RootsTech 2019 – Day 1

It’s Time!!!

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the Family History Library, where things started to hop. It was a much busier place than on Monday. In the afternoon, there were a few people waiting for computers and, of course, help from some of the fabulous library staff.

However, the FHL really was open again until 11 last night.

I love every minute I get to spend in the Family History Library – I wouldn’t mind at all if I got locked in overnight. 🙂

However, this week the big draw is RootsTech 2019 and the conference fun has begun. Although rain is predicted, it is supposed to happen while we are all in the convention center and be finished before dinner. Thank you, Mother Nature.

The first session I attended this morning was presented by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL. Ballroom J was just about full. The classrooms are all much bigger this year, which is great because many were shut out of sessions last year, as the rooms filled quickly.

Deeper Analysis: Techniques for Successful Problem Solving began right on time with a welcome to RootsTech. Elissa Scalise Powell led the audience through a robust process based on the BCG genealogical standards to define goals, work through the process and determine conclusions. She also shared a number of examples and stories illustrating successes and mistakes from which to learn.

I have heard Elissa speak at other conferences. She is an excellent speaker, clear, concise and easy to follow.

My second session choice was geared towards genealogy business, even though my blog isn’t a business, it is just my baby.:)

Amy Johnson Crow was the presenter and she spoke about Social Media Tools for Your Genealogy Business. She shared many good tips about the various media forms, setting our goals and choosing appropriate platforms.

Amy’s presentation was excellent for those who have a genealogy business, but was also relevant to bloggers who simply want to increase the numbers of regular readers.

Next up was lunchtime. It was wonderful. Free boxed lunches were available all over the convention center. Choices were ham, turkey or roast beef and there were lots of areas in which to sit and relax. The RootsTech team really listened to last year’s feedback. Thank you, RootsTech. 🙂

My first afternoon session was by a new-to-me speaker, Katherine Schober, whose session was titled The Magic of German Church Records. Germany has been a bit late getting into the genealogy game, aside from early records being filmed by FamilySearch years ago. With all of the German branches in the Stufflebean family tree, I need to keep up with all the new resources.

Beginning with a quick overview of how and why vital records began, the talk quickly turned to church records. This session was aimed towards beginners working in German Records. It was well organized, full of details and resources to help and clearly presented.

The room was packed and many were taking notes, although an updated syllabus link was provided.

The last regular session for Day 1 is one that I looked forward to, as Kenyatta Berry of Genealogy Roadshow fame, was presenting Slave Traders, Speculators and the Slave Trade. I wasn’t able to get a photo of Ms. Berry.

The talk began with an overview of the slave trade and the growth of slave populations. There were many, many facts shared that painted a clear (grim) picture of the history of the slave trade. Quite a few resources to help with enslaved persons research were shared, too. Attendees had an opportunity to have questions answered at the end.

For those researching enslaved ancestors, many new ideas for tackling the research process were sparked.

Later in the afternoon, Steve Rockwood gave the first keynote speech of the conference, giving an update on FamilySearch.

That was followed by the opening of the Expo Hall and ended with many tired, but happy conference attendees.

More to come tomorrow!



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