Category Archives: RootsTech

RootsTech 2018 Videos

RootsTech 2018 has ended. But the videos of the main sessions will live on. You can see them here: .

I was looking for the video of Henry Louis Gates Jr. from the Saturday session, but it is not on the Saturday page. Either his video is just late, or it has been copyrighted and is not going to be made available. I really enjoyed seeing his presentation, he is an excellent speaker and presenter. Meanwhile, many of the other videos are worth viewing, so enjoy the above link.
If you loose track of this posting, just go to and click on the Menu link (upper right) and then click on Videos under About Rootstech.

For the DNA geeks:

The link below is for the Thursday video given by the scientist from MyHeritage that is an excellent overview of DNA testing for Genealogy. It is by MyHeritage, but the processes are the same for all the companies. It is 59 minutes long but it is worth it, for all levels of DNA interests.
Click here.

The speaker was Yaniv Erlich, a geneticist from Columbia University who is now employed by MyHeritage as chief scientific officer, the “genome hacker” who mapped a 13 million person family tree from (now owned by MyHeritage). This link goes to an article in The Atlantic containing an interview with Dr. Erlich published March 1st, 2018. You should read this too!

Click here.

“Everyone knows that the early bird gets the worm, but no one seems to talk about the fact that the worm was up early too.” – Twitter

Rootstech 2018

The RootsTech Conference has started! in Salt Lake City. Some of us are not there. The main presentations will be streamed live over the Internet. You can watch free by linking to

The above link shows the Streaming Schedule on the first page. They control it by day.
If perhaps they change the front page, this link goes directly to the Schedule:

The schedule below was created by me which I am sharing here. Please note that this schedule is subject to change at any time, so you would be wise to check the above links every day. Meanwhile, for planning purposes., here it is:

(the times shown below are in Mountain Standard Time)


9:30 A.M. Family History in 5 Minutes a Day

11:00 A.M. DNA—One Family, One World

1:30 P.M. Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections

3:00 P.M. Finding the Answers: The Basics of WWII Research

4:30 P.M. Wednesday General Session and Innovation Showcase by Stephen T. Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch


8:30 A.M. Thursday General Session by Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York, a photography and storytelling blog.

11:00 A.M. MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results

1:30 P.M. Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve, and Share

3:00 P.M. Unlocking Roman Catholic Records

4:30 P.M. A Gift of Life: Who’s Writing Your Story?


8:30 A.M. Friday General Session by Scott Hamilton

11:00 A.M. findmypast’s British and Irish Hidden Gems by Myko Clelland

1:30 P.M. Finding the Right DNA Test for You If you are brand new to Genetic genealogy, this is the class for you! by Jim Brewster

3:00 P.M. How Not to Leave Your Genealogy Behind

4:30 P.M. Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch


8:30 A.M. Saturday General Session by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

11:00 A.M. Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales

1:30 P.M. Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA Learn what new tools AncestryDNA has to advance your research and get more out of your DNA results.

3:00 P.M. Pain in the Access: More Web for Your Genealogy Library, archive, government, and specialized websites have much to offer. This presentation will demonstrate sites and strategies for getting more online data while using the internet.

August 2017 Meeting Notes

Bill Hannah, our VP of Ways and Means, spoke the other night about his experiences at the RoosTech 2017 conference. He also showed us about the Wolfram Alpha web site.

He has made his presentation slides available and a copy of the Wolfram Alpha handout he provided. You can download them here by clicking on the respective link:

Presentation Slides
There are Presentation Notes for some of the slides. Your PDF viewer should be able to show them. But you have to look for them.

WolframAlpha Handoute Book

You can learn more about RootsTech 2018 by Clicking Here.

Next year, the Conference is Feb 28 – March 3, 2018

And you can go straight to the Wolfram Alpha site by Clicking Here.

When you get to Wolfram Alpha, type this request into the window: My Grandfather’s Niece’s Daughter to get a sense of how this site can be used for genealogy!

“Creativity is the residue of time wasted. – Albert Einstein

Rootstech Live Streaming Schedule!

The RootsTech Conference is next week, Feb 3-6 in Salt Lake City. Some of the main presentations will be streamed live over the Internet. You can watch free by linking to

The schedule below can be found at

Please note:  the times shown below are in Mountain Standard Time. (Subtract one for Pacific Time.)

Day Time Class Title Speakers
Thursday 8:30 a.m.- 10:00 a.m. Thursday General Session Steve Rockwood, Paula Madison, Bruce Feiler
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries Mike Mansfield
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Best Websites and Apps for Local History Amy Crow
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. What’s New in Family Tree in 2016 Ron Tanner
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Virtual Family Reunions Joseph Richardson
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Friday General Session Josh and Naomi Davis (Love Taza), David Isay
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy Lisa Louise Cooke
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Finding Elusive Records in Robert Kehrer
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. My Ancestors Are from Britain, What Do I Do Next? Myko Clelland
Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Saturday General Session Michael Leavitt
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Photos, Emerging Technologies in Photography Jens Nielsen
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Become a Master Searcher on Ancestry Anne Mitchell
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Homespun and Calico: Researching our Foremothers Peggy Lauritzen
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for Success James Ison

RootsTech 16 is coming

“Registration for RootsTech will open on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. For a limited time, exclusive early bird discount pricing will be available on the RootsTech pass and the Rootstech and Innovator Summit pass, which will be available for $149 and $169 respectively. Mark your calendars today to be one of the first to register for what will be the most inspiring RootsTech ever.”

The above announcement was sent to folks who attended last years conference. MoCoGenSo board member Bill Hannah sent us these details. Perhaps he is trying to get more of us to attend. Did he feel lonely last year? (smile)

RootsTech has become the largest genealogy conference in the world. It is held each year in the middle of winter in Salt Lake City, Utah. This year’s session will be February 3-6, 2016.

Salt Lake City is just close enough to Monterey County that many of our members do attend once in a while. It is just far enough away to require a bit of planning. So, it is time to look for transportation and lodging as well as tickets.

Four Salt Lake City hotels are taking reservations for RootsTech 2016. The Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek, Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, Hilton Salt Lake City Center, and Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown will offer reduced rates to RootsTech conference attendees. Each hotel is conveniently located near the Salt Palace Convention Center. Click for more details.

BTW, official volunteers at the Family History Center get discounted tickets! Maybe it is time to rethink your volunteer plans for this year!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain