RootsTech 2017 Schedule

Subject to change

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Filter by Pass
7:00 am
Registration
(Closes at 6 p.m.)
8:30 am
General Session
General Session - Friday
LeVar Burton |

LeVar Burton is known by millions as the face of Reading Rainbow, the beloved, long running PBS children’s television series, and for his role as Geordi La Forge, Chief Engineer in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation series. Many also remember seeing his talent debut in 1977 when he was cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television miniseries Roots.

In addition to his familiar talent as an actor, he is an accomplished director, producer, writer, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. He is the honored recipient of 12 Emmy Awards, a Grammy and five NAACP Awards. Burton has experienced continual success in his innovative efforts to promote his passion for literature, storytelling, and imagination. He is the Co-Founder and Curator-in-Chief of RRKIDZ, the online home of Reading Rainbow and Skybrary. With millions of fans throughout the world, he continues his mission to inspire, entertain and educate.

Room: Hall D
Session number: RT1200
RootsTech Track
Return to Top
10:00 am
Expo Hall
(Closes at 7 p.m.)
11:00 am
Sessions/Labs
Copyright Law for Genealogists
Judy G. Russell |

Understanding what is and isn't copyrighted and what genealogists can and can't use is the key to staying out of trouble and to protecting our own work. Learn about what copyright is, and what it isn't.

Room: Ballroom C
Session number: RT3013
RootsTech Track
What to know starting Scandinavian genealogy?
Finn Karlsen | Beginner

This class will focus on the needed background for Scandinavian research, as well as the geography and history, jurisdictions, naming traditions, languages, and online resources for both Norway and Denmark.

Room: 151
Session number: RT9437
RootsTech Track
Tech Resources to Begin African American Research
Sherri Camp, AAHGS |

Do you need to know how to get started researching African American family history? You have come to the right place. Beginners will learn the process to begin research on African American family history using free technology resources available online. Many times African American research is a difficult process and cannot be found in conventional ways. This class will help participates learn the process, tips, tricks, and resources to research and document African American families.

Room: 255A
Session number: RT8124
RootsTech Track
Picture Perfect: Images in Your Family History
Penelope Stratton, New England Historic Genealogical Society | Beginner

A picture is worth a thousand words, so plan to bring your family history to life by including family photos, maps, and other images. This presentation will cover planning, organizing, and scanning your own images; finding and borrowing additional images; and choosing software to edit or create images.

Room: 251D
Session number: RT0860
RootsTech Track
Creating an Effective Research Plan
Angela McGhie | Intermediate

Genealogists are more efficient when they have a research plan. This presentation will include an eight step process for research planning and execution, as well as examples of effective research plans. Learn to focus your research objective, develop a profile of your subject, analyze previous research, identify relevant sources, and create an efficient research plan.

Room: 255B
Session number: RT2007
RootsTech Track
How to get a legal Coat of Arms
Dr Bruce Durie | Beginner

There are too many "Your Family Crest" merchants out there, selling coats of arms fraudulently, as if an entire surname group "owns" arms. In Scotland (and other jurisdictions) arms are the individual, heritable property of one person as a time. There is no such thing as a "Family Coat of Arms" and "Arms" are not the same as "Crest". However, there are ways to achieve a coat of arms legally and without falling foul of statute law. Dr Bruce Durie will explore with you how this works within the Scottish legal framework.

Room: 255D
Session number: RT8874
RootsTech Track
Finding Elusive Records: Search Like the Pros
Robert Kehrer, FamilySearch | Intermediate

What do you do if your ancestor's records doesn't come up in your initial search? A significant portion of the records on FamilySearch are not indexed and can't be searched using the form. For a number of historical, technical or genealogical reasons, an ancestor's record may be challenging to find. This session will walk through some of the common difficulties confronted by researchers and demonstrate how to use the FamilySearch systems to find that elusive record.

Room: Ballroom J
Session number: RT4115
RootsTech Track
5 Search Strategies Every Genealogist Should Know
Amy Johnson Crow, AmyJohnsonCrow.com | Beginner

Every website has its own peculiarities. However, there are some search strategies that can yield better results regardless of the website you're using. Learn 5 ways to approach a search that will help you uncover the clues you're searching for (including one way that doesn't involve a name).

Room: 150
Session number: RT1772
RootsTech Track
Using genetic evidence in your family tree
Ross Curtis, AncestryDNA | Intermediate

You’ve scoured the census, dug through the probates, and even visited the county courthouse. But have you tapped into another powerful record, one that you carry with you every day? That record is your DNA, which has been passed down through the generations from your ancestors to you. Come and learn what tools are available through AncestryDNA to add DNA evidence to your family story.

Room: 250A
Session number: RT1094
RootsTech Track
Using Autosomal DNA to Help Extend a Lineage
Thomas Jones |

A case study shows how targeted autosomal-DNA testing supplemented documentary research to identify the father and grandparents of siblings born in New York State in the 1820s. Besides genealogical methods, the presentation addresses locating people to test, interpreting documentary research and DNA results, and applying the interpretations to help answer specific genealogical research questions.

