RootsTech 2017 Schedule
Subject to change
Innovator Summit General Session
A discussion on the genealogy and family history industry. Discussion concerning investment opportunities, technology needs, business and consumer trends.
Have an idea? Learn some best practices and applications for innovation.
See the showdown Semi-Finalists present their ideas.
Marketing family history and geneaolgy
API, SDKs, and many more developer discussions
Entrepreneurship and investment discussion
Innovation in the family history and genealogy industry
Marketing family history and genealogy.
APIs, SDKs, and many more developer discussions
Entrepreneurship and investment discussion
Innovation in the family history and genealogy industry
FamilySearch has seen many changes in recent years. Come learn where we have been, where we are and where we are headed in this technologically minded world.
Many records are created when someone dies. We will discuss death certificates, death registers, probate records which include wills, letters of administration, heir proofs, estate distribution records and many more. We will also discuss casket makers records, sexton's records, church records, funeral home records, newspaper notifications, etc.
Helping others and yourself find more family names gets easier and faster when you pair FamilySearch and partner sites together. Learn how to take advantage of free access to partner sites like Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage, American Ancestors, and more, to accelerate your efforts to build the tree and find more names to take to the temple.
Angel investor John Richards will explain and demonstrate venture ownership and cap tables in a straightforward and digestible way for both beginners and experienced entrepreneurs. John will introduce the capitalization of a startup, what a cap table is, and how the cap table can be used to project future company ownership. The confusing nature of ownership in the venture ecosystem will be de-mystified to enable entrepreneurs to better launch companies and negotiate financing deals. Bringing a laptop is optional.
This lab is a hands on approach for learning to read old documents. Attendees will explore different handwriting styles changing over time, tricky letters, unknown marks, and other surprises of old documents. Participants will have the opportunity to write, trace, and practice deciphering paleography with online tutorials. We will learn to properly understand the documents they find while searching to complete their ancestral families.
Once we have identified the origin of our immigrant ancestors, we are faced with the task of continuing our research in an unfamiliar language. This presentation will show you how to use tools at your fingertips to decipher those records. While a complete, flawless translation may be outside our current expertise, we can apply basic genealogical methodology to obtain the key facts in foreign language records. Focusing on records available from FamilySearch, this presentation will show how to identify common elements, perform a transliteration of the text and use online resources to translate into a meaningful document.
Religious records are a vital category in genealogy, and can lead to many exciting discoveries. The collections available on Findmypast span the British Isles and provide a unique look at early American settlement. By exploring these materials, you are accessing vital records, religious history, migration patterns, opportunities for in-depth research and much more. From the largest municipal congregations to the smallest village parish, attendees will benefit from the various denominations discussed and learn to apply these records to their personal family history.
ArkivDigital is an online application that provides access to the Swedish historical records. It is the premier site for Swedish research. The database provides access to the church books, emigration records, passenger ship manifests, estate inventories, military records, tax registers, court records and much more. The class will examine the two search techniques: archival search and index searching. The objective of the class will be to learn how to do a basic vital record search and locate a corresponding household record so that one can begin researching one’s ancestor backwards and forward in time.
Creating your family story is more than just locating the records; it’s learning to evaluate each record for every single clue. From the standard death certificate to PERSI, learn to capture every detail and take advantage of them in your research to further the story of your ancestor's.
The Genealogical Proof Standard says to resolve conflicts in data... but like so many things that sound good, it's easier said than done. What exactly are we supposed to do when we encounter conflicting evidence? What are the basic types of evidence conflicts and the methods - and tips and tricks - we can use to resolve them?
This session will share several ideas that will help LDS Church members engage their families in gathering, preserving and sharing family stories and memories. From the kitchen to social media to the temple, all ages can be engaged. (This session is designed for LDS Church members of all experience levels and ages.)
Want to preserve, present, and share your family's stories in creative and modern ways using the latest technologies? Come learn how and gain a renewed enthusiasm for sharing your stories and the ones of those you love. Discuss new and modern technologies designed to make preserving your life stories easier. Follow along as we discover unique and creative platforms for presenting stories to family members of all ages, especially your techie teens and kids, even involving them in the process. Whether you're a novice or advanced genealogist, leave this class with renewed excitement for sharing your family's stories.
