5 Tips to Survive RootsTech 2017

RootsTech Survival Tips


The RootsTech Conference held annually in Salt Lake City, Utah is considered the Super Bowl of Genealogy. With 200+ Break Out Sessions, an Expo Hall packed with genealogy and technology companies, and over 20,000 of your fellow family history loving friends, RootsTech is a place to learn new skills and feel inspired to help your ancestors live on in the hearts and minds of their descendants everywhere.

Last year, Andy and I attended the conference because he was selected to present a class entitled "Audacity: The Power of Audio Editing." This year, we're team teaching a lab entitled "Start Writing Your Family History Today!" We love teaching and hope to see you in one of the Friday sessions.

But, RootsTech can be overwhelming! From what we learned last year, there are a few things beyond winter coats and tickets to the event that you'll need to bring with you. Some items are common sense, but I'd rather state the obvious rather than you slapping your forehead because you forgot one of these five essential things for surviving and thriving at this mega conference.

Brick Wall Busting is not for Beginners

Brick Wall Busting is Advanced Genealogy


Brick Wall Busting is not an easy task. It should be something that beginners do not set out to do on their first attempt in genealogy sleuthing. It's critical that you learn how to research with basic records that are readily available and the foundation of solid research before attempting to bust down the barriers. If you don't learn the foundational research skills, you'll give up on genealogy and fail to use your talents to solve mysteries.

Starting Simply in Genealogy

Set Simple Genealogy Goals

Are you ready to begin finding your ancestors? Great! Welcome to the club. But I have a feeling that your new journey will stop short if you bite off more than you can chew.

 Each New Year, people make resolutions to change their ways and get fit. They'll purchase a gym membership and a new workout outfit. Within two months, the gyms are less crowded because the New Year's Resolutions were too big fo the person who set the goals.

How to Copy a Book in an Archive

How to photograph a Book in an Archive


When you visit libraries and archives, you often face a dilemma when you discover information about your ancestors. How do you make a copy of the books you find from the shelves.

Many libraries won't let you bring a scanner or a even use a copy machine. Some will let you photograph a book, only if you use a camera with no flash. In these libraries, these limitations can be overcome with a dSLR camera.

Be Organized in 2017 - Photo Collection Tips

Organize Your Photo Collection


What is the number one task to do in genealogy? It's not tracing your family tree back to Adam & Eve. It's not proving your lineage to a Revolutionary War ancestor. It involves your photos and whether they'll be tossed into to the trash.


Learn to Write at RootsTech 2017 with Devon and Andy

Join us at RootsTech 2017. Register today.


Roots Tech is like a ComicCon-style convention for family history. Celebrities who are not necessarily genealogists will keynote the event and may be available to meet. Over 200 classes are offered to educate and inspire you to take your family history one step further. And the exhibit hall is packed with live demos, new products, and resources from around the world. The only thing missing is CosPlay costumes!

RootsTech 2017 selected me to present alongside my amazing husband who rocked RootsTech last year with his class "Audacity: The Power of Audio Editing." This year, we'll deliver another top notch presentation over in the computer lab. If you're ready to start writing your family histories, you need to come to our class. It will be fun and informative. You'll also walk away having written your first story!

Our class is Session number: LAB8892 entitled "Start Writing Your Family History Today!" It's offered Friday at 1:30 pm and again at 4:30 pm.

You'll need to bring a birth record for one ancestor and their associated pedigree charts and group sheets. We'll use the computers to write your story in Google Docs or Microsoft Office. And, we'll access a few fun facts on the internet!

The class is filling up. Don't wait to add this lab to your registration!

To select this class, you'll find it on the schedule link (RootsTech.org/schedule). Then select Friday and then click the circle for "Add Ons to Your Pass." You can get a One-Day Pass for Friday (or any day Thursday-Saturday) for $99 or a Full RootsTech Pass with access to the classes and Expo Hall from Wednesday to Saturday for $189. Please note, computer labs carry an additional $19 fee.

I hope to see you in Salt Lake City, Utah. We'll be there February 9th and 10th. If you're planning on attending, leave a comment here or shoot me an email so we can meet up! My second favorite thing about RootsTech is interacting with my genea-buddies!

What Are Your Genealogy Goals?

Setting Genealogy Goals

What do you want to accomplish when you do family history?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what you hope to accomplish? Probably not. Many people, regardless of how long they have done genealogy, start collecting and researching without any particular goals in mind. It's no wonder that many people become frustrated and give up too soon. Others are addicted to piling up copies of documents that record their ancestor, or potential ancestor,

Before you do anything else related to genealogy, define what your goals are. Begin with the end in mind.
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