Tag Archives: RootsTech 2021

RootsTech Connect 2021: Final Thoughts

This year’s final reflection is unique because RootsTech 2021 Connect is now history, but it isn’t over.

I have to admit that I prefer the live version with the excitement of the Salt Palace, the hubbub and running into old friends along with making new ones, visiting in the Media hub and lunches at the church cafeteria and Blue Lemon. I also can’t talk about RootsTech without mentioning the Family History Library, which I sorely miss.

I might be in the minority here, but I also have to admit I missed all the walking. I enjoy the 5 or 6 blocks I walk from the SLC hotel to the Salt Palace or FHL and the time I spend walking during the conference. Walking my favorite form of exercise, but this year, I spent hours seated at my computer instead.

However, the finger pointing of blame can only go in one direction for missing out on that fun this year – the pandemic.

Having made my admissions, I have only praise for the entire FamilySearch and RootsTech 2021 teams that created the world’s largest virtual genealogy conference and pulled it off in stunning fashion.

My worst fear was that the moment the Keynote Speakers began, the website would crash and that didn’t happen. That, by itself, deserves a salute to the RootsTech team that made this all happen.

Highlights for Me

  • An entire year to view class sessions
  • Lots of chat rooms available to connect with others
  • Lots of new-to-me speakers presenting interesting topics
  • Keynote Speakers with a wide range of stories to tell
  • Expo Hall with lots of new-to-me vendors
  • RootsTech Connect 2021 after party

Not So Much of a Highlight for Me

This was my own choice because I wanted to blog early and often about the LIVE events, but I didn’t get to hear any Keynotes live because the Expo Hall was open. I also listened to only a small number of class sessions because I was sharing information about a number of events and activities.

I wish the Expo Hall had opened with vendors available during the Wednesday night preview. If they were on the chat, I didn’t get any reply to my questions until Thursday morning.

That meant I had to just go with the sales blurbs in their booths instead of having more personalized contact with them.

I realize with hundreds of thousands of attendees that chats might be very busy. Maybe next year, booths might be manned by more sales reps.

RootsTech Connect 2021 is officially part of the history books now. However, you can still register for the conference and access all the recorded Keynote Speakers and Class Sessions.

DISCLAIMER: I am an official RootsTech Connect 2021 ambassador and have received perks for promoting RootsTech conferences.




RootsTech Connect 2021: Day 3 – LIVE Winding Down & Class Sessions Revving Up

It’s always sad to see the last day of a RootsTech conference. This year, it’s a very different feeling, given that this virtual conference is a hybrid of live events and pre-recorded class sessions.

As the live events wind down, attendees have a chance to catch their breath and get revved up for all the sessions, which cover a staggering number of topics.

Things to Know

  1. If you haven’t yet registered for RootsTech Connect 2021, but wish you had —– it’s not too late! Of course, the live events might have concluded, but that doesn’t preclude anyone from attending the pre-recorded sessions.
  2. What will be gone after today and no longer available at RootsTech? Chat features, Expo Hall discounts that are conference only, Song Contest voting, Photo mosaic additions and possibly some of the Demo Theater sessions if the exhibitor has chosen to remove them.
  3. Make any last minute purchases in the Expo Hall now!
  4. The Relatives at RootsTech app has been extended until 20 March 2021 – UPDATE: See Randy Seaver’s comment in this post.

What’s Left?

Oh, only about 1,000 class sessions presented by hundreds of speakers. Yesterday, I gave step-by-step instructions for setting up your playlist.

I’d like to stress one thing – particularly for less experienced genealogy researchers. As you choose sessions to add to your playlist, DON’T be boxed in by the idea that a session won’t teach you anything because you have no ancestry in X, Y and Z places.

I attend all types of genealogy webinars because it’s the METHODOLOGY that is important to me. I can often apply tips and seek out new potential resources in my ancestral towns that were discussed in, say, a class about resources in Belgium, where I have no known ancestral ties.

RootsTech Connect 2021 class sessions will be available for at least a year, so there are 365 days available to broaden your educational horizon and it’s FREE.

As RootsTech LIVE comes to an end, I’d like to share examples of the wide variety of pre-recorded classes at this year’s conference.

NOTE: You need to be logged in through your FamilySeaerch account and registered for RootsTech Connect 2021 for these links to work.

All of the Keynote Speaker sessions can also be added to your playlist. On the menu bar, choose Speakers and the Keynotes are listed first.

Exploring Family History Tech with Thomas – by Thomas MacEntee

Finding the Elusive Maiden Name by Ann G. Lawthers

DNA Triangulation: What, When and How by Roberta Estes

The Genealogy Research Process: The WANDER Method by Amy Johnson Crow

The Genetic Consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by Steven Micheletti and Joanna Mountain (Part 1 of 3)

Sneak Peek of Reading the Old German Handwriting Online Course by Katherine Schober (Great tips in the Sneak Peek)

Researching Records of the Former Soviet Republics by Greg Nelson

Dutch Parish Records from the 17th and 18th Centuries by John Boeren

Finding Living Relatives in Austria by Markus Schönherr

Girls Must Feed Pigs: Things Our Ancestors Thought and Said by Darris G. Williams

Funeral Programs: A 20th-Century Genealogical Goldmine by Diane L. Richard

Jewish Genealogy Alphabet Soup by Nolan Altman

This is just a tiny sampling of the 1000+ sessions presented at RootsTech Connect 2021. Enjoy!

I have to give a huge shout out to the RootsTech team for putting together such a fabulous virtual conference.

DISCLAIMER: I am an official RootsTech Connect 2021 ambassador and have received perks for promoting RootsTech conferences.


RootsTech Connect 2021: How to Translate Foreign Language Sessions

There is one more important tip to share with you about the RootsTech classes – there are ELEVEN official languages at the conference this year (German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and traditional Chinese.)

What if you have ancestral lines to one of those countries, but you don’t speak the language?

Or what if there is a class session whose topic interests you, the speaker isn’t presenting in English and you’d like to hear the talk?

Or if you do speak the language and would like to attend the session?

Check out Explore by Language. A RootsTech techie gave me the link. BOOKMARK THE Explore by Language LINK for future reference, so you don’t have to keep coming back to my post!

Let’s say I want to listen to Lluvia Concha’s first presentation, which is in Spanish:

When I click to start the talk, a toolbar appears at the bottom of the session screen. Click on YouTube.  You will be taken to the YouTube channel. All RootsTech sessions have been recorded on YouTube.

First, click on > to start the video.

Next, see the CC icon at the bottom right side of the screen? Click on it. That turns on Closed Captioning.

Now, click on the Settings icon, just to the right of CC. A box (seen in the image above) opens. Click on Subtitles – Spanish.

Now, click on Auto-Translate.

A lengthy list of languages appears. Just scroll down to English and Closed Caption will add the English subtitles. Very easy to do!

There is one warning, though!

Because I have Swedish ancestors, but don’t speak the language, I wanted to explore SVENSKA classes.

I wanted to listen to Släktforska i Stockholm (Genealogy Research in Stockholm) by Thomas Fürth, so I click to begin the presentation.

I clicked on the YouTube list just below the screen – the same step I took with the Spanish video.

However, when the screen switched to YouTube,


I asked for help through RootsTech and apparently, depending on the time when the presentations were recorded, some sessions did NOT have the CC option added.

Therefore, if you don’t speak the language and there is no CC button, you won’t be able to understand what is being said in the class.

Don’t let that deter you from checking out all the classes in another language, though. You might be missing an excellent presentation that does offer CC.

DISCLAIMER: I am an official RootsTech Connect 2021 ambassador and have received perks for promoting RootsTech conferences.