Three Days to RootsTech

Even if you aren’t attending RootsTech you can still enjoy some of the speakers. Each day of RootsTech there will be free live streaming available. Go to to join in the fun.

Live Streaming Schedule (Mountain Time)
8:30 AM Keynote – Dennis Brimhall, Syd Lieberman, Josh Taylor
11:00 AM The Future of Genealogy – Thomas MacEntee and panel
1:45 PM Tell it Again (Story@Home) – Kim Weitkamp
3:00 PM The Genealogists Gadget Bag – Jill Ball and panel
4:15 PM Finding the Obscure and Elusive: Geographic Information on the Web – James Tanner
8:30 AM Keynote – Jyl Pattee and Tim Sullivan
9:45 AM Researching Ancestors Online – Laura Prescott
11:00 AM FamilySearch Family Tree – Ron Tanner
1:45 PM Google Search… and Beyond – Dave Barney
3:00 PM From Paper Piles to Digital Files – Valerie Elkins
8:30 AM Keynote – David Pogue and Gilad Japhet
9:45 AM Using Technology to Solve Research Problems – Karen Clifford
11:00 AM Digital Storytelling: More than Bullet Points – Denise Olson

Six Days to RootsTech

Part of RootsTech is a big exhibit hall with tons of booths. This week I got an email with some of the great vendors who will be there.

Activities and Special Offers at RootsTech

There are many exciting activities and offers available at RootsTech this year. Some activities require an RSVP. Check out the details below!

Expo Hall Fun Pass

Complete the Expo Hall Fun Pass to be eligible to enter a drawing for an Apple iPad and other great prizes! Simply get the pass filled out, turn it in to the Expo Hall Help Desk, and attend the prize drawing on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the Backblaze Demo Theater to see if you’re a winner! You must be present to win.

Print Your Fan Chart – Booth #631

Last year printed over 400 genealogy fan charts during RootsTech.

Family ChartMasters – Booth #135

Family ChartMasters has a free decorative working chart for you! Just take the coupon in your RootsTech registration bag to their booth and you will receive a free 20×24 fill-in-the-blank chart worthy of being framed.

Scan a Book, Document or Photo

FamilySearch Book Scanning 

FamilySearch is pleased to offer free book scanning at RootsTech again this year.  They will have book scanners on site and will scan a digital copy of your family, county, or town history.

Mocavo Document and Photo Scanning – Booth #513

Mocavo is pleased to offer RootsTech 2013 attendees free document and photo scanning as part of an effort to bring them online for free.

You can bring any paper documents, photocopies of original records, paper family trees or other historical documents, and they will scan them safely for free! Within only 30 days of the conference you will be able to download your digitized record.

Simply drop off your documents at booth #513 on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday and they will contact you when your document is ready to be picked up. Click here to find out more details about Mocavo’s free scanning and what kind of documents they can and cannot accept.

Record Your Personal Story with a Video or Audio Recording Session

“Bring Your Stories to Life” 

Story@Home is pleased to sponsor the “Bring Your Story to Life” booth. Receive a free personal consultation and video/audio recording session to preserve your own personal family story or interview in the soundproof recording booth.  Once you have completed your recording session, you will receive a copy on a flash drive for your personal use.

Hire a Photo Detective for Free

 “Bring Your Stories to Life” 

Also available in the “Bring Your Stories to Life” booth, you can schedule a free 10 minute, one-on-one session with the Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor. Maureen is an internationally recognized photo identification and family history expert.

Earn the Boy Scouts of America Genealogy Merit Badge 

BSA Genealogy Booth 

Boy Scouts can sign up for a 20 minute workshop to complete the requirements for their Genealogy Merit Badge. Click on the links below for available session times. Workshop capacity is 40 participants per session time.

Backblaze Online Backup – Prizes and Discount Codes

Backblaze Booth – #530

Backblaze Online Backup is excited to help sponsor RootsTech 2013! They backup all of your precious photos, videos, and files to preserve your memories! Backblaze is the easiest solution available, you simply go to, create an account, download the client, and they will start backing up all your data right away!

