Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Roots Tech - The Experience

This was the first time I brought my husband to Roots Tech.

Bill has been to NGS, FGS and Jamboree. Usually he spends most of his time in the vender hall and attends a couple classes. He's been known to skip the classes entirely. And, he's been known to stay home. 

This time he decided to join me. 

We got to Salt Lake two days early to have time to work in the Library. I jumped on him for not taking advantage of the people at the Family History Library and what a difference it made. I took him down to the British floor to work on his Mayhew/Mayo line and he met some excellent helpers who lite a fire under him. 

How does this relate to Roots Tech? I wish I had a really good answer for that but it did make a difference in how he viewed the conference. Roots Tech is hard not to like even with zillions of people. The keynotes were a combination of pop culture and family history and definitely worth your time to watch. Remember that all the keynotes and about four classes each day are posted on the Roots Tech website. 

The vender area is the largest I've ever seen at a genealogy conference. It's full of small venders, innovators and book/photo scanners in addition to the normal suspects. We talked to the people at Excelsior College about their "Practicum in Genealogical Research." Also visited The Georgia Genealogical Society about IGHR. Bill's favorite is always American Ancestors. In reality, we visited just about everyone. 

Josh Taylor's class " Tracing Families Online, 15 amazing Tools" was his favorite class, at least the one where he took the most notes. Bill's been attending GSNOCC meetings for years and must not have listened very well, everything seemed new.

He loved the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Hammerstein program. Found the MyHeritage party great fun. Enjoyed meeting Peggy Lauritzen on our drive to Dear Myrtle's after Party and found plenty of people to talk to.

The final vote -- he wants to come back next year. Roots Tech success.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Friday at RootsTech

LaVar Burton was the highlight of the morning. It's a good thing that this is one of the recorded offerings as we missed some of it. I'll have to catch up at home.

I attended Creating an Effective Research Plan with Angela McGie. She's a great presenter and has a thorough handout.

This time, several attendees asked if they could take pictures of her slides and received the expected, on my part, negative answer. I noticed, throughout the day, that more people asked about taking pictures than yesterday, which is good. There was a lengthy rant on Facebook about the  indiscriminate taking of pictures of slides. This seems to be a problem at RootsTech.  In my opinion it's because the attendees are not regular conference goers.  For many of them this is the only conference they attend. We need to make sure they understand the concept of intellectual property.

I spent lunch wondering the vendor hall. Even bought 10 AncestryDNA kits. It helps to have your husband along.

Military Pension Law with Rich Sayre was my one o'clock class.  That man is a wealth of knowledge.  I wish that I was closer to Washington DC so I could use NARA on a regular basis.

I was somewhat disappointed in Kip Sperry's Finding Your Ancestors in US Church Records. It was very basic. I have trouble finding church records for my ancestors and I need some magic lessons that I don't think exist. Church records are one area where on site research is necessary.

The MyHeritage after party was another unique experience at RootsTech. The  karaoke was fantastic.I wish I had the personality to get up there and sing and dance. I came home with a  souvenir bent spoon from one of the magicians. It's quite art piece. Picture attached. Talked to a number of genealogists.

Tomorrow I'm spending some time in the Library. Too much little time.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

RootsTech Like No Other Conference You've Ever Attended.

Have you ever been to a genealogy conference--a local all day event, Jamboree, NGS, or FGS?

You've seen nothing yet until you've been to RootsTech. RootsTech is unique unto itself and I really do love it.

True, it has things in common with other conferences: keynotes, classes, workshops, luncheons, and a vender area but, where else do 30,000 genealogy enthuseists from beginner to professional get together to share their passion?  If you drop names like Tom Jones or Judy Russell you're just as likely to get a blank stare as an "I love him or her".

Where else do you start the day  with Alvin and the Chipmonks and end it with Rogers and Hammerstein's Climb Every Mountain?

In between I attended some fantastic sessions.

 I started the day with Kitty Cooper and How to Use DNA Triangulation to Confirm Ancestors. She began by asking how many had tested their DNA and invited those who had not to leave, no hurt feelings, this was an advanced class. The man sitting next to me chose to stay even though he said he knew very little about DNA. At the end,  I was delighted and he was totally confused.

I went to the Family Search Luncheon. Nice lunch, nice conversation and an interesting talk including the history and future of the Family History Library. Diane Loosle With her talk Who Moved My Microfilm? The truth behind the library you have always loved assuaged some of my concerns about the loss of books to digitizing.  She talked about the enormous number of linear feet of new books they receive each year and the problem of making decisions about what can stay and what can go - many become digitized.

For my next class I chose one I was sure I would like, Tom Jones' Writing About and Documenting DNA Test Results. Big take away, read all the sample NGSQ articles in the syllabus. Well that and follow all the steps for beginning, middle, and end ( notice the Oxford comma, Tom uses them a lot)

After that I decided to skip my 3 o'clock class and take a look at the vender hall. You can't make it through in an hour so I'll have to go back tomorrow.

My last class was another with Tom Jones Organizing Evidence to Reveal Lineages. Each time I hear him, I learn a little more. I've got two problems that this method could work really well with.

Tonight we topped the day off with the opening event, Music - It Runs in the Family.  

Nothing beats the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the music of Rogers and Hammerstein.

Now it's time for bed. Another big day tomorrow.