Room: Ballroom G
Session number: RT3002
RootsTech Track
Finding Gold by Re-Proving Grandma’s Research
Peg Ivanyo, All Things Related | Beginner

Let’s face it. We live in a different genealogical research world than the one in which Grandma or Aunt Mildred lived. Information that might have taken them years to find can often be located electronically in a matter of minutes, and many items previously unavailable are now readily accessible. That puts us in an interesting position; do we accept their published, long-accepted conclusions, or pause to give them a short review? In this class we will demonstrate that by re-proving older research using current standards, technology, and accessible records, we might just find a wee bit of gold: new clues to extended family, leads to break down a brick wall, children previously missed, and maybe even “the rest of the story”.

Room: Ballroom A
Session number: RT1500
RootsTech Track
You're losing it! Preserve your personal history.
Michelle Barber | Beginner

Have you ever thought that your ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago left more of their personal history for their posterity than you will? These days we are great at documenting, taking dozens of photos a day, sharing instantly along with our thoughts and day-to-day happenings. But are we preserving? Where will those pictures, thoughts, experiences and records be 10, 20, or even 100 years from now? And are we documenting that which will be of most value for our generations to come? In this session you will learn how to identify the ways you are already journaling your life along with new ideas for preserving the parts of you that will be most important for generations to come.

Room: 250D
Session number: RT0312
RootsTech Track
Jewish DNA: Successes and Lessons From the Journey
Israel Pickholtz | Intermediate

A hot topic in genealogy in recent years is genetics and thousands of genealogists, their families and the otherwise curious have ordered DNA tests. Most haven't a clue what to do with their results. The situation is more difficult in populations who have married within themselves for hundreds of years, thus ensuring that everyone is related to everyone else, multiple times. Marrying within a closed community - 'endogamy' – creates special challenges for the genetic genealogist and these are only beginning to be addressed by the general community. This presentation – as in the speaker's book 'ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People' – does not bring a how-to approach, as every family is different. He prefers a "how I did it" approach, demonstrating the successes he has had in his own Jewish families and the lessons which are applicable to all genetic genealogy. His goal is to inspire his listeners and readers to say "I can do this!"

Room: 251A
Session number: RT1571
RootsTech Track
Discovering Family History through DPLA
Franky Abbott | Beginner

The Digital Public Library of America (https://dp.la) is a nonprofit online library that provides free access to more than 13 million digitized items from thousands of archives, libraries, museums, and special collections across America. Family researchers can search across thousands of different institutions at once and discover millions of freely accessible primary and secondary sources using DPLA’s user-friendly search interface. Together, these resources help to tell unique and varied stories of the people who have lived and events that have taken place in places across the nation. This presentation will describe what the DPLA is, how it can be useful for family research, and how its growing collection of digital materials is an invaluable resource for the discovery of genealogical materials for researchers with all levels of experience. Special updates from the past year, including new collections added to DPLA, will also be covered.

Room: 255E
Session number: RT1157
RootsTech Track
Genograms- Creative Ways to View Your Research
Randy Whited | Beginner

Different people perceive and understand in a variety of ways. While some people may inherently understand a complex set of data, most others benefit from one or more visual representations to see patterns and relationships. One such visualization useful for family history research is the genogram. A genogram, sometimes referred to as a family diagram or family map, is a diagram that outlines the attributes and relationships between members of a family across multiple generations. This more expansive view of the extended family is more complete and may better represent a variety of relationships between family members, associates and the broader community. The applications range from family medical histories to FAN and cluster research and beyond.

Room: 254A
Session number: RT2072
RootsTech Track
Go Paperless: Digitize & Streamline Your Research
Janine Adams, Organize Your Family History; Brooks Duncan, DocumentSnap Solutions | Beginner

Going paperless is about much more than saving trees and a clean desk. More and more genealogy enthusiasts are discovering the benefit of having the document they need, right when they need it in electronic form—and being able to easily share their documents with others. Turning at least some of your paper into an organized, electronic system can help alleviate the paper overload that can come with exploring your family history. This session will give concrete, specific information on tools and best practices for going paperless from two people who live and breathe it.

Room: Ballroom I
Session number: RT1446
RootsTech Track
Fun with Photos–The Sheboygan Dead Horse Picture
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Identifinders International | Beginner

The hat, the horse, the man, the scene…the mystery. Who is he and why was he photographed in top hat and tails sitting on a dead horse in the middle of 8th St. in Sheboygan, WI? This photograph is a classic test of anyone’s photo-sleuthing skills. So before you attend this talk, have a good look at the famous Sheboygan Dead Horse Picture and see if you can find the sundial. Or how about the locomotive? In this talk, you will learn how to use Google Maps, GPS coordinates, Irfanview photo software, and genealogical and historical databases to recognize details in a photo that individually may not seem important, but that can be knit together to tell a story that means so much more than its individual parts.