Please visit the Backblaze booth #530 and they will be happy to tell you all about it! They’ll have prizes and discount codes, so stop by! Their social media guy Yev will also be emceeing the Backblaze Demo Theater, so check that out and see all of the other awesome products and services at RootsTech 2013!

One Week to RootsTech

In just one week I’ll be at RootTech! Each morning at 8:30 a.m. there is a General Session with keynote speakers. Some of them I’ve heard speak before but most of them it will be my first time. One thing I really like about RootsTech is the variety of presenters they offer. Here is who will be speaking at this year’s General Sessions:

Thursday Generl Session Sponsored by

Keynote Speakers:

Dennis Brimhall

Dennis C. Brimhall is currently the President and CEO of FamilySearch International.  FamilySearch International is a worldwide organization helping individuals find, preserve, catalogue, and search genealogical information.  FamilySearch International is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of University of Colorado Hospital.

Syd Lieberman

Syd is a nationally acclaimed storyteller, an author, and an award-winning teacher. Many of his best-loved stories deal with growing up in Chicago and raising a family in Evanston, Illinois. Also known for his original historical pieces, Syd has written stories for some of America’s leading institutions and agencies, including the Smithsonian; Historic Philadelphia, Inc.; NASA; and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

D. Joshua Taylor

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS is the Business Development Manager – North America for brightsolid online publishing, the creator of A nationally known and recognized professional genealogist, lecturer, genealogical author, and researcher, Taylor is the current president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the former Director of Education at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Friday General Session

Sponsored by

Keynote Speakers

Jyl Pattee

Jyl Johnson Pattee is the founder of Mom It Forward Media, a digital agency and network of social media influencers. Currently, she sits on the Mom Advisory Council for, is a Shot@Life Champion with the United Nations Foundation, was named one of Parent Magazine’s Top 10 Power Moms, and is on Babble’s list of Top Twitter Moms.

Tim Sullivan

Timothy Sullivan has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director of, Inc. since September 2005. Prior to joining, Mr. Sullivan was Chief Operating Officer and then President and CEO of Mr. Sullivan holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Saturday General Session 

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Keynote Speakers

David Pogue

David Pogue is the weekly personal-technology columnist for The New York Times. He is also an Emmy Award-winning tech correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and the current host of NOVA ScienceNow. Merging his musical background with his scientific knowledge, David Pogue delivers unique presentations that generally end with him sitting at a piano performing a couple of his famous tech-industry song parodies.


Gilad Japhet

Gilad Japhet is the Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. A rare mix of hardcore genealogist, hands-on technologist and visionary, Gilad is one of the most influential people today in the advancement of online genealogy. Gilad has grown MyHeritage into the world’s second largest genealogy company with 72 million registered users and 1.5 billion family tree profiles.

Two Weeks to RootsTech

March is well on its way and RootsTech is in just two weeks. I’m very excited to get to go again this year. I feel lucky to have such a great family history conference just a few miles away from where I live. If you have a chance to come to RootsTech it is well worth it. They have so many different kinds of classes. They have added tons of new things this year. I’m sure it is going to be tough to decided which classes to go to. Having a clone those three days would be handy. If any of you happen to be at RootsTech let me know. We can meet up somewhere.

Here is some of what RootsTech offers:

Where Families Connect

RootsTech is an opportunity unlike any other to discover the latest family history tools and techniques, connect with experts to help you in your research, and be inspired in the pursuit of your ancestors. Learn how to find, organize, preserve and share your family’s connections and history. Read More…

New at RootsTech 2013

The 3rd annual RootsTech conference has something for everyone, whether you are an avid genealogist, just getting started, or simply want to discover the latest technologies and solutions to better connect with your family.

