RootsTech – Let the Games Begin!

Wednesday started right off with sessions. There was no morning Keynote and the Expo Hall wasn’t open until the evening.

Today was the first of my labs that I had signed up to take. I took my first lab last year and it was great. You pay extra for it but the class is smaller and you usually have hands-on experience.

My lab was Share Your Family’s Story with Custom Google Maps. This was an interesting lab and we learned how to pinpoint places of interest for our family as well as link them with stories and pictures.

After my lab I had a meeting with MyHeritageDNA. Before RootsTech they put a request out on Twitter for anyone going to RootsTech who would like to take a free MyHeritageDNA test and then provide some feedback on the results and their experience. So I said I was interested and was chosen to do a free MyHeritageDNA test. It was an interesting process. I have tested with all but one DNA company. I am a first generation Canadian, my parents are immigrants. I don’t usually find many matches that can be connected through my research but on MyHeritage I found two second cousins in the UK who had also taken the test.

Tried to get into a few sessions but the line ups were very long. They had a bar code on our name tags and everyone was being scanned before entering a session room. This backed things up a little. So I went back to the Family History Library to do more research. I didn’t worry about a couple of the sessions because they were being live streamed and knew I could watch them at home.


Ancestry had an additional booth that was located in the main hallway. They gave out buttons with country/place names on them and you had to find your match. You then returned to the booth with your match and you were each able to pick out a prize. They took your button and you were given a sticker. One booth in the Expo Hall had a white board with people who were looking for their matches. I finally found mine on Saturday afternoon and it was one of the attendees of Family Discovery Day. I won a USB port.




Then there was a General Session at the end of the day featuring FamilySearch’s own Steve Rockwood. He is always a thoughtful and entertaining speaker. He spoke about the emotional side of family history and FamilySearch’s efforts to preserve documents that were in dire need of rescuing.

Living DNA was a sponsor at RootsTech and David and Hannah did a presentation talking about the new innovations they were working on.

Then there was a panel discussion about the future of genealogy records.



You can watch Wednesday’s live streaming videos here.


After the General Session then the Expo Hall opened up. First I had to accomplish my mission. I had heard that JoyFlips were giving away a FamilyArchive Kit for free so I found their booth and received a special memory stick to download my images from their app. Do you know about their app? You can find out more here. This is something I am learning to use as I have just inherited boxes full of photographs and slides!



The Expo Hall was great fun. I found booths that I wanted to learn more about and some that were new. I used the app at home and highlighted booths that were of interest to me and then located them on a map so I could find them. Expo Hall is enormous! Maps are a necessity!

Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for an early start the next day!

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