Room: Ballroom E
Session number: RT1485
RootsTech Track
The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family
Andy Hammerstein |

This breakout session focuses on The Hammersteins, a book that tells the story of one of Broadway's most creative and productive families. It is a story that begins in 1864 when Oscar Hammerstein I emigrates to America, establishes himself as a successful cigar merchant and turns his attention to the business of music and theaters. He builds many theaters including New York's most majestic opera house. He turns Times Square (then Longacre Square) into the theater capital of the world. His sons, Willie and Arthur carry on the tradition and nurture such talents as Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Al Jolson, Houdini, and Charlie Chaplin. Willie's son Oscar II becomes the most successful lyricist of all time, writing the story and words to the Broadway shows Showboat, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Carousel, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. The accomplishments of this family are monumental. Their tale is enchanting. Come hear the Hammerstein family story, and how materials for the book were gathered, the narrative was told, and published. Books will be available for purchase and the author/lecturer will be available to sign them before and after the breakout session.

Room: Ballroom B
Session number: RT8641
RootsTech Track
Return to Top
1:30 pm
Sessions/Labs
Beginning Native American Research
Billy Edgington | Beginner

An overview of the sources and guides available for beginning research to find a Native American ancestor. Finding and focusing on the right tribal nation. Where are the records and how to find them. Family stories and DNA.

Room: 250D
Session number: RT1097
RootsTech Track
Instagram: 5 Reasons Genealogists Should Use It
Maureen Taylor | Beginner

Here are five reasons genealogists should embrace Instagram. 1) It's a great way to share pictures. Think social media for pictures 2) Hashtags are like subject headings for finding information 3) It's free (and fun) 4) It's easy to create a profile and start using the medium BUT follow these tips: watermark your images, keep track of your #hashtags, and share your posts. Added content includes a list of Instagram pages to follow.

Room: 255D
Session number: RT0881
RootsTech Track
Online Journaling Tools and Apps You Should Try
Lisa Alzo | Beginner

Ever thought of taking your daily journal online? Want to capture meaningful moments as they happen or share your favorite memories? With today’s technology, we have a convenient way to 'Lifestream' every day happenings using text, photos, and videos. Learn how to use online tools and apps to keep a journal that can easily be saved, preserved and shared.

This is class is only available to the Getting Started Pass

Room: 155D - Getting Started
Session number: GS1801
RootsTech Track
Understanding your Family History Calling: Turning Hearts made easier
Rod DeGiulio |

Have you ever wondered what your role and responsibility is toward family history and helping others? Have you had your calling for a long time and never known quite what to do? Learn how you can magnify your calling and bless the lives of those you serve through family history and temple service.   

Room: Ballroom I
Session number: LDS4035
RootsTech Track
Records of Inheritance in Scotland up to 1868
Dr Bruce Durie | Beginner

Wondering where the house, land and money went? Why can't I find any mention of these in a will? And what is a Scottish "will" anyway? Why is there no Probate in Scotland? Who inherited what, and why? Inheritance in Scotland was complex, and involved three completely different sets of documents - Wills & Testaments, Retours of Services of Heirs, and Trust Deeds & Settlements. Can you find any of these? YES! Dr Bruce Durie will explain what and where they are (online and physical) and how to interpret them,

Room: 151
Session number: RT2179
RootsTech Track
Time Traveling Bandits - Keeping Your History Safe
Roselle Harney; Michael Stringham, Symantec Corporation | Beginner

Much of our family history data is virtually available to everyone online. Learn tips, tricks, and techniques to keep your family history data safe - whether online, inside mobile gadgets, on thumbdrives, within email, or in "secure" cloud networks. Paper copies, notebooks, and audio records are also important aspects that need proper attention and safeguarding to prevent loss or corruption. Learn the 10 steps to keep your records safe from the time traveling bandits of our modern world.

Room: Ballroom C
Session number: RT1186
RootsTech Track
MyHeritage's Powerful & Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries
Mike Mansfield, MyHeritage.com | Beginner

Learn about technologies, services, and content at MyHeritage designed to help you discover new information about your family and find previously unknown ancestors. Many of MyHeritage's collections and systems have been created to assist genealogists by surfacing highly accurate, relevant, and new information that can be used to quickly grow your tree and fill in missing information.

Room: 255B
Session number: RT1725
RootsTech Track
Putting Your DNA Matches to Work
Anna Swayne, AncestryDNA | Beginner

Are you drowning in DNA matches? Didn’t know you were related to so many people? Are you not sure how to filter, sort, and search through all of your DNA cousins to find real answers to real questions? We’ll show you how to use your AncestryDNA results to find the hidden nuggets you are looking for to further your own research.

Room: 250A
Session number: RT9835
RootsTech Track
Military Pension Law
Richard Sayre | Advanced

Military Pensions are genealogically valuable records relating to the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Evidence of kinship abounds in these records. Learn about various federal laws that created these records and how the legal requirements affected the nature of these records. Understand how the content of these records varied by the specific war or conflict.

Room: 251D
Session number: RT2463
RootsTech Track
Censational Census Strategies
Mary Kircher Roddy, MKR Genealogy | Beginner

The US Federal census and its “little brother,” the state census, are among the major workhorses of genealogical research. But are you getting the most out of them? This presentation presents 20+ tips for finding missing ancestors and mining the census for more clues for follow-up research.