Writing on the back of a print is an easy way to identify what’s in a photo. But how do you identify a digital file? The answer is metadata: editable information that stays with a digital image no matter where it travels. Captions, keywords, search terms, family names, dates, and copyright information can all be added to a digital photo, and it’s not hard to do! This class will explain in a fun, non-techy fashion, using clear visual examples, how to find and add captions and other metadata to your digital photos no matter what computer, platform, or software you’re using.
Scotland is a world leader when it comes to preserving their national history and national memory. Archivists all over the country are working to conserve, preserve, digitize and make available records that can be used for genealogical research. This lecture will assist you in learning where you might find information on your Scots ancestor that will help you to fill in their story and add to your understanding of their social history. There comes a time when you have done all of the online researching you can do using the standard databases. In this workshop you will learn of lesser known databases to assist in breaking through your brick walls. These include: • FindMyPast • Deceased Online • British Newspaper Archives • Emigration Databases • Military Databases • Poor Law Records • Medieval Ancestry • Local, Offline resources
Frequently, multiple people in an extended family are researching the same ancestral line. Societies sponsor research projects where multiple volunteers participate and contribute to the work. This class will demonstrate how the multi-user feature of ResearchTies will assist in streamlining a coordinated research effort. All researchers work from the same research log, contributing their effort to the same goals and “to do” lists. When any researcher completes a search and links in a document, all participants have access to it. Learn how to share the work and work together!
Two sisters, one adopted and one not, discuss the underlying concepts of genealogy for adoptees and their families. Come learn the difference between nature and nurture genealogy. The adoptee’s biological “nature” family history, enhanced by careful use of DNA testing, can fill in blanks where records can’t and help adoptees better understand their biological origin. The adoptive family’s history can help explain the formative “nurture” foundation of an adoptee’s life and create connections with adoptive family members and the adoptive family narrative. Using best practices, family history can be a powerful tool in binding adoptive families and in helping adoptees learn about and make peace with their individual life story.
Genealogy entrepreneurs are often themselves genealogists who've identified a gap in the market based on their own experience. This experience means that genealogy entrepreneurs have an usual sympathy for their user base, but it also blinds them to the reality of what the overall market needs. The "minimum viable product" (MVP) product development strategy helps entrepreneurs focus on building a product with just enough features to test the business hypothesis on real users. The MVP's build-test-learn cycle is especially well-suited to genealogy startups, where entrepreneurs worry they need to replicate most of the complicated features of the big sites to even have a chance at making it. The first half of this class will introduce the concept of the MVP and its related product development methodologies. The remainder of the time will be spent specifically analyzing the genealogy industry and selected large and small companies to learn from real-world case studies.
Adding features to software is often made difficult by underlying data models and design decisions that make the new features difficult to implement. In family history, some desirable features are impossible today because the necessary data to enable them is not currently being collected. This talk will explore half a dozen features in this category, exploring why they are not fully realizable given the currently-popular data models and what changes to the underlying design could enable them. We'll then discuss a simple design that could enable most of these features, demonstrate that such a design is theoretically simple, and discuss various trajectories to design new and refactor existing platforms such that these and other new features could be added. The particular features we'll discuss include 'What would my tree look like if we changed this one thing', 'I want to share data with my cousin where we agree without having to resolve our disagreements', 'I just changed this ancestor's birthdate; does that change have repercussions?', and others I don't have space to list here.
25 million digitized and searchable free books are at your fingertips at Google Books. Learn how to make the most of this goldmine chock full of historical data! You’ll discover the best techniques for finding fully digitized book FAST, and search secrets for locating genealogical data. Learn to capitalize on and translate the foreign language volumes from your ancestor's homeland. Then we’ll go beyond the obvious and track down maps, images, photos and more. Google Guru Lisa Louise Cooke will help make you a Google Books master, and you'll find yourself using this valuable tool nearly every day.
