RootsTech 2019 – Day 4

Well, the closing day of RootsTech 2019 is here. (: Even the weather is gloomy. It is dark and overcast and much colder than it was earlier in the week. I think today’s high is supposed to be about 39, while today’s high in Tucson will be 80. For sure, I won’t be wearing my Salt Lake wardrobe back at home!

Although it is the last conference day, there are two BIG sessions I scheduled. The first is the first of the morning at 8:00 – A Deep Dive into Understanding Your Results with three top names – Blaine Bettinger, Angie Bush and Jonny Perl.

Angie Bush gave the overview of the presentation and talked about the DNA companies and how the basics of reporting ethnicities vary.

Blaine Bettinger reviewed the techniques used to create groups that enable us to figure out how matches might be related.

Jonny Perl then presented a case study using matches and his program DNA Painter.

They packed a huge amount of information into one hour.

Not having had enough of DNA lessons, I headed to another room to hear Jonny Perl do an entire hour on his program, DNA Painter. The talk was titled Examining Your DNA Matches with DNA Painter.

After an introduction to DNA and our chromosomes, he demonstrated aspects of the program and free tools that can be used in it.

I feel much more confident now in using DNA Painter. If you haven’t tried it, it is free to register and use all the basic tools. There is a premium paid option for advanced users.

Saturday was Family Discovery Day at RootsTech. Parents and children were everywhere. I didn’t pass by the face painting area, but there definitely was one because people of all ages were sporting colorful designs.

The South Seas was the theme of the day and music provided the method by which all could connect. I watched Hawaiian performers sing and dance the hula and children having a great time learning Maori haka moves:

Because of my flight time, I couldn’t attend any sessions in the final time slot. Therefore, sadly, here is my last session overview.

Byron Holdiman shared Hidden Treasures in the Library of Congress. I visited the library once many years ago and I admit I left very underwhelmed and unimpressed. I thought that the New England Historic and Genealogical Society and the DAR Library offered more that fit my research interests.

Much has changed in the intervening years and I was curious to learn about accessible collections.

Mr. Holdiman opened with a quick history of the Library of Congress, from its founding to its expanded focus from a law library, which was the original intent.

He then shared multiple examples of digital collections on the website and shared many examples of family treasures he has found.  While he was speaking, I tried out a couple of searches of unique surnames and small towns in my family tree. Unfortunately, I did not get a single interesting hit, but items he found had me drooling.

If you haven’t ever visited the Library of Congress online, it is free and simple to use and you might be lucky enough to also find treasure trove of family goodies.

One of my last snapshots of RootsTech 2019 was of two timeless cartoon characters:

I think a good time was had by all this year. 🙂

I also feel quite lucky that my flight left at 6:15, as the snow flurries were just starting to fall. A friend stayed on until this morning and messaged that by the time I landed in Phoenix (where it was 73 degrees), the snow was coming down hard.

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