When Your Genes Don’t Fit – DNA Tests You Need

When Your Genes Don’t Fit – DNA Tests You Need

My family is weird - I admit it, though it is no shock to those who know us. Our genes did not fit the norm, so I was very interested in Kailos DNA tests, as I have had adverse reactions to prescriptions in the past and I have 2 children that do not metabolize prescription medication as most do. This has been a great concern as a parent and I hoped that Kailos could give us some answers. Genealogists are going crazy with DNA tests. DNA tests such as those offered by Ancestry.com, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe can help confirm or help discover new family lines. Using DNA testing to learn more about our physical health was something new to me. Understanding the information hidden in our two DNA strands is definitely a science. Thankfully, there are companies around, to make it a bit easier to understand and how to apply our genetic history to our lives today. I became very interested in the company after I met them at Rootstech earlier this year. Kailos is a DNA testing company; Continue reading

Rootstech 2016; Not to Be Forgotten

I've attended all 6 of the Rootstech Family History Conferences and this year's was stronger than ever. FamilySearch calls it the "world's largest family history expo." Expo is a more accurate description of the 3 day extravaganza. Rootstech is different from the typical genealogy conference in that it is designed to be inclusive of everyone, no matter where they are in researching their family - catering to the needs of the many, rather than the few. I personally love being around those that are new to family history - they are so excited and anxious to learn. I presented a well-attended class on helping the beginning researcher to learn about the Genealogical Proof Standard, what is good methodology and why they it is worth the effort. I shared over 4 pages of links that will help the researcher, no matter where they are, to up their game by continued learning through a variety of online educational sources. You can download it here. Really enjoyed being a Rootstech Ambassador Continue reading

What Makes Rootstech So Special?

What Makes Rootstech So Special?

Last week was Rootstech 2016; held in Salt Lake City, where me and 25,000 of my closest friends attended the world's largest Family History Expo. Author Bruce Feiler, called it the "Super Bowl of Storytelling." Rootstech is a unique experience, a place where there is something for everyone, from the family history newbie, to the more advanced researcher, from the youngster to those more "seasoned." There is something for everyone in the family. Where else can you see everything from a Harley riding TV host like Stan Ellsworth, a self-described Black Chinese woman like Paula Madison, bloggers Love Taza, the human Guinea Pig and World's Largest Reunion organizer A.J. Jacobs, writer Bruce Feiler and Pulitzer Prize winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, politician Michael Leavitt and Story Corps David Isay all share about family stories? FamilySearch's new CEO, Steve Rockwood, totally slayed his opening keynote address, where he said, "Genealogists are heart specialists. We need Continue reading

Attending Rootstech 2016 Tips

So excited for Rootstech 2016! Rootstech is the world's largest family history expo, and I am super busy updating, adding and fine-tuning my presentation to give you the latest and best information that I can. I will be speaking on Friday, 5 February at 11:00 am on: GS2033-F - Becoming Your Own Family's History Expert Learn secrets from the pros and take your sleuthing skills to the next level. Come learn tips and tech that will help you focus your time and efforts to become more productive and successful in finding those elusive, hard-to-find ancestors and how to verify what has already been done. Every family needs at least one person who is the go-to source for accurate information on the family history - let it be you! ROOM: 155E Family History Skill Level: Beginner Technology Skill Level: Beginner I can't wait to share the secrets and tips I have learned from professional genealogists that will help you and your genealogy and family history research for Continue reading

New Rootstech 2016 Keynote Speakers Announced

New Rootstech 2016 Keynote Speakers Announced

Rootstech 2016 has surprised me again with their keynote choice. Rootstech 2015 choices were seeming out there, but all were very enjoyable. Rootstech 2016 will no doubt be just as memorable, and I can't wait to hear from them. I love hearing new voices, people who get the importance of connect with family and sharing their story.   John and Naomi Davis family, Love Taza Photo by Olivia Rae James, Courtesy of Rootstech.orgJohn Davis and wife Naomi (Taza) from the blog Love Taza were just announced as the newest keynote presenters. Rootstech sent me the following info on them, "Since 2007, Love Taza has become more than an online diary—it is a digital destination where millions around the world connect and find a feeling of inspiration and a guide for finding joy in everyday life. Naomi shares details of her life in New York City with her husband and children celebrating family, home, travel, food, and, most importantly, the simple joys of life. With Josh’s help, the two have Continue reading

