Lizz Miller | Feb 11, 2017

RootsTech Day in Review: Connecting Families Across Generations

In what proved to be another memorable day, the RootsTech 2017 conference wrapped up in exciting fashion Saturday, highlighted by keynote speakers CeCe Moore and Buddy Valastro, exciting entertainment, and, of course, cake! More than 10,000 people converged on the Salt Palace to participate in the world’s largest family history conference.

CeCe Moore


Taking the RootsTech stage for the first time, CeCe Moore, professional genetic genealogist, explained why DNA research has quickly become one of the most sought-after and useful techniques for today’s genealogists, and shared some of her experiences in the emerging field.

“I’ve witnessed identities re-examined, families re-defined and secrets unlocked, all through genetic genealogy,” she said. “Genetic genealogy is powerful.”

Moore noted that the data and information provided to genealogists today because of DNA research is helping to bring the stories of ancestors past to life.

“Are biological ancestors calling out to us through the very DNA that they’ve passed on to us?” she asked the audience. “And is this the source of the passion, the drive to learn about them that so many of us feel?”

Buddy Valastro


Buddy Valastro, world famous baker and star of the popular TLC show Cake Boss, also keynoted Saturday’s session. Valastro touched the hearts of attendees by openly sharing stories of his Italian heritage, hard work, and the importance of family and good food. Valastro expressed his gratitude for his father, the man taught Buddy the value of sacrifice and hard work.

“My dad told me, ‘Whatever you do in life, you have to do it one hundred percent. You have to do it right. That defines who you are.’”

Cake Competition

Having the Cake Boss at RootsTech wouldn’t have been complete without cake! Leading up to RootsTech, dozens of local bakers submitted their own delectable creations to the first ever RootsTech cake competition. The competition was divided into four different categories and Valastro served as celebrity guest judge. Congratulations to our winners:

Birthday Cake: Brenda Francis


Holiday Cake: Elly Carter


Graduation Cake: Carisa Brisk


Wedding Cake: Betheny Tomseth


Elly Carter won both the Judge’s and People’s choice awards as well.

Closing Event

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Saturday’s session ended with cake and a musical sing-off. Jason Hewlett, RootsTech emcee and one-man show of music and comedy, and BYU’s a capella groups Vocal Point and Noteworthy sang the night away.

Join us for RootsTech 2018

We hope you enjoyed RootsTech 2017 and that you’ll join us again for the 2018 conference, happening February 28-March 3, 2018 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. We hope to see you there!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll be sharing more highlights from this year’s conference. You can also watch for:

Videos of industry leaders sharing family history hacks.

Links to the brand new RootsTech blog with content on topics such as how to use Google for genealogy success, cemetery crowdsourcing, and how to identify an old family photo.

Lizz Miller

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