Preparing for Double Rs – Research and RootsTech 2017, Part 2

Yesterday, I shared tips for pulling together a research plan for valuable time spent in the Family History Library. Now it’s time to take a look at possible sessions to attend at RootsTech 2017 itself.

Before I talk about some of the sessions, here’s a tip for first timers. I always choose two, or even three, sessions scheduled for the same times. Why? Because it is very common for 1) a session to be cancelled unexpectedly 2) a session to be full or 3) the session description to not match up with the actual presentation. It might be too basic or too advanced or, occasionally, a bit off-topic.

I also want to make a comment here about this year’s sessions. I am actually quite disappointed because, while there are many terrific topics and speakers, there are even FEWER intermediate and advanced level sessions than were presented last year. Yes, we want new (and younger) generations to take an interest in genealogy, but RootsTech isn’t a cheap trip and, if the organizers want to continue to draw in more experienced researchers, they need to balance out the sessions with more than just beginner topics. Also, for a technology-based conference, there are very few sessions related to technology so RootsTech isn’t looking terribly different from any other genealogy-themed conference.  I blogged about this after last year’s RootsTech and 2017 might be my last RootsTech visit unless things are changed up in 2018.

As in 2016, quite a few sessions are being presented on Wednesday afternoon and that is a real plus for those arriving early in the week.

Here are some of my first picks for sessions:

Wednesday – Favorite Judy Russell will talk about Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records and Angela McGhie is presenting on Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Ancestors, which is one of the sparse intermediate level sessions.

Thursday – There is a new genealogically based utility program out of Sweden called VyTräd introduced by Steve Larson, which looks very interesting. Thomas Jones will talk on Writing About and Documenting DNA Results, Darris Williams will share Blessings and Curses of Tracing Welsh Ancestry, which is one beginner session to which I am looking forward. Kenneth Hardman’s talk on AncestorClips: Blog 60 Second Stories They Really Read also looks really interesting. It also happens to be the only blogger-oriented session I see listed in the program.

Friday – Angela McGhie is presenting another intermediate level session (Thank you, Angela!) on Creating an Effective Research Plan. Richard Sayre will speak on Military Pension Law for advanced researchers and Rorey Cathcart’s You Found It Where? covers less common sources, with a target audience of intermediate level genealogists.

Saturday – The final day includes talks by Finn Carlsen for advanced level genealogists on The Records After Scandinavians Passed Away (maybe I will get some hints on finding my elusive Anders Molin’s death/probate records), a second presentation by Thomas Jones on When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Conclusion? and last, but not least, Sources and Structures for Successful Genealogical Research in Germany, given by Dirk Weisslander.

If you are still considering a trip to RootsTech 2017, check out the complete session program to help you with your decision.

In spite of my concern with the number of beginner-level sessions, the speakers and topics are all first rate!



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