Room: Ballroom B
Session number: RT9733
RootsTech Track
Photos and Stories and Documents, Oh My!
Roger Bell |

Records are essential, but photos and stories are what bring your ancestors back from the dead. Learn the basics of FamilySearch’s Memories section. Adding, tagging and sharing photos, stories, documents, audio recordings. This feature of FamilySearch helps shape your ancestor’s personal heritage so descendants can see the full picture of their lives and the experiences that were most important to them.  

This class is endorsed by FamilySearch

Room: Ballroom A
Session number: RT4123
RootsTech Track
African American Genealogy for Newbies
Nicka Smith, Who is Nicka Smith, BlackProGen | Beginner

America’s youth both between 1982 and 2000 now number 83.1 million and are more diverse than the generations that preceded them with 44.2 percent being part of a minority race or ethnic group.1 Many of these Millenials identify as African American and have relatives who likely don’t check the same racial designation box as them who are eager to help them trace their genealogy. In this session, learn the basics of researching African American genealogy and have a safe space to ask burning questions.

Room: 255A
Session number: RT1666
RootsTech Track
Finding Books, Books, Glorious Books
Helen Smith, HVSresearch | Beginner

Our family history can be enriched with information such as information, photos, maps from a variety of books. Millions of books have been published over the years but finding out about them and accessing them can be difficult, especially as many history genealogy books had quite small print runs. Many thousands of out of copyright genealogical/ historical books and articles have been digitised and are available online, many at no cost, through a variety of providers, eg. FamilySearch, Internet Archive Google Books, Hathi Trust, Project Gutenberg. Some are available as a downloadable PDF, others are viewable only online, others may be checked out for a time period similar to borrowing a book. The majority of these are searchable by keyword/s. Once found the treasures within are able used to enhance your family research.

Room: 251A
Session number: RT1529
RootsTech Track
Preparing for research trips to your ancestral homes
Dirk Weissleder | Advanced

This class will provide tips on what to do before leaving home, determining what records and where to search them, and visiting your ancestral residence. To come to the ancestral home is not only a challenge in the dimension of genealogy, but also for emotion. Perhaps you are the very first to take the path of your ancestors, perhaps you will find out things you never expected. But above all you must be prepared - especially for the unexpected. The class gives some hints for your preparations and how to act easily in Germany as your ancestral homeland.

Room: 254A
Session number: RT1749
RootsTech Track
Planting Your Tree in RootsMagic
Michael Booth, RootsMagic, Inc. | Beginner

It has never been easier to find and learn about your ancestors through internet records and websites. But collecting and organizing that information can be challenging. RootsMagic genealogy and family tree software can be your "home base" for accessing all these different resources. Join us and learn how to use the RootsMagic to spot holes and problems in your family tree. See how to easily search online sites such as Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast, MyHeritage, and more. You'll also learn how to easily share your findings with others.

This class is endorsed by RootsMagic

Room: 255E
Session number: RT1934
RootsTech Track
Next Steps for British Research
Amy Harris, BYU | Intermediate

One in a three-part series taught by BYU family history professors. This session specifically focuses on research in England, Scotland, and Wales, especially before census and civil registration were instituted in the mid-1800s. Because census and civil registration are national records that are indexed and readily available online, most people find British research after c.1840 to be straightforward. Before that time, however, ancestors' information is found in more diffused records, scattered across dozens of jurisdictions. This class aims to help participants learn the basic record types (many of which are available online) and methodologies for extending British family lines into the eighteenth century. Those records and strategies are also broadly applicable back to the sixteenth century, so learning about them is essential for conducting British research before the 1800s. This class specifically focuses on church and probate records, particularly between 1750 and 1840.

Room: Ballroom J
Session number: RT1288
RootsTech Track
Capturing Family Stories in Video Interview Clips
Tom Taylor, Pictures and Stories, Inc. | Beginner

Learn why capturing family stories in an organized series of short “clips” or segments, rather than one long interview video, makes stories easier to view and share. Typically 3 to 8 minutes in length, clips are interview segments that tell a self-contained short story or share perspective on a specific topic. We’ll discuss best practices to record and save video interview clips including: how to find the best stories; how to keep your interview subject on topic: equipment (whether you use an expensive video camera or an iPhone); lighting; sound and microphones; environmental setting; interview techniques; editing principles; indexing, organizing, and naming principles; formats to save and share media to ensure they will be available now and in the future.

