Around this time of year I would make the annual trip to RootsTech, one that I have been making the last four years (starting in 2017). RootsTech is where everything changed for me. I connected with so many friends and I really ramped up my genealogy. It was when I made the decision that I wanted to do professional genealogy full time. I was determined to be on stage within the next couple of years. And it happened! I changed jobs and started working at American Ancestors/NEHGS. The next year I gave my first lecture on using Roman Catholic Church Records, a record set that I use regularly to research my Irish ancestors. I was so honored that the RootsTech team gave me two sessions for this talk. I was invited back each year to give more lectures. My favorite was honoring my grandfather last year in Reporting for Duty. It was very emotional for me to share the story of my grandfather's WWII service. You can read about some of my journey at RootsTech on this blog, starting with my first trip there. I refer to RootsTech as the Wrestlemania of genealogy conferences.
Due to the pandemic, genealogy events are being moved online. This also includes RootsTech. FamilySearch has generously made the decision to make it a free global conference. Registration is over 500,000 people and counting! We are reaching so many people that we have not been able to reach, talking about what we love most: family history. It is this love of family history is why I love I what I do. It's seeing the joy in someone's eyes when you've found their ancestor, taking words off a page and breathing life into that person. They're real, they existed, they are a part of you. I want to hear about these discoveries.
I will be giving two classes this year:
- The Stones Speak (Part 3) Online Resources for Cemetery Research - part of a 3-part series with my colleagues Ann Lawthers and David Allen Lambert
- Georgetown Memory Project: Preserving the Stories of the GU272
So what should we expect for RootsTech Connect?
- Thousands of hours of genealogy classes, multiple languages, various topics
- Build a playlist of what you want to watch next
- Classes are available for 1 year!
- Chat rooms in each session
- Many speakers like myself will be popping into them or putting up notices when we'll be online
- Main stage events with key note speakers
- Virtual exhibit hall
- A global relatives tool using the FamilySearch tree
- I'm truly excited about this. I only have five relatives but that's five more than I ever had in the past. I'm already starting to make connections.