RootsTech 2016 – Day 1

RootsTech 2016 has begun! Even though this is Day 1, it has been a busy week. A Sunday evening arrival was met with snow flurries, but a little bit of snow wasn’t going to deter my friend, Judy, and I from getting off to an early start in the Family History Library.

Judy, ready for the adventure to begin!

We both scored some great new family finds and I discovered a new machine. The photo copy machines now have an additional option. I LOVED the option to scan books on the photocopy machines. My FamilySearch copy card is now obsolete, since I used my flash drive to store the copies I made. The machine still makes traditional paper copies, but a USB port is now on the front of the machine.

Tuesday was more of the same at the FHL, but there was one special live webinar at 6:00 that evening that we heard about happening next door in the museum, so Judy and I decided to attend.

Israel Pickholtz was speaking about endogamous (high percentage of marriages among relatives) research of Jewish families and his family, in particular.

I enjoyed the talk because he demonstrated a practical and very understandable application of DNA results to genealogical research. No previous knowledge of the technicalities of DNA results interpretation was needed, so that fit me perfectly.

Thank you to Lara Diamond, who writes Lara’s Family Search, for telling me about the lecture/webinar. She is a new geneablogger friend, as we happened to meet in the library. 🙂

Wednesday morning came quickly. I knew from past years that Wednesday, and not Thursday, was the day to register.  The registration line was busy, but it moved right along.

Most who were registering were there to attend the Innovators Summit, so the line wasn’t very long at all. I just love the RootsTech bags to keep everything organized and this year is no exception.

I didn’t attend any of the Innovator Summit sessions, but I did visit parts of several sessions in the two time slots this afternoon. Each session was informative, but there were many empty seats in the sessions as many of the conference attendees were just arriving. From past experience, I know that won’t be the case tomorrow or Friday and definitely not on Saturday with it being Family Day.

Here’s a glimpse of the first few sessions:

Thomas MacEntee, who we know from GeneaBloggers, presented during the first general RootsTech session, sharing tips and tricks for using Mind Mapping Genealogy Research Plans and Results in our family history research. He had a great example of its use, telling the story of a little girl’s book about her life being accidentally donated with a pile of books and how he used mind mapping to locate the niece of the now-elderly little girl.

Next, I headed to hear the second half of James Ison’s Using the Genealogical Proof Standard for Success.

Our problem was to identify and prove the parentage of Jesse Roberts of Greenville, South Carolina, applying the genealogical proof standard to the conclusions drawn.

The second session had me literally running up to the 255 suite of rooms, which is quite a hike from the first floor ballroom area. Janet O’Conor Camarata is a new-to-me presenter.

Her topic was 15 Ways for Genealogists to Keep Learning, which included many great ideas, available locally, regionally and nationally, for both new and more experienced genealogists to further develop their research skills.

My next stop was a very quick look at Andrew Klein’s BackBlaze sponsored talk on Preserving Your Digital Research.

He reminded the audience that nothing is forever and we need to be cognizant of rapid changes in the world of technology, stressing that we need to stay on top of those changes to keep our genealogical work safe and sound.

My very last, whirlwind session sampling was More Than Just Names: Advanced U.S. Census Research by Judy G. Russell, who writes The Legal Genealogist blog.

The U.S. census includes many additional schedules often overlooked by many family history researchers; Judy pointed out the wonderful gems of information that can be gleaned from them and use to enrich the stories of your family’s life.

If today’s sessions are an indication of what is to come, then RootsTech 2016 is going to be fabulous!

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