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

Genealogy Rock-Star War of the Tom-Toms

Genealogy Rock-Star War of the Tom-Toms

There has been a lot of talk about “Genealogy Rock Stars” recently. John D. Reid recently wrote on his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections regarding the results of a poll taken from “676 [polled]in number from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, Mexico, Spain and Sweden voted to select "rock star genealogists, women and men who give 'must attend' presentations at genealogy conferences and/or write 'must read' family history articles or publications." …just in case your interested, no – I didn’t vote.No surprise about numbers 1-3 (Elizabeth Shown Mills, Megan Smolenyak and Dick Eastman respectively). This is brings us to No. 4 – Thomas MacEntee and No. 5 Thomas W. Jones. This battle of the Toms provides a good illustration about the importance of branding and use of social media.First, let me perfectly clear – I am a HUGE fan of both! I took Dr. Jones class last week at SLIG and have worked on projects with Thomas MacEntee and think they are both tops in my book. Continue reading

33 Ways to Become a Better Genealogist

33 Ways to Become a Better Genealogist

I love reading lists. I love creating lists. I love crossing off lists. And, if I could just keep track of where I put all my lists I would be in great shape! So, in an effort to keep this list where I can find it again, I will post it here. Maybe this list will help you too.Click here to get free download of lists above1. Make lists. List the books and articles you want to read, the court houses and repositories you want  to visit, things to search when you visit the FHL in Salt Lake, things you want to blog about, things that you want to interview your grandmother about, things that you want to search, things that need documentation, a list of where you keep your lists! Sometimes in writing the lists new ideas will appear, so go wild and weed out later!2. Carry a notebook everywhere. Great for writing lists. I have a  recorder app on my android phone. I record myself ideas and thoughts to follow up on when I am out and don’t have a notebook with me. I love tech but I am still Continue reading

I’m so Confused? What am I?

Genealogist? Family Historian, Curator, Archivist? I have been pondering what it is that I do and what to call myself for awhile. I can see that I am not the only one after reading Nancy’s post on My Ancestors and Me blog. I could be called a genealogist because I research lineage and create family trees for myself and others professionally. But, because I want to know more than just the mere names and dates - I want to know about their history, their culture and more details than just the facts ma'am…which also makes me a family historian and a poor imitator of Sgt. Friday.At RootsTech I heard the terms “curator and archivist” bandied about a bit.  A curator is responsible for the 'care and acquisitions of objects' and the term has recently moved to include not just objects but digital records. An archivist is primarily concerned with preservation for future generations the information that is in a collection or library.With all the stuff collectibles, photos, books, papers and images Continue reading

What’s in Your Bag?

This Thursday through Saturday I will be attending RootsTech in Salt Lake City. This is a new conference in which the universes of genealogy and technology will collide and will try to create a new world - one where research is faster, simpler and dare we dream … easier.Having learned my lesson just a few weeks ago while attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, I came to my senses I wisely booked a hotel room…read earlier post for the details. Since I won’t be driving back and forth to Salt Lake, I have to be prepared a bit more  than usual. When I do research at the Family History Library, I just bring my flash drive and use the library’s computers and save lugging the laptop around. But since this is a conference about using technology I decided it would be best if I actually brought some! So, I am prepacking my laptop bag. Having worked at the FHL and done research there for years, I thought I would share what I like to bring with me. Besides the laptop and power cord, I also Continue reading