  • NEW! Getting Started Track – learn the basics, start your family tree, and get help with your family research (starts at only $19) Learn More
  • NEW! Story@Home – discover how to preserve and share your family stories Learn More
  • More Classes, More Speakers — choose from over 250 informative sessions and interactive workshops Learn More
  • 40% Bigger Expo Hall – visit many exciting exhibitors to discover the latest products & services Learn More
  • Developer Day – consolidated track specifically designed for technology developers Learn More


Gift Idea #2 – Family History Conference

If someone in you family would love to expand their knowledge on how to do family history why not give register them for a conference or a class on family history. If you are the one, then why not give it to yourself for Christmas! There is a great one here in Utah in March called RootsTech. I went last year and loved it because it has so many different kinds of classes from the technology side to traditional research. They have added a new “Getting Started” that is only $19 for a one-day pass. Full 3-day Passes are now $149 with the early bird discount. If Salt Lake is too far away for the budget, then do some research and find a local class or conference you can give. What better way to help tell your families tales than to learn how to find more family members to tell stories about. Maybe I’ll see you at RootsTech.


Digitizing Old Documents and Books


Pbok1-1696 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FamilySearch has a great post on Digitizing Techniques for Old Documents and Books by James Tanner. All summarize it here but follow the link above to get all the details.

The first thing to keep in mind about old books and documents is the difference between old and valuable. The key is not to confuse old with rare or limited edition books. This will affect how you go about digitizing it. If the value of a book is the information it has then the best way to scan it is to take it apart so the pages can lay flat. But if the book has value it might be best to get professional help to digitize its pages without damaging it. James Tanner has the following links to sites that discuss how to build you own book scanner.

The trick is to keep the pages flat and the camera at 90 degrees to the page. You will always get the best quality image by making sure the pages is at a 90 degree angle to the imaging device. Flat bed scanners are designed for this. If you use a digital camera it is much more difficult to get a good quality image. Thanks James for the great article. I’m filing it away for future reference.

I’ve learned some of this by trial and error but I’ve never thought through the intrinsic vs. extrinsic value before. The best tip I have is when the print is showing through from the other side of the page place a sheet of black paper behind it before scanning. What tips and tricks do you have when digitizing books and documents?

Read the full article here.

My Generations Project – Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor

The next step in My Generations Project as out lined by The Generations Project episode “Do Your Own Generations project”, is to populate my family tree. So I went to on the right hand side of the page is a link for “just getting started”. If you don’t have an account you can set one up there. Step one is to build your tree. Mine was already built so I went to the second step. Discover your fan chart. If you have an account for FamilySearch you can go straight to and login there. Then just select create and it will create a pdf file ready to save to your computer or send it to one of four printing options.   It was really slick and easy. Here is how mine turned out.

There are several free downloadable genealogy charts through One of the other options there is a cloud style tree. I picked the one that is just last names. Here is how mine came out.

As I explored I found a link on their about page to Misbach Enterprises. They have blank pedigree charts and some are free that you can download. One is a graphical family tree that looks interesting. A few weeks ago I found a bunch of blank free pedigree chart at I really like an 8 generation fan chart that I have used for my puppies pedigrees.

family_tree        fan_chart         eight_generation_family_charts_fan_triangles

There aren’t too many blanks spots on my mom’s side of the family. My dad’s side has a lot more holes. Maybe sometime I’ll work on filling in those holes but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I really like how compact and clear the fan charts are in organizing so much information.Have you used a fan chart?

50 for 50 #16 – Granite Mountain Records Vault

me with my two older sisters at Granite Mountain Records Vault

One summer, when I was growing up in Ogden, Utah, we drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon and visited the Archives there. I wanted to do that again to celebrate my 50th year but for security reasons they no longer have tours. So I had to settle for a virtual tour through a couple of videos I found on-line.

Granite Mountain Records Vault, Part 1 – FamilySearch Genealogy Records

Granite Mountain Records Vault, Part 2 – FamilySearch Genealogy Records

I don’t remember much from my visit as a child, just vague images of a cool place deep inside the mountain and the photos we took. Can you believe that I wore such short dresses back then. Or even that I chose to wear a dress when I didn’t have to.

We took a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to see if we could get a photo of the entrance similar to the one above from my childhood but it wasn’t possible. The road to the parking lot was blocked by a security gate and the entrance is part way up the side of the canyon so you can only see a bit of one of the tunnels from the road. I wasn’t surprised but I hoped for a better outcome.

me with my family looking up Little Cottonwood Canyon

Have you ever been to the archives? My husband grew up in the Salt Lake Valley and he has never been to the vault.