Take a look at one family’s personal journey to find a complete photo and history preservation solution. As most families do, this family had a great need and desire to preserve vulnerable documents, as well as printed and digital photographs. And, they recognized the need to establish succession as a way to hand these treasures down to future generations. In this breakout, you will see how one family’s story unfolds as they discover an unknown box full of family photos and memorabilia and their quest to preserve and protect these priceless family memories. This discovery launched this family into an astounding journey across nearly two centuries of family history — a history that could not possibly be archived, secured, and enjoyed by future generations without the help of new digital technologies.
Developing HTR (Handwritten Text Recognition) Technologies will help us find what we are searching for in archives and records sometimes indecipherable. European handwriting from the 18th Centuries and before are becoming more and more difficult to read, even for native speakers and local researchers. To solve this issue, we are working together with high-tech universities in Valencia and Barcelona to develop the technology that will unlock handwritten treasures and help any user find what they are really looking for. This technology, mixing Optical Character Recognition with Neuronal Networks and other Deep Learning techniques will revolutionize the way we approach and search handwritten archives. We will present you the prototype of HTR, a tool that will forever change the way we search.
It must be fun to market holographic projection systems or the latest cool, must have, product or service. But what if the technology you are selling is, well, boring. How can you stand out? We'll present 3 examples of companies that were able to successfully market their boring technology. We'll start with what each company did to create and document their story. Then we'll examine what each company did to create the opportunity for them to be different. Finally, we'll review how each company's actions translated into success. By success we mean: A stock price rising from $0.78 to $18.00 in 9 months, or getting 4 million web site visits in a year, or being one of the fastest growing companies in the US for 3 straight years. These companies didn't spent bundles of cash on marketing. They didn't buy a Super Bowl ad or do crowd-sourced Gorilla marketing, they simply prepared for success, took an orthogonal approach to their market, and then executed when the time came.
An overview of what's new and coming in the FamilySearch API.
Genealogists compare information such as age, occupation, religion, residence, names of family members and signatures to help determine if two records refer to the same individual. This can be useful in locating individuals in specific records, and in distinguishing men of the same name.
Exceptional, spiritual experiences, that change families, forever can be had in your family history center, when you enable Spirit led personal family history experiences to be the center of everything you do. Learn how to create sacred family experiences that will invite the Spirit of Elijah into the lives of all who visit.
Everyone has a tablet or a cell phone in their pocket. Now it is even easier to maintain your family history with FamilySearch mobile apps.
We’re flipping the typical conference class on its head. Rather than asking questions at the end, this FamilySearch intermediate class experience is all about answering your questions from record hints to editing data. Chances are, there are others who are wondering the same thing. Join us for a lab-style, ask-an-expert class where you determine the class content.
Family storytelling is a place where two worlds collide. Exciting new technologies meet the age-old oral storytelling traditions, but for some that creates a seeming conflict. We don't have to choose between one or the other. Come learn how to blend the High Touch and High Tech for family storytelling sessions the will delight all ages.
Frustrated trying to read through endless stacks of letters and journals? Worried about what's going to happen to all your family records scattered in different places? Discover how to create a searchable archive of your own family records through collaborative gathering and indexing efforts. Learn how to 1) create and manage a digital archive for your family or group, 2) engage others in crowdsourcing record transcription and tagging, and 3) search your archive data and share it with others through web, print, and social media.
In this session, attendees will learn how to process and organize information relevant to their genealogical research, including paper documents, digital files, and email. The session will discuss how to organize paper using either binders or folders, and the basics of preserving unique documents. Attendees will learn an organizational system for naming digital folders and files, as well as the process of synchronizing those files across multiple devices and backing up the files to a cloud service. Attendees will learn how to quickly process their email inbox, using unsubscribing, deleting, filtering, forwarding, and saving to other systems.
65% percent of all online activity is now conducted on a mobile phone. As our lives become more mobile, family history and memory sharing must “mobilize” as well. Genealogy doesn’t need to be confined to the the moments when you have time to sit at a computer. Learn about how to make the most of genealogy apps and mobile websites to document history and engage with your family constantly while preserving memories as they happen.
