Extreme Genes at RootsTech 2017

RootsTech was an action-packed four-day event, but a highlight was meeting some of the regulars on ExtremeGenes: America's Family History Show. My husband and I made arrangements to interview Scott Fisher, David Allen Lambert, and Tom Perry and enjoyed every minute of the visits.

The question I have for you is, which ExtremeGene do you like better? To vote, you need to watch the following videos. The ExtremeGene with the most views is differently the most popular. But, if you leave a comment on the Family History Fanatics YouTube channel for the men, that will also sway the standings. So, let the competition begin: 

Fisher shares how ExtremGenes began and a little bit about
my favorite episode involving Elmer McCurdy

David shares what it's like being the kid genealogist with
a 40-year involvement in the pursuit

Tom is the preservation expert so knowledgeable he should be a professor.

To listen to the Radio Roots Sleuths who help us shake our family trees and watch the nuts fall out, check out ExtremeGenes.com to learn when you can find them on your radio or as a podcast. 

If you enjoyed these interviews, tell me in the comments section who I should interview in the future. The Family History Fanatics video series strives to keep the fun in genealogy and serve you and your topics of interest. If you are looking for a way to support my family and me, consider subscribing to the channel, so you never miss an episode. Then, like the videos you want to see more of. 

Busy Mom Memory Keeping Compilation

Memory Keeping for Busy Lives


Memory Keeping when you're a busy mom of young ones underfoot, tweens that you chauffeuring all over, or some combination of the two while keeping a house clean and a job paying the bills is a challenge that's rarely accepted. But, no need! There are many solutions to memory keeping, you just need to find the one that works for you.

Why I Share Family History with My Children

Share Family History With Kids


Growing up far from family, I often feared what would happen to me if my parents or only brother died. I would feel like an emotional orphan even if I returned to Columbus, Ohio to live with my Grannie.

My mother did a great job of telling me a few things about my Papa, her daddy that died when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I knew that Papa was watching over me and there are times I felt him holding my hand as a latch-key kid walking to school. My greatest desire is to meet Papa and have him dance with me. Do you remember any commercial that shows little girls dancing with their feet on their daddy's? That's the imagine my mother painted about Papa, and I want to have that experience, though I probably shouldn't step on his feet since I'm not so little any longer.

End Your Photo Hoarding Guilt with Recap Photo Books

Year in Review Photobooks for Busy Moms

Snap. You just took another photo using your tablet, smartphone, or DSLR camera. But what are you going to do with that picture? Maybe you'll share it in a text to your relatives who weren't able to attend Sammy's dance recital. Maybe you'll share the photo to Flickr because you captured the most beautiful flower you've ever seen. Or maybe, you'll post to Instagram or Facebook so everyone can know about your latest field trip or vacation.

After that, what happens to your photos?

Be honest!

Most people do nothing with the thousands of photos they capture. Do you panic if your iDrive or GooglePhotos account loses a photo? Do you cringe at the thought of deleting any photo? It's your child's precious moments. It's your dream vacation or home remodel process.

But really! If you don't create something with the photos, you are a photo hoarder, and you need an intervention!

A Lunch Conversation That Opened My Eyes

Sheri Camp RootsTech Keynote


With the Cake Boss and a cake competition and large model kitchen in the Expo Hall, one obvious theme at RootsTech 2017 was food. Many presenters spoke about the need and how to preserve the traditional recipes of our families. Call me crazy if you want to, but I have a question.

"How do I preserve the number for Dominoes?"

My mother's food motto was, "If it couldn't be nuked, baked, or ordered in, it wasn't done." We ate a lot of take-out, home delivery, and frozen food. Sometimes we went crazy and had Hamburger Helper or Shake n Bake.  So, how do I pass down those recipes?

Often, I lament not having traditional family recipes to pass down to my children. This year ended that feeling after lovely epiphany-inducing experience

German Names in Print?

Can you find German names in print


Do you have Germans in your Ancestral line? I do. And I'll be honest. For the most part, I have no idea how to pronounce their names as a German would. I have a friend who patiently puts up with me saying, "How do you pronounce Geiszler?" or "How do you pronounce Puesecker?" I love that man for putting up with me. Poor guy. Who would have thought that being originally from Germany and befriending a genealogist would mean he would have to put up with my desire to learn more?

But, then I remember the stories I have heard about the destruction of German gravestones in Ohio during WWI and WWII. I've heard about Germans changing their names during that time period to hide their ethnicity. Germans received mocking from racism based on where their family lines originated. So perhaps my peppering a native German now living in my town in Texas with questions about his homeland and language is actually a sign of progress?

Regardless, I'm constantly trying to learn more about my German roots. A dear friend, Jenna Mills of Desperately Seeking Surnames, shared a fun resource with me. It's called Meyer's Gazetteer. Now, the landing page doesn't explain much, so I naively plugged in my family's last name of Geiszler. The website found not hints and recommended using wildcards. So, I put in the name Gei*ler. And this is what I saw:

Suggetions for Future RootsTech Keynotes

RootsTech Keynote Wishlist


Keynote speakers set the stage for a conference and the center of many tweets, photos, and interviews. Pick the right ones, and conference attendees are thrilled and praise the event. Pick the wrong one, and people won't fill the assembly hall in the future. RootsTech has had some wonderful keynote presenters in the past, and some that were less than thrilling.

After considering what makes me want to park my bottom at a keynote address rather than sleep in at RootsTech, I'll share with you my wish of future keynote speakers for RootsTech 2018 and beyond. Feel free to comment on these individuals or your favorites who aren't on my list.

My favorite RootsTech speakers fall into four categories: History Buffs, Eye Candy, Entertainers, and Business Leaders. If a speaker is a big name, but doesn't have an obvious connection to the theme of genealogy and technology, I have a hard time wanting to listen to the keynote. And the keynote, perhaps without realizing the pressure, have a difficult communication obstacle to overcome. The following individuals make the cut because they would have a more natural fit to the conference.
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