We have a winner! RootsTech 2020 Free Pass Giveaway

winner

Congratulations to Julie Wood who won my free 4-day RootsTech pass giveaway, and thank you to everyone who entered.

There are still plenty of contests running so if you didn’t win here, head over to Conference Keeper and enter. At last count, there were 31 giveaways running!

 

Telling the Story of You

black-and-red-typewriter-1995842

You are part of the story

For many family historians, the excitement of the chase means that we are necessarily focused on the past. We try to locate everything we can on our ancestors, and sometimes, when we feel satisfied with what we have on them, we move on to the next ancestor. RootsTech 2020’s theme, The Story of You, reminds me that we can gain a whole lot more when we look a little deeper at our ancestors and at what they can teach us about ourselves.

Find yourself in the stories of your ancestors

As we discover who our ancestors are, as we add flesh to their bones by seeking out their stories, we add to the story of who we are. Do your ancestor’s stories echo any of your own? My own immigration story, moving from South Africa to the United States, echoes the journeys of my third great grandfather from Scotland to South Africa, and those of both my great grandfather’s, one from Ireland to South Africa and the other from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa. In discovering their immigration stories, I see similarities in what I experienced. Did they feel the excitement as well as the anxiety of moving across the world to a different country? Did they feel the sadness at leaving behind family? I’m sure they did. In discovering their story and remembering how I felt, it helps me feel like I know them just a little better.

Telling the story of you

In order to tell our story, we need to listen to what the lives of our ancestors are telling us. Our ancestors experienced difficult times and hard trials, as well as happy moments and joyful experiences. What can those experiences tell us about them and about our own lives? Do we see ourselves in some of the characteristics of those who went before us? Can their perseverance in the midst of difficult circumstances help us when we’re faced with something similar?

I don’t think it matters how you decide to tell the story of you, just that you tell it. When we tell our story, it creates connection, and can be a powerful tool for healing, fostering a sense of belonging and helping us to know we are part of a bigger picture.

You matter. Your story matters.

Will you be joining me at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2020? I’m looking forward to learning more about how to tell The Story of You from the over 300 classes available at RootsTech. Take a peek at this video from Jen Allen, RootsTech Event Director, on the ‘why’ behind the 2020 theme, The Story of You.

How will you tell The Story of YOU in 2020?

Win a complementary 4-day pass to RootsTech 2020!

EH0ZKU0WwAAd20f

It’s hard to believe but RootsTech 2020 will be here in just over 3 months! And it’s a big year … the TENTH anniversary! Will you be joining me there to celebrate The Story of YOU? I love this theme for 2020. By learning about our ancestors, by telling their story, we tell the story of ourselves. There is such power in that. To know who they were, we begin to know who we are. I firmly believe we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.

I am back as a RootsTech ambassador again in 2020 which I am so excited about. It means that I have the opportunity to give away ONE complimentary RootsTech 2020 4-day pass, valued at $299. This pass includes the following:

  • Over 300 classes (take a look at the incredible line up of classes here)
  • Keynote / General sessions (RootsTech just announced the first keynote speaker, it’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning photographer, David Kennerly!)
  • Expo Hall (my favorite place to network, learn, and just feel the buzz that is RootsTech!)
  • Evening events (there are always great cultural events in the evenings that are fun to attend)

Please note: It does not include any paid lunches or paid labs, hotel or travel expenses.

If you’ve already paid for your pass, no problem as you can get a refund should you win!

Enter to win here

The giveaway ends on 6 December, 2019.

RootsTech 2019 Recap

IMG_5997

It’s hard to believe that RootsTech 2019 was 3 weeks ago! I came back from an absolutely wonderful week to a pretty big assignment for the ProGen course I’m taking and have been working on that all month. It’s finally submitted now and time to do a short recap of what was a busy, fun, exhausting, but inspiring week!

This was my fifth RootsTech and the fourth that my friend Kandace and I have been at together. We meet in Salt Lake City each February to indulge in our love for genealogy and to catch up on each others’ lives. The theme for this year of Connect.Belong. seemed to fit so well with a friendship that’s been going strong for over 18 years now!

Kandace1

This year was my first as a RootsTech Ambassador and it was fantastic! Besides promoting RootsTech on all of our social media platforms, each ambassador was given a free registration to give away and my competition was won by John. John came all the way from The Netherlands to attend RootsTech! It was great to meet him in person.

John
John and I in front of the Family History Library

What fun to be part of this amazing group of RootsTech ambassadors!

Ambass1

Just a couple of the wonderful genealogists I got to meet in person!

AmbassCollage

RootsTech always comes through with interesting classes and inspiring, energetic keynote sessions. No exception this year! The keynote sessions are available to watch at RootsTech.org. So if you weren’t able to attend RootsTech 2019, or just want to watch them again, head over and relive the magic!

KeynoteCollage

I was interviewed by RootsTech and given a few minutes to gush about why I love it so much and what keeps me coming back. A fun but kind of nerve wracking experience!

Interview1

What a great experience this year’s RootsTech was! And now RootsTech is headed to London! I got the news while at RootsTech that I am one of the official RootsTech London Ambassadors which is really exciting! I’m so happy that friends and family in the U.K. will be able to experience the magic that is RootsTech! Early bird pricing is happening now for RootsTech London!

LondonCollage

2020 will be RootsTech’s 10th anniversary year! Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready? RootsTech 2019 is around the corner!

