Why Attend the Family History Writers Retreat

Why Attend the Family History Writers Retreat

I have been collecting pieces of stories for years as I have researched my family tree. Stories are gathering in my head, begging to be told. I love my ancestors because I know their stories. But will my family, my grandchildren love their ancestors unless I share their stories? I need time, time set aside to just write. No interruptions, no distractions, I need concentrated, focused time. Want time to work on your portfolio for certification or accreditation? I want 4 days in the beautiful Colorado Rockies, with hiking, swimming and hot tubbing to offer a respite from writing. I want to be surrounded by a few like-minded souls to share delicious home cooked meals and writing workshops offered to inspire and improve my writing? Where do I sign up! Jill Morelli and I couldn't find it offered, so we created it. September 19-23, 2018 in Silverthorne, Colorado. We will pick you up from the Denver airport and cart you away to writer's bliss. Need something to help you visualize Continue reading

Family History Writer Retreat is More Than Just Writing

Family History Writer Retreat is More Than Just Writing

Writing and doing genealogy research are pretty solitary pursuits for the most part. As an introvert, I do well in alone time. But, there is something about spending time with people, the people who get why you do what you do, people who are your tribe. The family history writer's retreat is geared to provide you with lots and lots  of quiet, writing time in a beautiful locale. After all that focused energy during the day though, you will need to unwind and reset each evening. After a your busy day of writing, we will serve afternoon tea and fresh baked scones, (herbal teas will also be available), as well as hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows to drink around the fire. Delicious breakfasts and lunches are provided, but for dinner we will explore the local cuisine and eat at Jill's favorite restaurants, or we can order pizza in. Evenings will include informal presentations and Q&A from Jill and I on writing and publishing topics that mean the most to attendees, while enjoying Continue reading

Portfolio Writing Help at Family History Writer’s Retreat

Portfolio Writing Help at Family History Writer’s Retreat

Is all the writing in research reports, proof arguments and kinship studies, that are needed for your portfolio to apply for certification to become a Certified Genealogist through the Board for Certification of Genealogists stoping you from moving forward? Come to the Family History Writer's Retreat in the beautiful Rocky Mountains this fall and let Jill Morelli, CG be your mentor. Jill directs groups that are looking to become certified. At the retreat, you have the opportunity to work with her first hand and pick her brain! During the retreat, we will discuss portfolio writing of Case Studies using Warren Bittner’s outline of things not to forget. Don't want to lug all your books with you? We will bring our reference library so you don’t have to. The evening session on portfolios will be directed by your questions and interests. Numbering systems, and how Jill writes her own client reports, and she will share how she implements “write as you go” to improve her Continue reading

Write Your Story at the Family History Writer’s Retreat

Write Your Story at the Family History Writer’s Retreat

Ask any professional genealogist how they got started, and they will almost always say it started with a story. Researching your family history, you often come across all kinds of great stories. Just the other day, I was teaching my husband how to do family history research for his family. I showed him the WWII Draft Registration card for his grandfather. Under the line that asked for "other physical characteristics that will aid in identification," was the written response, "cut on heel of right leg." My husband excitedly exclaimed, "I remember hearing about this!" He then relayed the story of his grandfather chopping wood in the backwoods of Kentucky, when the axe sunk deep into the heel of his foot. Not having access to doctors and hospitals, his family held him down while they packed the wound in salt and how afterwards he always walked with a slight limp. Here was story waiting to be told, needing to be told. You've got those stories too, those examples of heroics, of humor, or Continue reading

Rootstech. Who is it for Anyway?

Rootstech. Who is it for Anyway?

Finally recovering and processing Rootstech 2018 and time to write my summary. After reading various comments and blogs about the conference, mainly people confirming (after seeing pictures of the crowds), that they would never attend Rootstech and complaints about the lines getting into classrooms, etc. I realized that there is some confusion on who Rootstech is really for. Rootstech's organizer's FamilySearch, know that serious genealogists, whether they are professionals or hobbyists, are still going to go to institutes, attend other genealogy conferences, watch webinars, etc. regardless of what happens or doesn't happen at Rootstech. While Rootstech provides some classes that would appeal to the experienced researcher, you are not the target audience - they welcome you and want you to attend of course, but your are not the target audience. I have attended every Rootstech from the beginning, lots of bumps, starts and stops along the way, but overall I have always been excited Continue reading

