Saturday, March 30, 2013

RootsTech review by FamilySearch

RootsTech 2013 in Review

RootsTech-WelcomeNow that RootsTech 2013 is over, we can finally catch our breath and see just what a great conference it was. We want to thank everyone who attended—and those who took part in this family history conference remotely. Hopefully each of you enjoyed yourself with some of the excellent presentations that were made.
This year’s RootsTech conference was a remarkable success. We had approximately 6,770 total registered attendees. More than 13,000 people tuned in to watch the live streaming sessions. More than 1,500 youth attended a special youth oriented program. Altogether, more than 21,000 people were able to take care in some part of RootsTech 2013. That’s exciting! Rootstech-Dennis
There was great content with excellent keynote speakers and more than 250 sessions and workshops. For those who did not get to attend all the classes they wanted, you can access selected classes and keynote addresses by visiting
We’d love to hear what you thought worked well so we can do it again next year. We’d also like to hear your suggests that might make RootsTech 2014 even better. Please take a moment and share your thoughts with usRootstech-Crowd by visiting
We have already begun preparations for RootsTech 2014, which will be February 6 – 8, 2014, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Next year we will stream selected conference sessions to more than 600 sites around the world. We expect that more than 120,000 people will be able to attend RootsTech 2014, either in person or via the internet. So come join us next year for another exciting RootsTech conference. We look forward to seeing all of you there.




Rootstech-Youth 2

Rootstech-FS Booth


Saturday, March 23, 2013


What is RootsTech you ask? 

A gathering of individuals passionate about family history in all its aspects, and technology to facilitate the gathering, and preserving of records. There were classes and workshops to satisfy most any interest or need. The sponsors were many of THE names in Genealogy, such as This years conference attracted ~ 6700 registered attendees with booths from hundreds of sponsors and venders. Everything was bigger this year than last, with about a 50% increase in attendance. This is the third year and there were exciting announcements concerning access for those who could not attend. Some of the sessions were streamed live and that concept will be expanded at future gatherings. The logistics of offering classes without knowing who would attend, did not always work out. There were classes that were too popular for the venue assigned to the class. The presenters used the latest equipment to make their presentations interesting and informative. Many of the presenters are well known in the field and their classes were well attended.

 I particularly enjoyed a main stage work by Ron Tanner from FamilySearch. They have just released Family Tree to the general public to use, and he was explaining how to best use it. There are still improvements that will be added that are in the works, but it is much better that what it is replacing. With the tree, you can get a pedigree of your family, as part of the World Tree. It is designed to be a pedigree of the entire human race. You can add people to the tree, add relationships, pictures and documents and make corrections in the data. We are encouraged to work together as families to make the record as correct as possible and to document everything we can.

If you have not checked it out, I would encourage it. Bear in mind that it is a work in process, and is still being tweaked. There is a place to report problems: use it if you find something wrong.

Happy Hunting!

Rootstech conference

(This is a post on the FamilySearch blog that was interesting to me and I am posting it here as it appeared:) CEO Tim Sullivan Encourages Mutual Collaboration at RootsTech 2013

SullivanTim Sullivan, President and CEO of spoke as one of the two keynote speakers on the second day of RootsTech 2013. He began his comments by focusing on the need for the professional genealogists to be patient with and see the value of working with beginner genealogists. He mentioned that the beginner can often provide valuable information and insights to help the professional create a more accurate family pedigree. “The key,” said Sullivan, “is to collaborate with each other.” Both the professional and the novice have something to contribute to each other’s success in piecing together one’s family history.
Sullivan encouraged those who begin using to make their family tree public. If you already have your tree on the Ancestry website and you’ve listed it as a private pedigree, then it’s an easy matter to make it public. Sullivan suggested that by making one’s pedigree public, it encourages useful collaboration. The public display of one’s pedigree allows others, both family and non-family members to view what you currently have. Viewers can then provide you with added documentation or provide useful documentation and suggestions for changes to make your pedigree more accurate. The key with collaboration is to be open minded and willing to see what others have to offer.
What is doing to encourage this collaborative effort?  They are creating a single location on their website where uses can post their pedigrees so that experts and beginners can work together to create a more complete and more accurate pedigree. is also working hard to provide as many digitized records as possible so that users can use original documents to document their genealogies.
Sullivan announced some exciting new products and services as well. They include:
  • The new iOS app version 4.1 for iPhones and iPads. This came about partially because 1/3 of all registrants came from some kind of mobile device. The need is there and their audience is including more of the younger genealogists who are making full use of such technology.
  • Ancestry’s DNA service is cheaper. is now offering its DNA research services for $99. This is available for subscribers and non-subscribers alike.
  • New content. Over the next 5 years has committed to spending $100 million dollars to digitizing and indexing new content.
  • Continued collaboration between and and FamilySearch will work together to capture 140 million pages of U.S. probate records. This will include images and indexes. It will create a national registry of wills, letters of administration and other probate records that will span from 1800-1930. This is a 3 year project.
The audience was excited about all the new and exciting changes coming to