Many books have been written how to do genealogy but what is the right way to motivate people to be engaged in genealogy? What are your tools to win individuals to support your genealogical research, to join your family associations, taking part at your family reunion or becoming member of your society? With expertise of more than three decades in genealogy here is a European perspective.
This is a program designed to help you locate your ancestors’ naturalization records and unlock the secrets of those records. In 1906, the United States took control of the naturalization process. Although one could still be naturalized in state court, the paperwork filled out by the applicant for citizenship was now uniform and contained questions calling for much more detailed biographical information. It’s in the answers to the detailed questions that we are able to find out a great deal more about the immigrant and the members of his family. Learn to locate and access these records and follow up on the results.
Family stories should never be lost. They remind us of life’s special occasions and important experiences, embody family values, illustrate important lessons learned, provide a glimpse into the lives people lived, and become a significant part of our legacy. One of the most powerful ways to record these valuable stories is with video. A video can capture the beliefs, voices, emotions, facial reactions – the life testimony – of individual family members, and become a deeply emotional component of a complete memory-keeping solution. In this session, learn the fundamentals of creating a Life Testimony Video, and how anyone with a smart phone can create and share them with others. Learn how to prepare the right questions, anticipate and overcome obstacles, and encourage individuals to actually sit down and tell their stories for the camera (not always an easy thing). And most importantly, learn how to save and share these Life Testimonies - and the legacy behind them - for generations.
Once upon a time Irish genealogy was considered impossible, but all that has changed. True, its still difficult, but thanks to the work of archives and libraries in Ireland, and findmypast.com, there are now over 140 million records online. They include traditional sources like civil records of birth, death and marriage, census records and church registers. But they also include census substitutes like the land valuation records and tax records. Moreover entirely new classes of records have been trail-blazed in Ireland, like magistrate court registers, rebel and military records, and much more. These sources can be difficult to use. So this lecture will describe and explain so users can get the most of what is available. But it is also time now to take stock. Where do we need to go to finally make Irish genealogy achievable for all. Brian will give a sneak peak of what's planned by findmypast.com, and also address the remaining challenges to access our historic records.
Lean startup innovation is changing the way companies create healthy businesses--especially in genealogy. What are lean startup practices and how have they been used to start successful genealogy companies? By understanding the hypotheses of your startup idea, you can create real measurements and then test your ideas before investing in the wrong idea. Learning from actual metrics, created with real world testing helps business owners decide whether to pivot or persevere. Many small genealogy companies get caught in the land of the living dead, thinking that more marketing is the pathway to success, when the real answer is testing and pivoting to find real sustainable growth. Learn from real world examples in the genealogy market what makes a company successful.
A focused guide to identifying sources of start up funding for your company. We will explore the Five sources of funding and outline steps to a winning proposal that results in investors wanting to write you a check. This session will discuss creating a concise and informative business plan to present to your potential investors. Bud Stoddard, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, has raised capital on multiple occaisions and will outline what is best for you dependent on the stage of your business. He is the author of "Reflections of a Serial Entrepreneur, a street smart guide to starting your own company"
This class will take all the guesswork out of documenting your freedmen ancestors. You will learn how to identify ancestors who were emancipated as you follow an example of the process the instructor used to reconstruct Henry Sims' (Union County, South Carolina) family group and a timeline using historical records. You will also see the importance of researching the family who had enslaved the instructor's family. The record types used in the example will be specific to South Carolina along with other records more commonly used, but we will list comparable record types to search for in other states. You will learn how to access Freedmen's Bureau records and learn how the groundwork laid in researching prior to this time period enables you to more easily locate your ancestor and other related family members on Freedmen's Bureau records. We will show examples of different record types, and we will also discuss the reasons why your ancestor may not appear among these records.
Kick-off RootsTech 2017 by attending the 80's themed welcome party to celebrate early innovation ideas. Play 80's video games, listen to 80's music, enjoy appetizers and drinks, hear a special Innovator Showdown announcement, and of course, expand your network. This event is being held at the Marriott Downtown, Grand Ballroom