Room: Ballroom G
Session number: RT0379
RootsTech Track
Basic Steps for Genealogy
Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage | Beginner
Have you ever asked yourself: How do I start my family history research? Where do I find and save the information? How the technology can help me? How do I share my research with my children and grandchildren? then you need to attend this lecture. Learn the basic steps to start your genealogy research: Build a family tree, interview relatives, analyze sources, record all the facts and involve other family members by sharing your discoveries. Daniel will show you how to start your genealogy with a different perspective, not only more exciting, but also taking advantage of the latest technologies and creative tools available to advance your research. This program will illustrate the successful techniques used for more than 15 years to teach genealogical methodology and procedures covering the basic subjects that genealogical research must include and the activities needed to collect information from and about family members (living or dead).
Room: 150
Session number: RT1579
RootsTech Track
Technology for Creating Cousin Bait that Works
Tammy Hepps, Treelines.com | Beginner

Cousin bait is the public information trail you leave for people researching the same ancestors as you to find you. Making connections to fellow researchers is every genealogist's dream, not only because it gives you a research buddy, but also because each new buddy can provide you with information you may have never found otherwise. But in the Internet age, creating that trail means understanding how search engines work. Content that make seem intriguing to you as a genealogist may fail to meet the criteria of content search engines. This talk will begin with a basic introduction to SEO, search engine optimization, to demonstrate the qualities your digital cousin bait will need to have. The bulk of the talk will cover specific examples from different, popular techniques for posting content online to evaluate the likelihood of their making your content findable. Finally, safety considerations around making your content findable will be discussed.

Room: Ballroom E
Session number: RT0358
RootsTech Track
Return to Top
3:00 pm
Sessions/Labs
FamilySearch Executive Town Hall
|

Sit down with key executives from FamilySearch and hear about the latest updates, ideas, and innovations. Let them hear from you too in this roundtable session.

Room: 255B
Session number: RT8412
RootsTech Track
When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Conclusion?
Thomas Jones |

Even thorough research can miss relevant sources. What are the options when useful information, or DNA test results, appear after a researcher establishes -- and shares -- a conclusion?

Room: 250D
Session number: RT3006
RootsTech Track
FamilySearch Roadmap: Past, Present and Future
Brian Edwards |
FamilySearch.org continues to evolve as we seek to make it easier to use and more powerful. Come learn about recent changes and additions to the website and get a sneak peek into the improvements that will be coming in the future.
Room: 150
Session number: RT4112
RootsTech Track
Finding Your Ancestors in U. S. Church Records
Kip Sperry | Beginner

This presentation will describe a variety of resources and websites for locating your United States ancestors in church records. Church records are a valuable source when other records do not exist. Case studies and examples will be provided.

Room: Ballroom C
Session number: RT9037
RootsTech Track
Jumping the Pond-Find the Origins of your Ancestor
Donna Moughty | Beginner

Before you flyaway to your ancestor’s county of origin, you will need to do your homework. Whatever the nationality of your immigrant ancestor, to effectively search you must begin at home. The most important piece of information is the town or parish where your ancestor was born. If you don’t know that information you must dig through records at home to harvest as much information as possible. This lecture will look at the types of records available in the United States that might help you identify a town of origin in the native country.

Room: Ballroom E
Session number: RT0630
RootsTech Track
Begin at the Beginning: Helping Others Love Family History
Diane Loosle |

Learn to use the Spirit led one on one helper model to engage beginners in a lifelong love of family history and temple service. This class was introduced at RootsTech 2015 and has blessed many in their efforts to help others. Each session will feature a unique live demonstration of the seven principles of helping others love family history.   

Room: Ballroom I
Session number: LDS4029
RootsTech Track
Finding the Roots in Your Danish Tree
Jason Oler, MyHeritage.com | Beginner

We will explore how to find the Danish records you are looking for. An overview of how Denmark has been divided and put-together over the centuries and how it pertains to finding your family will be demonstrated. We’ll also give you tools to find and recognize family relations using traditional naming patterns – Going beyond the patronymics. Then we’ll jump into the Danish record collections – teaching where they are and how to use them, primarily focusing on the church records and the censuses.

Room: 255D
Session number: RT1335
RootsTech Track
Using FamilySearch & Ancestry w/Family Tree Maker
Duff Wilson, Software MacKiev | Intermediate

Family Tree Maker has long had powerful tools for searching Ancestry and information from other Internet sites. We’re excited to now have a new relationship with FamilySearch. In this presentation we’ll show Family Tree Maker’s newest integrations with FamilySearch, Ancestry, and other Internet resources, and how they can help you gather and incorporate information from virtually anywhere into your family tree.

Room: 251A
Session number: RT1771
RootsTech Track
Saving Your Family Photos in the Digital Age
Brian Grubbs, Springfield-Greene County Library District | Intermediate

Description:  This class will demonstrate how to plan and execute a digitization project using live and recorded demonstrations throughout the presentation.  The class will focus on family photos and documents, so you can save your family history in the digital age.    

This class offers core knowledge and best practices of the digitization process.  You will gain a better understanding of how to scan family photos and documents, and how to save and preserve your digital files.  With this class, you will be ready to start your own digitization project.

Room: 255E
Session number: RT2471
RootsTech Track
Dealing with African American Genealogy Challenges
Shelley Murphy | Beginner

All genealogy has the so-called brick walls or genealogy challenges. This session will help you consider your research goals, understand what are you looking for and what challenges you will face in researching African Americans. In addition attendees will be provided with some tools and online resources that are available to help combat the challenges.

