RootsTech 2017 – Day 1

The big day has arrived! RootsTech 2017 opens today.

The welcome sign is on the convention center tower, beckoning to all. First on the agenda this morning is checking in for registration. I’ve learned that it is a quick stop on Wednesday morning, but by Wednesday afternoon, and particularly Thursday morning, the lines can be horrendous.

The Innovator Summit begins this morning, but I haven’t registered for it as I’m not a tech person. I am interested in learning more about the finalists, but today’s sessions are more business and tech-related for the innovator entrepreneurs.

The Full RootsTech track begins at 3:00 this afternoon, with a second session at 4:30. My picks for today are When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records with Judy G. Russell and Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Ancestors with Angela McGhie.

I’ve attended several of Judy’s talks in the past; she does such a great job. Angela is someone new for me, so I am looking forward to hearing her, too.

In the meantime, I have but a few “for sure” hours left in the library. This visit has been one of those where I’ve crossed lots of items off my research list, but I have only found negative results. My favorite example is working on William Love. There were two men by that name who I’ve been researching. I was hoping to prove that Margaret Love who married Samuel Williams in Grayson County, Kentucky c1820 was the daughter of William Love who lived in that county. There is a second William Love who lived in Washington County, Virginia who people say is her father, but there is no documentation.

I got excited twice, only to be disappointed. The first was discovering a land deed in which the heirs of William in Virginia sold his land. However, only three of his many children were listed and Margaret wasn’t one of them.

When I turned to Kentucky wills, William Love left a four-pager and named eleven children. None were Margaret, but then I got to the paragraph where William said, “to my eldest sons and daughters, who are married and have been provided for, I leave fatherly wishes.” Hmmph! Not what I wanted to see as I feel quite sure that Margaret Love Williams is one of those who inherited those fatherly wishes.

That pretty much sums up how all of my research has gone this time around!

3:00 finally arrived! Time for Judy Russell’s presentation. I love both the information she imparts and her sense of humor. It is a good thing I do lots of walking for exercise every day because when I come to RootsTech, I always seem to pick sessions that are upstairs and down what seems like miles of corridors.

When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts  in Genealogical Evidence

Judy began by explaining that this talk would touch on only one of the Genealogy Proof Standards – resolving conflicts. She reviewed the types of situations that required consideration of variables that affected our perceptions of the accuracy of the information. She added that good researchers need to be able to effectively use resources to prove or disprove theories and she shared recommended steps that help lead to successful conclusions. Judy closed with reminder to stick with it!

Next up – First let-down  of the conference and we are only on Day 1, Session 2. After the first session, I made the mistake of stopping at the rest room. I got in and out quickly, but not fast enough apparently because my session choice, one of the only advanced classes offered, Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Ancestors with Angela McGhie, was housed in a small room and when I got there, many people were being turned away because the room was already filled!

This is not a good sign of what might happen when everyone is here for the next three days. Many don’t attend the Wednesday classes and tonight, I heard that a session downstairs had the same problem with overflow although there was a room right across the hall that wasn’t being used and was much larger. Instead, many attendees were disappointed at not hearing the speaker.

Since I have never heard Drew Smith in person, I substituted Organizing Your Genealogy Files and Correspondence. I am actually a very organized person, so this choice was more to hear Drew as a speaker.

As I made my way to that classroom, the door monitors told us it had been moved across the way to a larger venue because this class had the same issues with the room being too small to hold the crowd. The larger room had some empty seats, but not a lot.

I actually own a copy of Drew’s book, Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher, which I bought for use with the genealogy group that I teach. I really like the book. His talk today covered just a tiny bit of the great suggestions in the book, discussing suggestions for the paper file people and for those who have gone digital.

The hallway crowds this afternoon were light compared to the way they will be on the other three days of the conference.

More tomorrow as the conference officially opens.

5 thoughts on “RootsTech 2017 – Day 1”

  1. Great first day for me. Met with a lady who has done some special research in Austria for me. Followed up at 4:30 with a talk by Judy Russell on how to find Mothers, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines. First time I ever heard her speak, excellent, held my attention the whole time. Thanks Linda for introducing me to all of this and for being an excellent teacher yourself.

  2. That’s too bad that some classes are filling too quickly. Guess you need to take shorter bathroom breaks! 🙂 Anyway, glad you got to hear the talk you heard. And, I listen to the Genealogy Guys so would love to hear Drew Smith in person. I wish I was there, but am enjoying reading blog posts about RootsTech and will watch the streamed sessions when I can.

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