RootsTech 2018 Promotional Pricing – Just $199

FamilySearch has posted the Promotional pricing for RootsTech 2018. Those who register will now only pay $199 for the full week’s events. Not quite as cheap as the Early Bird price was, but still a great deal. The price will later be $279 for the full weeks’s events. Click on the illustrations below.

Would like like to do a price comparison for the week’s options? Then Click Here.

What’s New @ RootsTech 2018

We’re already starting to get excited about RootsTech 2018! To learn more about the upcoming program, click on the illustration below. Note that RootsTech will be later in February than it has been in the past. This year it will begin on the last day of February – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – beginning a full day earlier in the week than in the past. The Innovator Summit and Innovator Showdown will now become the Innovation Showcase, and be an integral part of RootsTech, and not an add-on day. I understand that the later start in the month will be permanent – so we can do out long-term attendance planning now!

I was asked to be a RootsTech Ambassador this year, so you can expect to see many posts on the subject between now and the early March of 2018.

OldNews USA Wins Top Honors at RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown

The Innovator Showdown at RootsTech was an exciting time this year. All ten of the finalists had impresive concepts and products, but all ten could not win. Five finalists were selected for the showdown on Friday – and OldNews USA walked away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind services. Following is the RootsTech news release:

Old news, it seems, is actually “new” news. Very innovative news in fact. Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest family history technology conference, OldNews USA took top honors in the 2017 Innovator Showdown, walking away with $95,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. OldNews is an android app designed to help users quickly discover their family in historical US newspapers. The app uses the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” collection of more than 11 million newspaper pages from 1789 to 1922 to deliver its results.

In front of a crowd of close to 14,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $199,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. An experienced amateur genealogist, Bill Nelson of Auburn, Massachusetts, designed the program as a solution to tedious, difficult online newspaper searches. The OldNews USA app was designed to simplify and streamline the search process.

Using keywords, users can look for newspaper accounts of a person or topic with the option to look at articles of historical events. In a person search, you type names and dates into your mobile device and choose a location on Google Maps which produces a list of newspapers in the targeted geographic area for a time period. It brings up images of the actual newspapers with the name or event you are seeking highlighted so you can quickly locate it on the page. Images can be enlarged for easier access to detail.

(See video demo of OldNews USA)

Nelson is a software developer by trade. “I was new to android and needed something to practice on. I had felt the pain points of newspaper research and thought ‘this would be a good project,’” he said. Initially he developed the app for his own use, then realizing it could help other researchers, he expanded it into a mobile app.

OldNews is compatible with Android devices, but Nelson is working to create an app for IOS devices and computers. With his winnings, he can now get business and technological assistance to accelerate development. While OldNews USA is designed to search US newspapers, he hopes to adapted the app for other countries.

The 5 finalists were whittled down from more than 40 applicants from the US and Europe. Each took three minutes to convince the panel of five judges and live audience that their product was deserving of a chunk of the $190,000 in cash and prizes.

The major sponsors of the Innovator Showdown this year included Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kickstarter Seed Fund, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, and others.

After each presentation, there was a four-minute question and answer period between each contestant and the judges. The judges then selected the top three winners, and the viewing audience selected the People’s Choice Award winner.

With $190,000 in cash and in-kind prizes and services from sponsors at stake—an increase of nearly $100,000 from the original projection—the pressure, tension, and energy of the event was tremendous.

2017 RootsTech Showdown Winners

First Place Judges’ Choice ($90,000 cash, AWS credits, and an investment from Kickstart Seed Fund), Bill Nelson of OldNews USA.
Second Place Judges’ Choice ($44,000 cash and AWS credits), The Qroma tag mobile app for embedding stories into pictures, tagging them by voice commands, and making the data accessible on various platforms.
Third Place Judges’ Choice Award ($26,000 cash and AWS credits), Louis Kessler, Double Match Triangulator, an app to help sort DNA matches into groups of relatives.
People’s Choice ($25,000 cash and AWS credits), Kindex, an app designed to help users create searchable, shareable archives of family letters and other documents using tags to help users easily locate information.
Emberall was the other finalist. It provides a method to capture and store pictures and videos creating an accessible archive.