Room: 255A
Session number: RT1457
RootsTech Track
The Ethical Genealogist
Judy G. Russell |

Genealogists deal with sensitive issues all the time: how to handle family secrets, what to say about living people, crediting the work of others. Learn more about the ethical challenges of trying to solve family history mysteries in the 21st century -- and how three basic rules we all learned in kindergarten help keep us on the ethical straight-and-narrow: tell the truth; play nice with others; and don't tell tales out of school.

Room: 254A
Session number: RT3011
RootsTech Track
Crowdsource with Social Media Breaks Through Walls
Amie Tennant, Genealogy Gems | Beginner

Gone are the days of checking message boards and mailing out hundreds of letters! With social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can tap into large numbers of people for help overcoming your biggest brick walls. Learn how to join and manage Facebook groups for genealogy, the art of creating effective hashtags, and how to Twitter your way to genealogy success.

Room: 251D
Session number: RT8953
RootsTech Track
How DNA Works: The Science Behind Your DNA Results
Harendra Gaturu, AncestryDNA |
Where's my German ancestry? Why do I have so many matches? With a deeper understanding of population genetics -- the study of how the genetics of populations and groups of individuals have changed over time -- you'll find answers to these questions. We'll delve deeper into foundational principles of population genetics and give examples of how these principles both enable and affect genetic genealogy. Arming yourself with a firmer grasp of the underlying science and reasoning behind ethnicity estimation, DNA matching, DNA Circles, and other tools will allow you to more effectively use them.
Room: 250A
Session number: RT7452
RootsTech Track
You Found It Where? Unusual Records
Rorey Cathcart, The Who Hunter LLC; D. Joshua Taylor, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; Rich Venezia, Rich Roots Genealogy | Intermediate

Professional genealogists from diverse specialties share the most unusual records they’ve ever used to break a case. Learn their secrets on how to find, access and utilize uncommon record groups to uncover your lost ancestors. Featuring Rorey Cathcart, D. Joshua Taylor, Rich Venezia and more.

Room: Ballroom J
Session number: RT1336
RootsTech Track
The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists
Thomas MacEntee | Beginner

Who said genealogy and the hunt for your family history has to be expensive? Just as in any other industry, there are some tricks to getting the best deals and bargains in the genealogy marketplace. With The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists you’ll learn the tricks and also how to think like a savvy frugal genealogist! Learn how savvy genealogists are find success with 15 basic habits of frugality. You’ll not only find a list of key resources but more importantly you’ll learn how to embrace the “mind set” of finding the best ways to save money while researching your ancestors.

Room: Ballroom A
Session number: RT1338
RootsTech Track
18 Genealogy Contests to Play with Family Online
Janet Hovorka, Family ChartMasters | Beginner

Who doesn’t like to win a contest? If you are connected with your cousins, siblings and/or children online, you can find new ways to share your common family story by making a game out of it. Shake up your family’s online life with meaningful activities that will be fun for all of your relatives. Learn how to set up games of “Cousin Tag” or “Ancestor Fashion Show” or a “Family’s Funniest Home Videos” among others—all online. We’ll use the social media platforms your family is already using to get them talking about the crazy/meaningful/funny/inspiring moments in your family’s life. Get tips on how to get the word out about your contests, and easy prizes you can award for the winners. You can crowdsource the preservation of your family narrative without your family even realizing they are helping. Come learn about games and activities that will get your family talking, make them laugh and help them feel part of your family story.

Room: 151
Session number: RT1649
RootsTech Track
Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch & MyHeritage
Sunny Morton, Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems | Beginner

Ancestry.com, Findmypast.com, FamilySearch and MyHeritage.com all provide international audiences with tools and records for researching family trees online. But which one—or ones—should you use? This lecture introduces and compares important features for beginning and intermediate users. You’ll learn why you should be familiar with all four sites; subscription and free access options; and how they compare for overall historical, tree and DNA record content. You’ll learn general geographic strengths and how to find specific geographic content on each, as well as the presenter’s favorite features and cautions/challenges of working with each. Finally, you’ll get a suggestion for building your “master family tree” securely—and from more than one website. 

Room: Ballroom B
Session number: RT2000
RootsTech Track
Scanning, Restoring and Archiving Photos for Generations to Come
Jack Rieger, Senior Product Manager, Software; Larry Trevarthen, Epson America, Inc. | Beginner

Photos are our memories. They capture milestone occasions throughout life and play an integral role in discovering our history and tracing a family tree. Clues to your family history might be found on the backs of old photographs, in family books, or even on a postcard. However, a staggering 575 billion photos are stored away in attics and basements and closets in the United States.* With such a vast amount stored away, families are challenged to find ways to preserve and restore their irrevocable memories so that their history can be shared with future generations. Moreover, saving, restoring and organizing photos can be time consuming, costly and risky. Epson America’s director of Business Imaging, Larry Trevarthen, offers insight on the latest scanning technology to preserve, restore and organize family photos, records and documents for your family tree. Attendees will also walk away with tips and techniques to organize and share memories with friends and family through mobile and cloud platforms and social networks. *According to Gary Pageau, InfoCircle

Room: Ballroom G
Session number: RT9361
RootsTech Track
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4:30 pm
Sessions/Labs
Organizing Your Research Trip
Drew Smith | Beginner

In this session, attendees will learn how to prepare for a research trip, what to do during the trip itself, and what to do after returning from the trip. The session will focus on doing necessary research about the records and repositories before leaving home, setting up a research itinerary, creating a genealogy packing list, and creating a mobile research office for use while traveling. The session will also discuss how to capture and preserve information found during the trip, and how to collect and copy the discovered information after returning home.