Top 7 Insider Tips & Secrets to Survive and Thrive at Rootstech

Top 7 Insider Tips & Secrets to Survive and Thrive at Rootstech

Rootstech is the BIGGEST Family History Conference of its kind in the World. Officials are estimating attendance to Rootstech being held in Salt Lake City, Utah next week to be around 25,000 - with more 50,000 tuning in from around the world with live-streaming sessions. There is so much to see, with keynote headliners like Olympic Gold Medal Skater and sports commentator Scott Hamilton, PBS series' Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates Jr., Social Media's Humans of New York Brandon Stanton and Mexican pop-rock singer, Natalia Lafourcade are all set to light up the stage. Over 300 classes and labs geared for everyone from very beginner (just-dipping-your-toes-in), to intermediate. More than 200 exhibitors with products that will be sure to delight any lovers of genealogy and family history. With SO much going on, it is easy to get overwhelmed. I've attended every Rootstech conference from the beginning, I served for years as an official Rootstech Amabassador and this will Continue reading

Finding Your Family History Treasures on Ebay, Amazon and Etsy

Finding Your Family History Treasures on Ebay, Amazon and Etsy

Are you like me and didn't inherit a lot of heirlooms or family history memorabilia? Did you know you can reclaim items from your ancestor's past on eBay, Amazon and Etsy? WHAT!        I know, who would of thunk it! Ebay currently has 64,386 genealogy items listed! Ebay can be a great place to look for out-of-print books, genealogy records, family Bibles and histories and genealogy books on CD. Besides the obvious genealogy books to be found, there may be other treasures waiting to be discovered! This is my latest family history find, a $1 token in exchange for merchandise at Martin O'Rear store, in Jasper, Alabama. A search in Google Books, reveals Alabama Supreme Court court case with a Martin O'Rear owning a merchandise store in Jasper, Alabama.  And yes, I spent way more than I would of liked, but I did talk the seller down $50...but, can you put a price on family history treasures...well, apparently you can and I'll pay it! I've also purchased on ebay a watercolor of Continue reading

Enter Drawing for Rootstech 2018 Ticket!

Enter Drawing for Rootstech 2018 Ticket!

Being an official ambassador for Rootstech has some perks; my favorite one, is not only do I get a free pass, but I get to give one away to some lucky person...and I hope it's you!             Here are the details: Rootstech will be held at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah on Feb 28- March 3 2018. The winner will receive a complimentary RootsTech 2018 4-day pass ($279 value) with access to: Over 300 classes Keynote / General sessions: Finding Your Roots host Henry Gates, Olympic medalist Scott Hamilton and blogger of Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton Family Discover Day with Speakers: Elder and Sister Oaks, Hank Smith, Evie Clair, Kenya Clark, Alex Melecio, Jason Hewlett RootsTech classes ... I'm teaching 2 of them - come say hi! Innovation Showcase Expo hall Evening events This 4-Day Pass DOES NOT include airfare, hotel or the coverage of any other expenses. If the winner has already registered for RootsTech 2018, the original registration fee will Continue reading

#PRINCEofPEACE: What My Ancestors Knew About Faith

#PRINCEofPEACE: What My Ancestors Knew About Faith

Admitting to being a Christian these days is not very PC. When I say that I'm a Christian, it has nothing to do with race, sexual orientation or political beliefs, it simply means that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Sheri Dew said, "It simply isn't possible to be a disciple of someone you don't know." While I do not profess to be an expert on everything about the Savior, I have spent my life studying His teachings and I am trying to become more like him (and failing miserably, but I keep trying). My ancestors came to America to find religious freedom. My English Puritans and Quakers, my French Huguenots, my Swiss Anabaptists and my German Protestants all came to America to worship God without fear and they were willing to sacrifice everything for their faith. Down through the generations, faith has continued to play a big part of my family's lives. I have Episcopal missionaries, circuit rider preachers and lots of Baptist ministers on my family tree. My father, lost his faith Continue reading

Rootstech 2017 Keynote Speakers Review

Rootstech 2017 Keynote Speakers Review

Having attended all 7 Rootstech, I can say with some authority, that this year's Rootstech was the best. Since the world's largest family history conference is jammed pack with so much to talk about, I'm going to break my review into a series of posts. Today's topic is the Rootstech keynote speakers. Rootstech Innovator Summit was keynoted by Liz Wiseman, a leadership expert and strategist, best selling author and Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch. [Click on photos for links to view their presentations.] My takeaway from Liz's presentation was the value of being a Rookie. In professional genealogy, being a rookie is not something most aspired to, as it takes years and years of experience, study and hard work to gain a strong understanding and background to tackle tough research problems. I have noticed over the years that it can be easy to slip into a groove of complacency, thinking you know a subject and you stop digging deeper because you think you hit the depth of Continue reading