The judges for the final round included Alan Doan, CEO of Missouri Star Quilt Company, John Richards, Founder and CEO of Startup Ignition, Kenyatta Berry, host of The Genealogy Road Show, Thomas MacEntee, founder of High-Definition Genealogy, and Dalton J. Wright, partner in Kickstart Seed Fund.

The Innovator Showdown, now in its third year, was designed to foster innovation in the family history industry.

Music – It Runs in the Family – An Evening at RootsTech

Thursday evening we will enthrolled and entertained by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with an evening at the Assembly Hall in which they sang the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein. I was actually moved to tears a few times.

What really made it special was that between songs, Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III told stories about his famous family, the trials and trevails, as well as the triumphs. Andy is the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein II who collaborated with Richard Rodgers to bring us many of those timeless show tunes that were so much a part of many of our lives.

Special guest soloist Dallyn Vail Bayles sang in about half the songs. He did such a great job with Oklahoma! that I want to jump to my feet and yell as he wrapped it up. But I didn’t. I stayed dignified, and applauded loudly – yelling from my seat…

Following is a list of the songs they sang, with the Broadway show in italics:
It’s a Grand Night for Singing – State Fair
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin” – Oklahoma
Oklahoma! – Oklahoma!
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Carousel
If I Loved You – Carousel
Some Enchanted Evening – South Pacific
Hello, Young Lovers – The King and I
The Sound of Music – The Sound of Music
My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music
Climb Ev’ry Mountain – The Sound of Music

The RootsTech 2017 Free Online Broadcast Schedule

Patty and I are heading to Salt Lake City Monday to participate in the annual RootsTech conference. For those of you who can’t make it, RootsTech is free live streaming 17 of the sessions. The following information is from RootsTech:

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (January 26, 2017)–Mark your calendars! RootsTech, the massive family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 8-11, 2017, announced its free live online streaming schedule for 17 of its popular sessions including Jonathan and Drew Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers, Star Trek’s Levar Burton, The Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, and the Genetic Genealogist, CeCe Moore, Liz Wiseman, and Steve Rockwood.. The live broadcasts online give those unable to attend in-person worldwide a sampling of the show’s marquee content. Interested viewers will be able to watch the select broadcasts live at RootsTech.org.

“RootsTech 2017 offers over 200 sessions for those fortunate to attend in-person,” said Chad Schumacher, RootsTech marketing manager. “However, the select sessions we will live stream for free will expand the show’s reach significantly, giving many, many more the opportunity to participate remotely online in this world class conference.” In 2016, over 150,000 viewers watched the conference sessions streamed live online. Even more are expected in 2017.

The streamed sessions will include the popular general sessions and a sampling of technology and family history presentations appealing to varied interests.

RootsTech Streaming Schedule

Watch at RootsTech.org. No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST). The stream will automatically refresh at the beginning of each session (otherwise use the Refresh button on your browser).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Innovator Summit General Session
Steve Rockwood (CEO, FamilySearch)
Liz Wiseman (Author, Multipliers)

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Industry Trends and Outlook
Craig Bott and Guest Panel

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Innovation – Best Practices and Applications
Cydni Tetro

Thursday, February 9, 2017

8:30a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Steve Rockwood
Jonathan and Drew Scott (HGTV’s Property Brothers)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Getting Started in Genealogy
Kelli Bergheimer

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
DNA: The Glue that Holds Families Together
Diahan Southard

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
DNA Matching on MyHeritage
Dana Drutman

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available
Lara Diamond

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Family History is Anything but Boring
Crystal Farish and Rhonna Farrer

Friday, February 10, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Levar Burton (Star Trek, RootsTech, Reading Rainbow)
Special Guest Panel

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
RootsTech Innovator Showdown Finals

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Mother’s, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines
Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist)

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Censational Census Strategies
Mary Kircher Roddy

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage
Sunny Morton

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cross the Atlantic with Religious Records
Jen Baldwin

Saturday, February 11, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
RootsTech General Session
Cece Moore (The Genetic Genealogist)
Buddy Valastro (The Cake Boss)

11:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Journaling Principles that Work
Steve Reed

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Don’t Just Be a Searcher, Be a Researcher
Crista Cowan

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Creating Google Alerts for your Genealogy
Katherine R. Wilson

