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It's not time for Christmas but it sure feels like that for us genealogists! RootsTech registration opened this week on Wednesday, September 20th.



There are some exciting changes coming for RootsTech 2018. I have summarized below:

1. RootsTech will be a full four days from Wednesday, February 28th to Saturday March 3, 2018

2. The Innovation Showcase will be after FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood's keynote speech

3. You can nominate apps, products or services in the family history industry. Submissions are due 10/15. More information can be found here.

Early bird pricing on 4-day passes are available for a limited time. I recommend buying early!

You can buy the pass and go back to add/change anything for your upcoming trip (such as luncheons, computer labs, etc. These do fill up!

Here's the link to registration:

Need more reasons to attend RootsTech? Here are 8 reasons! 

I also wrote up a blog post about my experience to RootsTech last year as a first timer.

Don't forget…
Recent posts

Local Libraries: An Undiscovered Treasure

As genealogists we love to explore cemeteries, archives and libraries to dig into our research. On my most recent trip to Steuben County, NY for a business trip, I snuck in some genealogy time to explore the Southeast Steuben County Library. I started poking around the web site and discovered they have a local history room. I asked at the circulation desk and they mentioned it was locked, that a staff person had to open the room and be in the room with me. I asked at the reference desk if they could let me in and they called over one of their staff, Jessica.

Jessica opened the door to the local history room. Below is a picture of the room door. The library is very serious about keeping their collections intact. 

I started exploring the room. They have hundreds of books about local history, maps, photos about Steuben County, New York State, as well as neighboring states. Their web site has a list of some of some of their newspaper holdings and they also have volunteers that will resear…

Capture Your Family History Story on Film

Are you intrigued by genealogy TV shows such as "Who Do You Think You Are"? Do you wish you could give your family member a unique family history gift for a special occasion? There is a company called Family History Films based out of Sussex, England that creates personal family history films. The film is approximately 20-30 minutes long (can be made longer upon request) and is composed of interviews with you and members of your family as well as archive footage that is researched by Family History Films crew. In return you receive 10 copies of the film on DVD and a copy is stored online (9/22 Edit: Although it is made to broadcast standard, this is a private film for you and your family only. It will not be published or shown anywhere in the world).

As a special offer to my readers, Family History Films is providing a discount of 10% if you use the referral code "Shamrock1". This offer is valid for 3 months from today (12/17/2017).

Disclosure: I do receive a referr…

Prepping for RootsTech

It's that time of year! RootsTech is about 6 months away and the emails are going out notifying speakers and ambassadors that they've been accepted. I am happy to announce that I have been invited to be an official RootsTech ambassador! I will be blogging before, during and after the event. I will also be holding a contest where I will be giving away to a lucky reader a free 4-day pass to RootsTech. Stay tuned for details in a later blog post.

Hotels for the RootsTech block are on sale and I recommend you start booking your travel accommodations now.  Check out the RootsTech page on what hotels are participating in group conference rates. I personally had to call the Marriott this week to have them honor the conference rate and they did so. Don't give up hope if your first choice is showing unavailable online.

I have a couple of tips as you start booking your travel:

1. The Marriott, Hilton, and Radisson are the closest hotels to the Salt Palace Convention Center with the …

Extreme Genes Interview

I am honored to be included again on the Extreme Genes podcast. I was interviewed about the NextGen Genealogy Network and how I got involved. Welcome new readers!




Ch-Ch-Changes in the Genealogy World

There have been two major announcements in the genealogy world over the last few weeks. First, FamilySearch will be ceasing microfilm distribution. Second, Ancestry has made the decision to not allow users to manage multiple DNA kits under their account.

FamilySearch Discontinues Microfilm Distribution

Microfilm is getting more expensive to create copies from FamilySearch' vast collection out of the Family History Library and Granite Mountain vaults. Users can rent the microfilm for $7.50 but the cost to FamilySearch is more prohibitive. Amy Johnson Crow blogged about this recently. My tips to get through the next 3 years while digitization efforts complete:

1. Request microfilm before the August 31st deadline for anything pressing
2. Talk to your local Family History Center on microfilm rented out to see if they will send back after the deadline or hold onto it indefinitely.
3. Contact other societies that have microfilm loan services. Some organizations may be able to email you o…

Francis Dougherty and Catherine Clerkin: My Early Canadian Ancestors

Yesterday was Canada Day, the 150 birthday for our northern neighbor. In honor of the occasion, I'd like to celebrate some of my earliest paternal ancestors who came to Canada and eventually to the U.S.

My 3rd great grandfather Francis Dougherty and 3rd great grandmother Catherine Clerkein/Clarkin/Clarke) (depending on which document you're reviewing) were born in County Monaghan, Ireland. They married on Valentine's Day (February 14th) 1828 in Tydavnet, County Monaghan. They had 4 sons while they lived in Ireland (Michael, Peter, Owen and Bernard). They immigrated to Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1839 and settled in Lot 58 as farmers. They then had 5 daughters (Margaret, Mary, Bridget, Catherine, and another Bridget). In 1888 Francis emigrated to Dickinson County, Kansas to join his son Peter  and his wife Margaret (Cairns) to homestead (you can read about my family homesteading here). Their daughter Margaret also left for Dickinson County, KS ahead of her parents after…