Rootstech is over and I am exhausted. This year I was up early enough to go to the keynote sessions almost every morning. Wow! In a huge hall we saw great multimedia presentations over many screens while listening to a star speaker. I particularly loved Paula Madison and her Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem; so of course I bought the kindle version of the book. [update: the pictures are better in the physical versions but it is still a great read]
Perhaps it is because of my work with adoptees and DNA that I so appreciated her story, but more likely it was just that she was terrific and the tale was so well told. I also got to see the short form of her documentary at the media dinner, definitely worth seeing.
My other favorite keynote speaker was David Isay and his StoryCorps. His concept is to get two people in a booth, facilitate their conversation, and record the result for posterity. I think the story I liked best was the one where the boy with Asperger’s interviews his mother – Sarah and Joshua. But every snippet he played for us brought tears to my eyes, the wild grandad, my son the veteran, and the boy who became close to the mother of the boy from the rival gang that he had killed.
And of course it was great to see A.J.Jacobs again and hear a report on the Global Family Reunion.
Usually my favorite things at Rootstech are the exhibit hall, networking with fellow genetic genealogists, and learning a few new things. This year I have to add to that the sensational MyHeritage after party (click here for the slideshow over at Geneabloggers) and the Keynote sessions. [Addendum: The keynotes and other recorded sessions are available at the Rootstech video archive]
Rootstech was held in conjunction with the FGS conference and was bigger than ever. Something like 25,000 people. The Expo Hall was twice as large as last year and full of a wide variety of interesting genealogical products in addition to the big companies.
And there was the temptation of the Family History Library just a block away. Many like me came a day or two early in order to enjoy research time in the library. And yes I did a happy dance when I found my new 3rd cousin’s grandfather’s farm entry showing his mother was indeed the expected sister of my gg-grandfather.
Judy Russell did a really good blog post on all the DNA news at the conference. I am very excited that Family Search will be partnering with Family Tree DNA to link from the FS tree to DNA results from ftDNA. Initially this will only be for Y and mtDNA. Plus testers at Family Tree DNA will have an icon that will link to their tree at FamilySearch when there is one.
A few of the Rootstech talks are available as videos at this url: https://rootstech.org/video/4050134760001 – I particularly recommend geneablogger Thomas MacEntee‘s talk of about his genealogy tool box on that page.
Fellow San Diegan blogger Randy Seaver did a comprehensive listing of Rootstech blog posts Continue reading
Next week is Rootstech 2015! I can’t wait. I had such a great time last year. I met many of my facebook friends, fellow genetic genealogists, and genealogy bloggers in person and got to enjoy their talks.
I am pleased that this year I will be giving a talk, about the advantages of contributing your research to a one world tree. I will also compare the features of the big three, FamilySearch, GENI, and WIKItree. A topic that I blogged about last year.
Rootstech has a cool app for your Ipad, Iphone or Android which will track your schedule, your friends, and more. You can get it from the app or play store, just search for Rootstech 2015.
Congratulations to Linda Hall-Little who has won a free pass to RootsTech 2014 for her question for Spencer Wells, “What is the future of DNA in genealogy? – say 25 years from now….”
Linda is excited to be coming to the conference. She is also a family history blogger at http://passagetothepast.wordpress.com/ and “she enjoys helping friends and family get started with their genealogy.”
She lives in New Hampshire and has deep New England roots. I look forward to meeting her!
Many of the Rootstech sessions will be streamed to the internet and then available for about a year online. The schedule of those sessions is at the familysearch web site: https://familysearch.org/node/2519 so I will add this video symbol to the sessions I am going to that will be online.
Today is the last day for my readers to win a free pass to Rootstech 2014 …
In my last post I had looked through the schedule for Rootstech up until Friday at 1:00. Below I have laid out the rest of what I plan to attend.
I am excited to finally meet Daniel Horowitz with whom I work remotely on the IAJGS cemetery site. He is the Chief Genealogist at MyHeritage.com, of which I am a big fan. One of the problems for those of us with recent ancestors from Europe is finding online sources and our distant relatives abroad. MyHeritage and GENI.com, who are partnered now, are two of the best sites to assist with that.
So this is a must-go-to session for me!
Finding Family and Ancestors Outside the USA with MyHeritage New Technologies RT1278
Learn how MyHeritage tools can help break down brick walls in your research of ancestors outside of the United States by harnessing the power of an international family history network.
|Friday, 2:30 PMRoom: Ballroom Hall
Hopefully I will find some time for the Exhibit Hall