Leadership Expert Liz Wiseman to Keynote RootsTech Innovator Summit

The following news release is from FamilySearch:

Salt Lake City, Utah, (8 November 2016) —Do you multiply or diminish intelligence? Liz Wiseman, a leadership strategist, best-selling author, and inspiring speaker whose recent clients include Disney, Microsoft, eBay and PayPal, Google, and Facebook, is excited to share highlights of what she has learned as the keynote speaker for the 2017 Innovator Summit at RootsTech. Innovator Summit is a one-day event for developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who want to explore business and technological opportunities in the multibillion dollar family history industry. The Innovator Summit will be held on February 8, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world. She is the founder and president of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. She has been listed on the biennial Thinkers50 ranking for 2013 and 2015 and named one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world.

Wiseman is the author of three best-selling books: Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work; Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter; and The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools.

She has spent years working around a lot of really smart executives in tech industries and conducted significant research in the field of leadership. She’s observed how some leaders actually shut down the brain power of people around them.

“Yet, other leaders seem to amplify the intelligence of people around them,” said Wiseman. “These leaders were intelligence multipliers.” She said that “when these leaders walked into a room, it was as if you could see lightbulbs going off over people’s heads, and ideas flowed and problems got solved.”

Wiseman has emphasized that one of the most important aspects that she learned in this research was “that when we linger too long on a plateau a little part of us dies inside. But when we step out of the space of knowing—where we are fully capable—and step into unfamiliar territory, we feel alive. I think it is actually where we feel divine, and, in some ways, I feel like it is where we see God’s hand working in our lives.”

Wiseman is a frequent lecturer at BYU, Stanford University, and the Naval Postgraduate Academy. She is a former executive at Oracle Corporation, where she worked over the course of 17 years as the vice president of Oracle University and as the global leader for human resource development. During her tenure at Oracle, she led several major global initiatives and has worked and traveled in over 40 countries. She writes for Harvard Business Review and Fortune. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Inc., and Time.

The RootsTech Innovator Summit keynote session begins at 9:00 a.m., followed by a full day of classes, the semifinal round of the RootsTech Innovator Showdown, a networking social, and other related activities.

The annual Innovator Showdown contest is designed to foster innovation in the family history industry. Twelve semi-finalists will be chosen and announced, with $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes offered by sponsors to the winners.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

The Cake Boss Buddy Valastro Will Keynote & Judge at RootsTech 2017

The following news release was received from FamilySearch:

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT, 27 October 2016)RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, is pleased to welcome the popular Italian-American celebrity chef, Buddy Valastro, also known as the hit TLC series, Cake Boss™ as a keynote speaker on Saturday, February 11, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Valastro will also judge a local cake decorating contest hosted by RootsTech.

The amicable Valastro is a Hoboken, New Jersey, resident and owner of Carlo’s Bakery. He has endeared himself to millions of people as the animated, passionate chef on the TLC series, The Cake Boss. His staff’s creative expertise in designing over-the-top cakes for locals and celebrities is only half the allure. The show’s long-running success can also be attributed to the fun, dynamic interactions and involvement of 3–4 generations of Valastro’s Italian-American family who help run the thriving family business.

“Family is the most important part of my life,” says Valastro. “You have to embrace and be proud of where you come from. I can’t wait to share my story of how my past, present, and future have shaped who I am with the audience.”

During his RootsTech 2017 keynote address, the Cake Boss will share the story of how his strong family ties, roots, and traditions have shaped his life and business success, which include 12 bakeries, additional TLC series (The Next Great Baker and Buddy’s Bakery Rescue), and several books, to name a few.

Running bakeries is almost genetic in Buddy’s family. His grandfather and great-grandfather were both bakers in Sicily, Italy. His father, Buddy Valastro Sr., ran his own bakery for many years in New Jersey. When Buddy Valastro Jr. was 11 years old, he began working side by side with his father at Carlo’s Bakery.

Buddy Sr. died when his son was 17, leaving a very large hole in the teenager’s life. However, his tutelage had provided Buddy with “cast-iron business sense” and imbued in him a work ethic and a wealth of knowledge. He stepped up and took over his father’s role as proprietor and baker in Carlo’s bakery.

