Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Late Posting

Steve Rockwood, Familysearch CEO 
I have a very good excuse for delaying my post this month. I was totally immersed in the madness that is Rootstech, the greatest family history show on earth. Rather than skipping the post I am playing catchup and writing it now I am back in Australia. I will backdate so it appears in its correct spot in our blog archive. 

Why do I travel for hours across the Pacific to attend this event?

I previously wrote that I wanted to be Challenged, Educated, Entertained, Informed and Inspired. Rootstech with its broad program can deliver on all of these needs.
  • I like to renew old friendships and meet online pals in the flesh, a solitary life in the geneacave can be lonely sometimes. 
  • As an Official Ambassador for the event I like to attend in person and be a voice for Australia. I like to be on hand to help newbie Australians negotiate Salt Lake City and Rootstech. 
  • I enjoy the opportunities given to Ambassadors to interview celebrities and attendees. I love being able to ask my own questions. 
  • I was honoured to have a presentation proposal accepted and I was not going to miss out on sharing my thoughts with the attendees. I think I was the only Australian on the program and I like to see our nation represented. 
  • I appreciate the opportunity to have research time at The Family History Library
Some Rootstech Ambassadors
When I arrived home my husband asked "Did you learn anything?" I said "not a lot if you are talking of learning as acquiring skills". I said that I had been educated and enriched by the experience.

Did Rootstech Deliver?
I was challenged, as I listened to others' opinions in my presentation where I moderated a panel discussion "Ethical Dilemmas in an Online World".
Panelists from Four Nations
I didn't really find any of the presentations I attended,with the exception of Josh Taylor's, particularly challenging, Perhaps there needs to be more discussion of issues on the Rootstech program.

I was educated about DNA in the several sessions I attended on that topic. Outside of the formal program I learnt a lot about the Mormon faith through Ambassador visits to the new Provo Temple and The Church History Library. I did acquire some skills in an excellent presentation on Audacity given by Andrew Lee. I didn't go to many "How to"sessions as I like to learn by myself through trial and error.
With Sharn White (Australia) and Audrey Collins (UK)
I was entertained in several of the keynote sessions. There was the humour of AJ Jacobs, the passion of David Isay and the determination of Paula Williams Madison. There were many opportunities to be entertained at the formal and informal social events the occur around the time of Rootstech. I seemed to have a different party, reception and/or dinner every evening for nine days.

I didn't have to go to any sessions to be informed. A walk around the Expo Hall with over 300 exhibitors provided many opportunities to hear about products and services both old and new. I try to avoid formal sessions that are infomercials by company representatives. I prefer to visit the booths and ask my own questions.

I was inspired by Steve Rockwood, David Isay and Paula Williams Madison (Google them). Much inspiration came from hanging out with my genimates, ordinary people like you and me who have a passion for discovering their ancestors and their stories. Their enthusiasm is contagious and will carry me through until I return to Rootstech in 2017.

The icing on the cake for me is meeting up with people I have known online for several years. This year I finally met Tony Proctor from Ireland, True Lewis from the US, Jana Last from California and Geoff Mulholland (an Aussie) from Germany.

With Geoff Mulholland
With True Lewis 


  1. I was thrilled to meet you, too, Jill :-)

  2. It must be very interesting to finally meet people in the flesh and get out of the geneacave!

  3. love the comment about the geneacave! Yes it is great to meet the genealogists and family historians we only know through social media. I so enjoyed meeting True Lewis, Roger Moffat and Christine Woodcock. I agree it is difficult to get to the sessions (so many choices and too little time). The exhibit hall is a great place to check out new products, visit vendors and societies and ask questions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on RootsTech2016. Hope to see you at the next one.

  4. It was so great to finally meet you in person at RootsTech Jill!

  5. Meeting the people is a highlight Kristin. I will see you next year, Tessa.


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