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

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

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

Win a FREE Rootstech 2017 4-day Registration Ticket!

Win a FREE Rootstech 2017 4-day Registration Ticket!

  Win a FREE, Full-Registration Ticket to RootsTech 2017 (February 8-11, 2017) Want to come see the world’s largest family history expo for yourself? Enter the FamilyCherished FREE 4-day RootsTech 2017 Registration Giveaway! Valued at over $239! The winner will receive access to: Innovator Summit and see the great new advances in technology & family history over 200 classes for all skill levels Keynotes addresses from TV’s LaVar Burton and the “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro Labs and Hands-on classes Getting Started classes Family Discovery Day with BYU coach Kalani Sitake, Youth Speaker Hank Smith and former NFL player and TV announcer Vai Sikahema Expo hall with tons of exciting vendors Every evening new events to enjoy Here's how to enter: First, go to Rootstech’s website. Check out the classes, the speakers and activities. THEN - Like my Facebook page for my blog FamilyCherished, and leave a message about what you most look forward to Continue reading

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

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

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