Buddy learned much without his father’s presence in the business but struggled making sfogliatelle dough, which is used in making Italian shell-shaped filled pastries called lobster tails, one of the bakery’s specialties. Buddy recalls the night his father came to him in a dream and told him, “I am here for one reason, to show you how to make lobster tails.” The next day, for the first time, Buddy successfully created the seemingly impossible dough and the very popular lobster tails were back. From then on, he says, he knew he could do anything he put his mind to and found comfort knowing that his father was looking after him.

After a few years, Buddy Jr. decided to take cake decorating to a new level with designer cakes. He created, among other spectacular cakes, a NASCAR racecar cake weighing over 10,000 pounds. In 2004, he was invited to participate in the Food Network Challenge where he took top prize in the fourth battle. He was urged to try a show for himself so he pitched a show featuring himself with his family. TLC executives were impressed enough to shoot a pilot episode in the shop which was a hit with audiences, and Cake Boss was born. The show is now in its eighth season.

Buddy’s extended family is indispensable both to the show and in running what has now become a chain of bakeries in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and some Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The business has diversified and expanded, but the legacy that began three generations ago in Sicily lives on. Buddy willingly holds to the traditions of his father’s bakery.

“Life lessons my parents have taught me define who I am today. I never forget where I’ve come from and try to pass that down to my children today,” says Valastro.

In addition to keynoting at RootsTech 2017, Valastro will help judge the first-ever RootsTech cake decorating competition.

There will be four different categories to compete in—wedding, birthday, holiday, and graduation—and there will be three finalists and one grand prize winner selected in each category. Cakes will be on display Saturday during RootsTech and Family Discovery Day where thousands of people will view and have a chance to vote for “People’s Choice” winners in each category. Official rules and entry information for the contest will be available soon at RootsTech.org.

Governor Mike Leavitt Speaks at Saturday’s RootsTech Opening Session

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This morning, one of the folks for whom I have great admiration spoke at the Family Discovery Day opening session here at RootsTech 2016. Former Governor of Utah Mike Leavitt spent a few minutes telling stories. Posted to the screen were the topics for a number of stories that he’d selected. He let the audience pick the stories they wanted to hear by text messaging, using their smart phones. The same approach was used Friday, during the Innovator Showdown, when the audience voted for the People’s Choice award.

The audience picked the stories they most wanted to hear, and Mike proceeded to tell them. He told about how there had been a fire in the governor’s mansion, caused by faulty wiring to a Christmas tree, and how that became the most memorable Christmas ever – the outpouring of help given to the family, the hours spent helping out in a local homeless shelter,and more. He told us a bit about the delegate-winning process that was used in getting the Republication nomination for Governor Romney, and how that same process is being used today. He told us of the day that he informed Olene Walker that she was about to become governor, as he had been called to serve at secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush Administration in Washington. Mike also told us about the Oval Office and how it’s said that it’s called that as there are no corners to hide in.

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The Governor acutally started and ended his story-telling by speaking of the excitement of the moment that it was announced that Utah had won the Winter Olympics – and how needing a last-minute runner for the Olympic flame, a 5th grader was chosen to carry the torch and how it changed that young person’s life.

He ended by saying something like this – and these probably are not his exact words… “The fire on the stick – it’s family.” Wow, what a great start for the final opening session of RootsTech 2016.

TapGenes Wins the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016

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The Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016 took place this morning. The field had narrowed to just six contestants, but only 3 or 4 could win. I say four, because there were 3 prizes of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd – and a People’s Choice award made by audience members, as well the online audience. It just happens that the People Choice award ($10,000) was won by the 3rd place winner.

The winners of $100,000 in cash & services were:

  1. TapGenes – whom I had voted for for People’s Choice – I love what this company is doing.
  2. Studio, by Legacy Republic
  3. Twile

As posted in an earlier entry, the following six were the finalists:

Click on the links and check out their websites to learn more about them.

