If you’ve never been to Roots Tech then it’s something that should be on your Geni Bucket List. It’s a four-day whirlwind of none stop genealogical information.
The four days kicks off with the introduction to all the contestants in the Innovator Showdown. This is where participants complete for $190,000 for their innovative ideas for the genealogy world. I was especially happy that Canada’s own Louis Kessler was a part of the competition with his Double Match Triangulator. You can see all the contestants here to find out more about each of their innovations.
Classes began on Wednesday afternoon, and the registration area was incredibly busy. But the line moved quickly, and it’s always fun to meet new people in line. After all, this is one of the few places that you can talk about your genealogy, and the person’s eyes won’t glaze over.
Each day starts out early with the Keynote address beginning at 8:00 a.m. The line up of speakers was; The Canadian Property Brothers; Drew and Jonathan Scott, Levar Burton from Star Trek the Next Generation and Roots, CeCe Moore Genetic Genealogist and Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss. Each giving their own look into how our ancestor’s lives, stories, and DNA impact us. I have to tell you that I was especially touched by Levar Burton as was everyone else as he got a standing ovation after his talk.
With over 200 classes to choose from, sometimes it hard to pick and often I would have two choices for the same time slot. Thankfully many of the classes are recorded, and so you can watch them later from the comfort of your own home. This year the sixteen DNA classes were especially busy as more and more people are testing and wanting to gain a better understanding of their results. There were several instances where people had to be turned away because the room was filled to capacity.
Then there is the Roots Tech Expo Hall with 160+ vendors. I spent hours checking this area out. It is literally a candy store for the genealogist. I tried a new DNA testing company called Living DNA. I’m interested in what I learn from their DNA as I understand they have a more British database and are now going into the North American market. I’ll let you know what I find out when my results come through. I also bought as many DNA kits from Ancestry as I could fit in my suitcase. Always a good idea to have a kit around just in case someone decides they’d like to do a test.
Something else that I do is I opt for the luncheons. Each day there are two luncheons to choose from and sometimes it hard to decide which one to go to. I especially enjoyed the MyHeritage luncheon as they spoke about the new features of their program. Photo discoveries; where they find photos of your ancestors that you may never have seen before and put you in touch with the people who have them and Consistency Checker where their system looks as your family history and lets you know where there are potential errors. How cool is that?
Another luncheon that I went to was the Find My Past luncheon. The time was passed with a new friend I met; Alex who is a part of the Find My Past team. Alex is such a friendly chap and he was a delight at our table. Keeping us up to date on their recent announcement of their new collection of Roman Catholic records for Ireland, Britain and the U.S.A. Up to 100 million records. If that won’t keep you busy I’m not sure what will.
But I have to tell you that after a week in Salt Lake of researching at the Family History Library and all the walking at Roots Tech and after parties; I’m dragging a bit. After all my blog is a couple of days late. But soon I’ll be revitalized and back in the swing of things.
Be sure to check out this weekends free records at Ancestry. With access to 1 Billion records you’ll have a busy weekend. Access English and Irish records from February 17 to 20th. Access HERE