With the new year just around the corner, RootsTech 2019 is inching closer and closer! So, what has been happening behind the scenes at RootsTech? A lot!  Wonderful keynote speakers have been announced, there’s a RootsTech film competition, and just last week, the streaming schedule was revealed. Let’s take a closer look at some of these big happenings.

Keynote Speakers

speech-1020353_1920

Who doesn’t love funny lady Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle? Patricia Heaton will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, February 28. I’m looking forward to laughing and learning from her! Check out the 3 interesting things about Patricia Heaton that you may not have known.

Have you read Saroo Brierley’s autobiography, A Long Way Home? Maybe you’ve seen the film, Lion, based on the book? Both are excellent, depicting the courage and determination of this young man, Saroo Brierley, in connecting with his birth family in India, after losing contact with them at age five. Saroo Brierley will be on the main stage on Friday, March 1 at 11:00am. Don’t miss it!

I had not heard of Jake Shimabukuro until RootsTech made the announcement that he would be a keynote speaker on Saturday, March 2. I had to go and find out more. YouTube came through with some music videos of Jake playing his ukulele. After hearing him play Bohemian Rhapsody, I am a fan!

From the RootsTech Blog

blog-1027861_1920

The Expo Hall is one of my favorite parts of RootsTech.  The energy is electric with hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees all talking genealogy!  Thanks to the RootsTech blog I’ve now learned about some vendors that I will definitely be making time to visit.  Read about 10 Exhibitors You Won’t Want to Miss at RootsTech 2019.

Are you new to RootsTech? Or someone looking to brush up on the basics? RootsTech 2019 has something for everyone. The RootsTech blog takes a look at what is available for beginner’s here.

The RootsTech Film Fest

46221950_2741145946110000_2518983497171861504_o

Submit your entry and tell how you connect and belong and you could win a trip to your ancestral homeland. What a dream that would be! You don’t have to be a professional, there’s a category for everyone. Deadline is January 30, 2019. More information can be found here.

Free Live Stream Schedule

feet-932346_1920

 

I know there are some folks who aren’t able to make it to RootsTech 2019. Here is the next best thing. A live streaming schedule that you can watch in the comfort of your home, with your pjs on if you like! Those three incredible keynote speakers I mentioned?  Their keynote addresses will be live streamed. Also being live streamed are classes by well-known genealogy experts such as Rebecca Whitford Koford, Diahan Southard, Kenyatta Berry, Amy Johnson Crow, Blaine Bettinger and many more.

If you’ve decided that it’s just too good to miss and you’re ready to give up your pjs and join us in Salt Lake City, on 27 February 2019, then take advantage of promotional pricing ($209) and register before January 25, 2019.

See you in Salt Lake!

 

We Have a Winner of a RootsTech 2019 4-day Pass!

RootsTech-winner

Serving as a RootsTech 2019 Ambassador means that I had the opportunity to give away one complimentary 4-day pass to RootsTech 2019. This morning I hit the ‘find me a random winner’ button on Rafflecopter and the winner is …. John Boeren!

John is a professional genealogist, based in the Netherlands, and owner of Antecedentia. His research focus is the Netherlands although most of his clients are based in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.  You can check out his site here.

Congratulations, John! Looking forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2019!

RootsTech 2019: Over 30 Classes on DNA!

DNA

RootsTech is always on the cutting edge of what’s new in genealogy. Look back at RootsTech 2018 and see the emphasis on DNA from Angie Bush’s presentation “You’ve Taken a DNA test, Now What?” to Diane Southard and Lisa Louise Cooke’s, “A DNA Match with No Tree? No Problem!”. DNA is a hot topic these days and RootsTech never fails to keep up by  providing a rich variety of classes and labs focused on using DNA in our research.

RootsTech 2019 offers over 30 classes/labs on DNA!

I took a look at the 2019 conference schedule found here (it’s a tentative schedule so subject to change) and used the search box on the left of the page to only look for sessions or labs on DNA. There are over 30 different classes or labs on some aspect of DNA! That’s an incredible resource for anyone looking to learn more about how to use their DNA results. There are classes tailored to all levels of difficulty from beginners to advanced.  There are classes on which DNA tests are available and which ones to use depending on your goals, classes on using third-party tools like GEDMatch and DNAPainter, classes and labs on techniques such as using your shared matches, visual phasing, chromosome mapping, and creating a DNA triangulation table. There are classes on analyzing Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA and classes dealing with endogamy. Whichever aspect of DNA you are interested in, there is likely a class or lab at RootsTech 2019 that will address that!

Why the emphasis on DNA?

On 28 October 2018, the Board for Certification of Genealogists came out with new standards regarding the use of DNA as another form of evidence in our research. More information can be found here. DNA results go hand in hand with other evidence in the forming of any conclusions we make. You may not be a professional genealogist or hold a credential but thorough researchers know that good, in-depth research means you look everywhere and you use everything that may help in providing an answer to your research question.  DNA evidence can be part of that reasonably exhaustive search.

RootsTech 2019 will be a great way to gain more education on exactly when and how to use DNA, in conjunction with documentary evidence, to answer that stubborn research question you may have.

*Don’t forget to visit the Expo Hall in between all your DNA classes to take advantage of the special prices on DNA kits. Every year that I’ve attended RootsTech (this will be my 5th year!) there have been great specials on DNA kits, I expect 2019 will be the same.

Hope to see you February 27 – March 2, 2019 at RootsTech!