Easy Family History Ideas for Thanksgiving

Easy Family History Ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and Family History Go Perfect Together Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go...Thanksgiving will soon be here, families will be gathering together to give thanks and to eat turkey.                                             Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to do some family history! While everyone is there, why not share stories, take pictures, play some family history games - all while creating some cherished memories? Here are some easy and painless ideas to help you get started: FamilySearch App FamilySearch Memories App, allows you to take pictures of grandma's photos and documents and upload them to your tree. Interview family members and upload the audio file. It is easy, unobtrusive and allows everyone in the family to be able to share and access them later.                                                                                             Continue reading

Attend Rootstech 2016 For FREE!

Attend Rootstech 2016 For FREE!

                  Want to attend the largest, most talked-about family history conference in the world? As a Rootstech Ambassador, I have been given one 3-day pass ticket (value of $249) to attend next year's Rootstech, to be held on Feb 3-6, 2016 in Salt Lake City. Why should you attend? Read my earlier post here. I like simple things don't you? So we are going to make this SUPER simple.  Rootstech 2016 3-Day Pass Giveaway Go to the Rootstech page here and find out which day is the "Free Family Discovery Day" Then go to my Facebook page here and "Like" my page - if you leave a comment you are entered again! Email me with the answer to question in step 1. and that you "liked" my page and you are entered to win. That's it!  No worries if you already registered - Rootstech will refund your registration fee! Winner has been chosen! Congrats to Julie Woods! Thanks everyone for entering. P.S. This is Continue reading

Why Attend Rootstech 2016?

Why Attend Rootstech 2016?

 I have attended every Rootstech. Last year's was so over-the-top, that I can't wait to see what they will do at the next one! Why Attend Rootstech 2016?   Not only is it the perfect place to discover and share your family’s stories and connection through the latest technology, but there is something for everyone, regardless of your experience in family history or technology. Inspiring and entertaining keynote speakers  Hundreds of family history and technology exhibitors Over 200 classes by experts in the field Hands-on activities and one-on-one help Computer learning labs Entertaining evening events Catered lunches hosted by conference sponsors Networking opportunities with other genealogists Inspiration, education and fun Rootstech early registration is open. Save 33% on a 4 day conference pass! Register Here! Continue reading

Fuel the Find – Time to Give Back and Join the Challenge

Fuel the Find – Time to Give Back and Join the Challenge

Have you ever found a record on FamilySearch.org? I have. I am aware that someone microfilmed that record, and then someone else indexed it - all so I could find that record, for free. Now, FamilySearch is inviting everyone to join in and help #FuelTheFind during the week of August 7-14. They are hoping to have a 100,000 people index just 1 batch, which is hardly much time at all. Indexing really isn't hard, in fact it can be fun and quite addicting! I am a firm believer that we receive as we give; so many times in helping someone else, I find that I have received the help that I needed. Take a break. Do something worthwhile. Go to FamilySearch.org and become and indexer  and join the Facebook group too! Please join in and help. We need you. Someone who is looking for that record needs you! FamilySearch shares with everyone - for free. Indexing is a way to feel good about yourself and help others at the same time, it doesn't get better than that! So mark your calendars Continue reading

Memorial Day – Wiley T. Johnston

Memorial Day – Wiley T. Johnston

My ancestors are fighters. They are an extremely patriotic bunch and can be found in every war of our country. One ancestor’s story I find especially compelling is that of my third great grandfather, Wiley T. Johnston. Wiley, the second of 12 children, was born and lived in Corona, Alabama. In October of 1863, he became a 19-year-old private in Alabama’s 28th Infantry. Wiley’s first military action came one month later at the Battle of Lookout Mountain. There he was taken as a prisoner of war and sent to Rock Island Prison in Illinois, where he was kept until the end of the war. The researcher and historian in me became engrossed in learning about this prison, previously unknown to me. Disease, malnutrition, overcrowding, and cold caused the deaths of more than 2,000 prisoners. It was -32° F and snowing when Wiley entered the prison in December 1863 – pretty cold for a southern boy. Wiley was released at the end of the war to walk the more than 730 miles back home, Continue reading