The following is from a RootsTech News Release:

2016 RootsTech Showdown Winners

  • First Place Judges Choice ($20,000 cash, $25,000 in-kind), Heather Holmes of TapGenes.
  • Second Place Judges Choice ($14,000 cash, $15,000 in-kind), Studio (by Legacy Republic), Technology hardware and software for digitizing hard copy photo albums.
  • Third Place Judges Choice Award ($6,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind), Twile, a web app that populates a visual family timeline with data and media.
  • People’s Choice ($10,000 cash), Twile

This is TapGenes’ second year as an Innovator Showdown contestant. Holmes credits the great exposure from its RootsTech 2015 booth which focused on FamilySearch data sharing integration, and listening to user feedback as key differentiates in advancing from semi-finalist in 2015 to first place in 2016. Holmes said they plan to use the prize winnings to expand TapGenes worldwide to save lives by making family medical history more available internationally.

Forever Launches PDF Document Functionality

Forever, Inc, has had a big impact on the exhibit floor at RootsTech 2016. I became interested in Forever’s memory-keeping solutions at RootsTech a year ago. They made the following announcement today.

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Forever, Inc. announces that it now supports PDF documents at Forever.com to help families save their memories for generations.

(SALT LAKE CITY) February 4, 2016Forever, the complete memory-keeping solution where genealogists, moms and other family historians collect, curate, and celebrate their memories now and for generations, is pleased to announce that it has launched PDF document functionality across their entire platform of products and services. Forever made the announcement at RootsTech 2016, which is the largest family history conference in the world and is being held at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah from Feb. 3-6, 2016.

“Our ability to support documents is a significant addition to the Forever platform,” said Glen Meakem, Forever Founder & CEO. “This development proves that we are becoming a complete memory-keeping solution, one that empowers users to tell life’s stories for generations.”

The new functionality enables users to save and share valuable family documents, such as genealogical records, family trees, birth certificates, baptismal certificates, and marriage licenses, all in their permanent digital homes at Forever.com. Users can also protect private and personal documents, such as financial records, legal contracts, and private correspondence.

While speaking to a group of RootsTech attendees, Meakem said, “Imagine writing letters for your children or grandchildren to read many years into the future. Perhaps those letters are congratulatory notes meant to be delivered during events to come, such as graduations, weddings, or anniversaries. Or perhaps those letters are reminders of important family values, traditions, or beliefs. Forever’s powerful platform of products and services enables you to choose how and when you share important family memories and personal content with others, and Forever’s patent-pending guarantee ensures that you can leave a legacy that speaks for generations. Whether you choose to share your documents with others, or keep them private, you can rest easy knowing that they will be protected for many, many years to come.

The company plans to add support for video later in 2016.

About Forever
Forever, Inc. offers the world’s first and only guaranteed permanent online media storage and sharing service, which is backed by the patent-pending Forever Guarantee. Forever was founded and is led by Glen Meakem, previous Founder and CEO of the highly successful business-to-business e-commerce company, FreeMarkets, Inc. Forever provides a permanent, secure, trustworthy place in the internet cloud – a permanent digital home with a complete set of memory keeping services – where moms and families can collect, curate, celebrate and permanently save their precious personal and family memories. The company offers highly secure, triple backed up cloud storage, with encryption of critical locator data. It also offers award winning mobile apps for iOS and Android that automatically back up to member accounts at www.forever.com, as well as web and desktop apps so customers can upload, access, edit, organize, and protect their content from virtually any device. Forever guarantees customers who buy “permanent sharable storage” that their photos and memories will be saved for their lifetimes plus 100 years with the goal of many generations beyond. The company can make this guarantee because a large portion of the money customers pay for “permanent storage” is deposited into the Forever Guarantee Fund, a restricted fund that acts like a permanent endowment or reserve, with earnings paying for storage, bandwidth, and migration to new file formats for generations into the future.

The company also offers Forever Artisan, the leading digital desktop scrapbooking software, and Forever Historian — photo organization and management software, as well as Forever digital art, desktop uploader (Forever Valet), digital photo project design applications (such as Forever Projects), printing, photo scanning and media conversion services.

Visit Forever.com for more information or follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch International, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Check Out the RootsTech 2016 Innovator Summit Finalists!

