and collective lives of our ancestors. This period of history affected every ancestor who lived through the Civil War and every generation since that time.

Genealogists and family historians must avoid presentism and glean insight through understanding the time period while also addressing the impact of past actions on the struggles of the current day.

Which of your ancestors were alive and involved during this period of time? What records are available to recount their experiences? What you can learn about them? What can you learn from them?

© 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 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.

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.

RootsTech: An Olympic Feat in Family History & Genealogy

For those of you #NotAtRootsTech I thought I’d share with you that I’m hearing from your #RootsTech friends and colleagues that they’re exhausted and we just finished day 2! It reminds me that a 4-day conference is a marathon and that pacing is everything!

Today Scott Hamilton will keynote the General Session. Scott Hamilton is a 1984 Olympic champion winning gold in figure skating. He is also a broadcaster, cancer survivor, and the author of the book, Finish First.

Before Scott speaks, Dan J. Debenham, host of the BYUtv show Relative Race, will surprise us ??? I don’t know. Dan said Tuesday night at the Media Dinner that his is a small part of the General Session.

Afterwards I would recommend that those at RootsTech stop by the Relative Race booth to complete a challenge, take a photo, and then post it to social media with the hashtag #RelativeRace. You will have already won a prize. :-)

Today’s RootsTech live-streaming schedule is as follows:As far as Thursday’s RootsTech activity, here are some of the highlights I captured:

In the photo above is the first photo Brandon Stanton sold to a friend for $300 to have enough cash to move to New York. How much do you think this photo is worth now? Moral of the story: invest in friends and friendship.

David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, introduced Brandon to some of his ancestors. It is said about his ancestor,

Men of this type are rare in any city and the future of Green Bay will be promoted as a result of the life and work of William Perry Wagner.

It was said of Gilbert Huson,

[He] is a wide-awake young business man, identified with whatever promises to be of the advantage to the community in which he lives. He is well and favorably known …as an honorable and upright man.

After the General Session, RootsTech ambassadors met with Brandon. Here is Cheri Hudson Passey taking a photo that includes Maureen Taylor, Amy Johnson Crow, Caitlyn Gow, Brandon Stanton, Sharn White, Diana Elder, Nicole Dyer, and Amy Archibald.

A photographer was catching Brandon in an off-camera moment, and I captured that moment. :-)

This is a t-shirt by Living DNA. Are you your ancestors’ wildest dreams?

Later in the day I had the opportunity to interview Jason Hewlett with my friends and colleagues Cheri Hudson Passey and Laura Hedgecock. There is more to come about this interview. Until then check out Jason’s site.

Yesterday Jason Hewlett sang “Sherry” and I posted a picture of Cheri on Instagram and Twitter. Today I captured them in a photo together.

RootsTech has a lot to offer. Passes are still available and an exclusive pass to the Expo Hall is available for $10 onsite. With all that RootsTech has to offer, it would be impossible to see, hear, and do it all! Come to the Salt Palace Convention Center and see for yourself!

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.

The Relative Race Continues … On BYUtv

Have you heard? Relative Race continues on BYUtv one week from tonight, March 4th at 7 p.m. MST, with a 90-minute premiere and our family could not be more excited!

What is Relative Race?
Once compared to the award-winning television show Amazing Race, Relative Race has become popular in its own right. The show uses DNA to identify and connect each team to a trail of 10 of their living relatives discovered through this process. Each new relative has something to share as the teams race to a final destination for the $50,000 prize. Of course, each team wins by gaining the knowledge and relationships of these new found or confirmed relationships.

Relative Race previewed their show at RootsTech 2016. I had the opportunity at that time to sit down with the Relative Race team and discuss the premise of the show. As Dan J. Debenham outlined the specifics, I was surprised to learn that each couple would stay the night at the home of the new found relative. What Dan did not reveal was that one couple in particular would have a difficult time having Season 1’s Team Red stay the night. When that particular episode debuted, viewers were left asking, what? As an audience we had the opportunity to get to know Team Red through a number of episodes. Our omniscient view left us wondering why. Since I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen Relative Race Season 1, I’ll refrain from expounding. Relative Race is a great show to binge-watch!

On February 8, 2017, Relative Race won the award for Best New Reality Show at the National Cynopsis TV Awards. As Lenzworks, the video company that produces the show, explains on their website, “The Cynopsis Awards is a national competition and is judged by industry professionals including programming executives and media developers.”

By the time Relative Race received this award, Season 2 was set to debut and Relative Race returned to RootsTech to preview the show and meet two of the teams. One of those teams was Team Blue, the couple who had difficulty having their Team Red Season 1 cousins stay in their home. I had the opportunity to talk with Team Blue about that defining moment of Season 1. I met their adorable children. I completely understood why they would prefer to not have strangers stay in their home, but I asked the brazen question—Would Season 2 “redeem” this husband and father?

Relative Race Season 2 also introduced us to Joe of Team Black. His story is compelling and demonstrates the power of DNA to answer questions about family and bring situations to resolution.

Relative Race Season 3 continues the race.  This time Joe from Season 2 was one of the photographers who accompanied a team on their personal journey. This season the teams will begin in Washington D.C. and introduces a new dynamic—different combinations of family members! In the past the teams have always been married couples but this type of race can accommodate other family situations. Seeing such potential, I even tweeted a request during Season 1 to include such family dynamics as parent-child. My request has been granted! Although Season 3 consists two married couples, it also hosts two sisters representing Team Green and a father and son representing Team Blue.

Additionally there have been changes in the direction of the race. Season 1 led teams through 10 stops from San Francisco to New York. Season 2 led teams from Miami to Boston. No one but Relative Race  knows where Season 3 will lead! Nevertheless, here are the teams and their assigned colors:

Team Red—Troy & Nicole Hitt, a married couple from Humble, Texas
Team Green—Jaime Grace Harper & Morgan Harper Nichols, sisters from Los Angles, California
Team Blue—Michael & Dylan Anderson, a father and son team from Concord, North Carolina
Team Black—Rebecca & Johnathon Hoyt, a married couple from McAllen, Texas

One week from tonight Season 3 will debut on BYUtv, but if you want a sneak peek, come to RootsTech on Friday, March 2nd at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Dan J. Debenham will keynote along with 1984 Olympic champion, Scott Hamilton. Later on Friday, at 1:30 p.m., Relative Race will highlight Season 3 in Room 254A with a panel consisting of Dan J. Debenham and Teams Red and Green.

Have a conflict in your schedule? Relative Race will be at booth 734 in the Expo Hall each day and display an interactive Relative Race screen that will be located in the North Foyer from Thursday, March 1st through Saturday, March 3rd.

Whether you find yourself at RootsTech or Not-At-RootsTech, join in watching Season 3 of Relative Race beginning March 4, 2018 at 7 p.m. MST! There are multiple ways to access the show, including the BYUtv app. When you download the app, you’ll always have an episode at your fingertips. You may also “like” Relative Race on Facebook, follow Relative Race on Instagram, and/or follow @RelativeRace on Twitter and when you tweet use the hashtag #RelativeRace. During the Sunday night broadcast of each episode there are a number of us on Twitter. I invite you to follow us, join the conversation, and have some fun! This year’s RootsTech theme is “Connect. Belong.” and I know of no better team to connect with or belong to on television than Relative Race!

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.