Room: 255D
Session number: RT0085
RootsTech Track
Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records
Jen Baldwin, Findmypast |

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.

Room: Ballroom J
Session number: RT4765
RootsTech Track
Success Tips for Using FamilySearch.org
James Ison, FamilySearch | Beginner
We all like tools and resources that are easy-to-use, help us quickly find the results for which we are hunting--and, did we say, free? This presentation shares tips for using FamilySearch to structure your search to more likely solve your research problems and enhance your research experience. Also learn key benefits of the FamilySearch Tree.
Room: 151
Session number: RT0889
RootsTech Track
How Do I Find That? Secrets to Find Unique Sources
D. Joshua Taylor, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society | Beginner

Popular TV shows like Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are? seem to always find incredibly unique sources that seem nearly impossible to find for our own research. Explore tools like ArchiveGrid, WorldCat, and other resources you can use to find sources just like they do on TV!

Room: 255B
Session number: RT1302
RootsTech Track
Surnames in Genealogy & Surname Distribution Maps
Darris Williams, FamilySearch | Beginner

Surname distribution maps show details about surnames in the present and past that will help you be more informed and successful in your family history efforts. These maps are ready to use and allow you to benefit whether it is a common name like Jones or a unique surname.

Room: Ballroom A
Session number: RT1648
RootsTech Track
Finding your French ancestors via societies and other genealogical sites: Who can help
Jacques Le Marois, Geneanet |

This class show how to find the right genealogical society (among the hundreds) to help you find your ancestors. What you should expect from the societies. It will also cover the role of Geneabank, Geneanet, Genweb and other websites that can help you in your research

Room: 250D
Session number: RT2468
RootsTech Track
Identity by Descent: Using DNA to Extend the African-American Pedigree
Shannon Christmas, Through The Trees Blog | Intermediate

Using illustrative examples, this session demonstrates how DNA analysis, when used in concert with traditional genealogical research methods, can help family historians overcome challenges unique to African-American genealogy research.

Room: 255A
Session number: RT1436
RootsTech Track
DNA: Citations, Proof Arguments and Conclusions
Angie Bush, Ancestry ProGenealogists | Advanced

Genealogical research and writing involving DNA testing as evidence requires the same elements as any other type of genealogical writing. Evidence should be cited, and proof arguments soundly constructed using all available evidence. DNA testing results are just one piece of evidence, and in isolation do not offer proof of any relationship or identity conclusion. Proof requires all evidence to be evaluated to come to a conclusion that future generations can rely on.

Room: 251D
Session number: RT1153
RootsTech Track
The Magic in Creating a Family History Retreat
Kathy Loveless, Loveless Enterprises, Inc. | Beginner

Learn the magic in turning your next family get-together into one filled with excitement about family history. In this session you will learn how to engage all ages, share fascinating tales about ancestors, record audio and video stories, and advance all family members in their personal record keeping. Ideas will be presented on how to make stories from the past come alive and be relevant to today’s youth. Less computer-savvy family members will feel welcome because their stories will be captured and shared. You will receive templates for games, agendas, and step-by-step procedures.

Room: 251A
Session number: RT2020
RootsTech Track
How to Preserve Your Family Heirlooms
Anna Graff, Church History Department; Jennifer Hadley; Katie Smith, Church History Department; Andrew Thomas, Church History Department; Tyler Thorsted, Church History Department | Beginner

Members of the Conservation Team from the Church History Library and Church History Museum will briefly discuss general principles of preservation for your family heirlooms. This should take about 15 minutes and will include information about textiles, books, paper, photographs, jewelry, wood objects, digital and audiovisual items. The digital/audiovisual discussion will only include physical storage/preservation of those items, not the transferring and updating of the technology. The panel will then be opened up for questions from the group, so they can ask for specific information about objects that are in their care. Handouts with general principles and resources will also be provided to help them known where to find information about preserving their family heirlooms.

Room: Ballroom I
Session number: RT1722
RootsTech Track
Finding ancestors in British crime & court records
Myko Clelland, Findmypast | Intermediate

Almost all of us have a black sheep in the family, but when we find one - what happens next? Perhaps you haven't found one yet, but want to know what happens when you do? What of those who were involved in keeping the peace and enforcing the law? There are many records that can tell the story of their lives and exploits, some of which even may contain the only photographs that exist of these individuals! Join Findmypast's own lovable rogue and British family historian Myko Clelland to learn what life was like for anyone convicted of a crime, the legal process and punishments involved and most importantly the records that are left behind that we can use to learn more about our ancestors from the 1700s to the mid 1900s and how to interpret them. Expect to see court records, records of appeal, prison and transportation registers, admissions, mugshots and records of habitual criminals, newspaper reports and more, learning how to find missing ancestors in them all as we go!

