Well RootsTech is all over again for another year. My only disappointment was that it was not in person. I have been promising myself this trip for the last few years but something has always prevented me from attending. Maybe 2023 will be the year.
While virtual, it was still possible to be caught up in the excitement of the weekend. Creating a playlist of sessions I want to listen to turned into a major undertaking and it will take me a year to listen to them all.
Similarly a visit to the Expo Hall was not quick as there were so many sponsors and exhibitors to wander around and see what was on offer.
Another distraction was Relatives at RootsTech and most of my connections were 6th cousin or more. So not close but when I explored them the family lines were on my mother’s side. There are quite a few clues there that I want to explore further.
This year for the first time I was selected as a RootsTech Influencer which simply put means that I had to promote RootsTech to my readers. Well this was easy as I usually do every year through my talks, social media, blog and website. This in itself was exciting as I could see how others also promoted RootsTech and I continue to be amazed at how people use social media. Perhaps that is because I was not born in the digital age or with a phone in my hand. Not quite ready to give up my pen and paper just yet.
Hightville cemetery – the memorial to my great grandfather Thomas Price
who died at the Wee McGregor Mine in 1918
Last year I gave one talk and this year two of my proposals were accepted which was exciting:
- Mining ancestors downunder
- Tips & Tricks for researching the National Archives of Australia online
So far there has been some nice feedback and a couple of questions which I was able to answer. It is still possible to view my talks, and those of everyone else, so why not spend an hour a week, or more, viewing and learning about more resources for your family history research.
National Archives of AustraliaBrisbane Office 2016
DNA continues to be my primary interest – hunting down those biological ancestors on my father’s side. My choices were more medium to advanced as I have a good understanding of the basics. Although a refresher never hurts.
Also of interest were sessions by my downunder colleagues and it is good to see more on offer about researching in Australia and New Zealand.
Anything Irish I will watch as I believe that Dad was half Irish with family in Counties Wicklow and Antrim. I’d really like to see some talks on researching in Cornwall as that is another part of my heritage that interests me.
Methodology and organising your research are essential and you can get some interesting tips and tricks from speakers in this area. As I said at the beginning, my playlist is huge and will take a while to work through. Perhaps I even need to allocate regular time in my calendar to avoid the mad rush before next year.
And of course there are the keynote speakers. An amazing range of people and stories but if I had to pick a favourite then it would be Maysoon Zayid, a Palestine American comedian. I found her inspirational and motivating.
On the 3rd Tuesday night of the month we have a Twitter fest downunder. Our hashtag is #ANZAncestryTime and you can catch up on previous months.
The March topic was RootsTech which was no surprise. Various set questions were asked and everyone gave their answers/comments. No one person approached RootsTech the same way. It was good to see others ‘must watch’ sessions and to share the different experiences.
Next year’s dates are 1-4 March 2023 in Salt Lake City. Considering the Covid factor of the last two years and the success of a virtual event, then I wouldn’t be suprised if this wasn’t a hybrid event. If it is also in person, then my intention will be to go there. Perhaps 4th attempt lucky.
If you haven’t yet discovered the wealth of learning within RootsTech, then start now and visit the 2022 website. Try out a few sessions.
If you are already a fan, make sure you do work your way through your playlist.
I was honoured to be both an Influencer and a Speaker this year. I am also very grateful to have the huge range of topics and speakers to watch over the coming months.
The RootsTech Organisers and all the people who work in the background must be thanked. Without their dedication and effort, an event this big would never happen. Thank you all.