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.


How to: Workflow for Publishing with Adobe Creative Suite

I attended RootsTech this past February at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. There were lots of wonderful classes but I think my favorite was by Nancy Barnes “Use Adobe Creative Suite to Self Publish Your Family History Book”. I use InDesign, a page layout program that is part of Adobe Creative Suite all the time, so I wasn’t sure if I would learn anything in this class. But Nancy had lots of good information about developing an efficient workflow when putting together a book for publishing. I’ve learned some of her suggestions already and recognize the value of others from my own struggles. Nancy’s book “Stories To Tell: An easy guide to self publishing family history books & memoirs”, looks like it goes it to lots of details on how to get the book written and I’ll have to take time to read it. Here are some of the high lights of what I learned from her class.

  • Clean-up the manuscript (in MS Word or other word processor)
  • Mark places for images (with special characters such as ########)
  • Choose and scan images
  • Prepare images (in Adobe Photoshop)
  • Set up book in InDesign (get exact specs from your printer)
  • Layout master pages
  • Import text from word processor
  • Create and apply consistent styles
  • Place images (using Adobe Bridge)
  • Cover design (she uses Adobe Illustrator, I’ve always used InDesign)
  • Final proof before sending to printer

Nancy taught us some tricks on how to use Adobe Bridge and meta files to put in captions. I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds slick. I’ll tell you about it and other more detail instructions on the step in other posts. Check out Nancy’s website They offer lots of services from editing to book printing along with great information on putting together a family history.

Do you have a workflow plan that works for you? What software have you used?