Room: 150
Session number: RT9726
RootsTech Track
The Art of Sharing Family Stories Through Digital Scrapbooking
Shelley Murray, Forever | Beginner

Researching family history and gathering family photos, documents, and stories is just the beginning of the memory keeping process. Once this information has been found, organized, and preserved, it’s time to share it with others, and the latest digital technology makes sharing easier and faster than ever. In addition to sharing beautiful photos and stories via digital devices, we also long to touch and feel physical photos that illustrate the stories from our past. Learn how to make simple photo books or create elaborate scrapbooks with beautiful, digital artwork using Forever’s award-winning digital scrapbooking software. It’s not only an effective way to tell your family story, it’s also easy and fun, and these printed photo books become treasured keepsakes that are valued for many years to come.

This is an endorsed class by Forever

Room: Ballroom C
Session number: RT1123
RootsTech Track
The General Land Office website
Richard Sayre | Advanced

The official federal land records site, General Land Office (GLO) Records, provides the record of first transfer of federal land to a private individual or another entity. Some six million records of transfer are recorded on this site. Though still incomplete, the vast majority of records of first transfer can be found on this website. There are genealogical gems accessible on the website that are only available online or by accessing the repository of record. The site also serves as an index to the land entry papers held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The website also provides access to many township plat maps. Presentation will explore the GLO website in detail and integrate information from related records (tract books and cancelled case files (some on FamilySearch)).

Room: 254A
Session number: RT2400
RootsTech Track
Next Steps for Mormon Pioneer Research
Jill N. Crandell, Brigham Young University | Intermediate

One class in a three-part series taught by BYU family history professors. Many LDS families have handed down significant collections of ancestral information. Unfortunately, much of it was created through writing letters, recording faulty memory, copying others’ records by hand, and without recording the source(s) of the information. All of this has resulted in less-than-accurate data. This class will discuss the methods and records available for cleaning up and improving your family records for Mormon pioneer ancestors. There are many LDS church records, in addition to government records, which can be used to document your genealogies. Learn where to find them, what can be learned, and how to interpret them appropriately.

Room: 255E
Session number: LDS1746
RootsTech Track
Hospital Records - An Untapped Goldmine
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Identifinders International | Beginner

The Family History Library catalog lists over 2,550 databases or books relating to hospital and medical records from around the world. Yet these reference materials are among the most underused resources in genealogy. Not only can they provide unexpected details about an ancestor’s life, they can be mined as a whole for patterns that can give insight into the political, economic, and historical times he lived in, which in turn can lead to further genealogical discoveries. This lecture will provide a fascinating look into what hospital and medical records are available and how you can make use of this untapped goldmine of information.

Room: Ballroom G
Session number: RT1224
RootsTech Track
Discovering Your Ancestor's War Story
Anne Mitchell, Ancestry | Beginner

You may have collected a few military records for some of your ancestors. But do you know their story? What about the people at home? Do you know how their lives were impacted? We will show you how to quickly identify who might have served and when. Next we will show you records to look on Fold3 and beyond and how to extract the most information. Then, we look at weaving the information you have into a story and where you can save it so it is easily shared. You may find that your family is asking you questions about your family history research instead of the other way around!

Room: 250A
Session number: RT1301
RootsTech Track
Transitioning genetic genealogy to the 21st century with DREAM technology
Eran Elhaik, University of Sheffield | Beginner

Even though genetic genealogy tests already celebrated their “sweet sixteen”, companies still offer two to four “standard” tests, such as ancestry test (e.g., 50% African and 50% European) and a family-based test that identifies family members. While generally popular, it is difficult to use such tests to address genealogical questions. Even the family-based test yield inconsistent results beyond third degree relatives.

From our extensive discussions with members of the genealogical community it became apparent that the community considers these tests expensive and uninformative to their research. To reengage the community in genetic genealogy, we designed an affordable DREAM (Diversity of REcent and Ancient huMan) microarray (~800,000 SNPs) and a new generation of genetic tests dedicated to genealogy.

The DREAM technology allows users to:

  • Find the geographical locations of their parental lineages (e.g., Vienna and Istanbul)
  • Their migration routes (e.g., Vienna->Athena->Jerusalem)
  • Arrival time to these regions (e.g., 956 AD)
  • Calculate their relatedness to ancient people living 1000-50,000 years ago
  • Learn about their biological adaptations (e.g., adaptation to high-altitudes)
  • Find 4th and 5th degree family relatives much more accurately
  • Much more …

Combined, DREAM tests allow exploring a multitude of questions concerning ancient and recent human history and allow users to focus their genealogical search with an unprecedented resolution and share their results and stories. We will discuss the traditional and new DNA tests that became feasible with the revolutionary DREAM technology. We hope that the DREAM technology will dramatically improve genealogical research and the knowledge of our past.

Room: Ballroom E
Session number: RT9206
RootsTech Track
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