The big event of the day at the Innovator Summit was the Innovator Showdown Semifinal. Representatives from twelve innovative businesses did 2-minute presentations, with questions asked by the judges for another 2 minutes or so. Fifty small companies applied, these 12 making the cut. Those finalists were:

  • Famicity – they have 150,000 users in France alone.
  • GenSoup – from Austria
  • JRNL.com – the site allows collaboration in Journaling
    Kindex – Indexing is their focus.
  • TapGenes – now accessible from Ancestry, FamilySearch and Facebook. This site allows secure sharing of medical histories within families and their health care providers.
  • The History Project – Compiling histories that include multimedia & artifacts.
  • Ancestorcloud – Allows folks to offer $ for documents and research anywhere worldwide. A method of bidding on genealogy-related work.
  • Legacy Scribe – They scan, index and save journals to the cloud.
  • Scribbit – Expansive journaling – coming in 2016
  • Studio by Legacy Republic – a potable smartphone-based photo album scanner.
  • Family History Guide – Links to all kinds of genealogy help.
  • Twile – out of Lancaster, England

This evening, RootsTech threw a Media Dinner for bloggers, and others. At the dinner, it was announced who won the semifinals – narrowing the contestants to six.

Check out the following sites.

Those who will enter the next round tomorrow were:

Click on the links to see some of the latest in new genealogy tech products. Keep in mind that most of these sites are still in alpha or beta, so we can expect much more from them over the next few months.

Four Days of RootsTech Fever – and What’s Up With Meitzler…

I am now nicely settled in an attractive room at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, looking forward to four busy days at RootsTech 2016. I understand the registration tables will open at 7 in morning, and I plan to be in line. I will spend much of tomorrow taking in classes at the Innovator Summit. I’m looking forward to the many classes at RootsTech, as well as the exhibit hall. I love exhibit halls, having worked them since 1985. This year I get to be on the other side of the table! I will post a few blogs dealing with RootsTech as the weekend wears on.

If you are at RootsTech and want to purchase Family Roots Publishing books, see Martha at the Maia’s Books booth.

As my readers know, I had rotator cuff surgery on the 18th of December. Last Thursday I began stengthening excerises at physical therapy. Suddenly the pain has decreased and every day I have more movement with my right arm. I am doing excercises twice a day for about 20 minutes. I really love having my arm back. Did you ever try to floss with one hand? (I know – they make little things to do that, but I like the string).

MY ONLINE TREES
I think I commented earlier that my priorities have changed. I have now launched into the process of cleaning up, adding to, and securing my own genealogy. The last few years, I haven’t taken the time to keep up with all the data and opportunities that have been presented to me. My excuse is that I have been very busy running a successful company – and I moved from Utah to Washington (a trek that took 10 months). I’ve started the process by resolving to get my online genealogy sourced and expanded as never before. I have online trees at MyHeritage, Ancestry, and FamilySearch. Most of the data is excellent, as I never take stuff found on other’s trees and add it to my database. Sure – some ancestors and facts get added, but only after I’ve proven the case myself. I haven’t made my online MyHeritage tree public, as I know that there may be error in family group that I compiled years ago – the source being a cousin who I now suspect was grasping at relatives… I will either prove or disprove that info, then make it public. The MyHeritage Database is over 5000 individuals, all entered one at a time. Another downside is that I didn’t go back and source everything that I started the tree with years ago. In 99% of the cases, I have the documents to back it up, so it’s just a matter of doing the work.

I will be writing about my experiences on my blog and in social media as I go along, and I invite my readers to ride along with me. We may be able to do this thing together… I also invite comments, suggestions, and questions.

RootsTech Innovator Summit – Wednesday, Feb. 3

I will be attending the RootsTech 2016 Innovator Summit on Wednesday. I used the RootsTech 2016 App to make up my schedule of classes I wish to attend just this afternoon. It looks to be a lot of fun! I’ll post about it Wednesday evening.

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The following is from RootsTech:

If you want to change the future of family history, or have an idea that can transform how we celebrate and honor our family, then the innovator summit is for you. Developers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs from around the country will come together on Wednesday, February 3, to collaborate and share insight.

It’s a unique one-day chance to help dreams become reality. Ken Krogue, tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Insidesales.com, will keynote at the Innovator Summit General Session starting at 9 a.m. The Innovator Summit will also include a full day of classes on Wednesday, the Innovator Summit Networking Social and a hackathon at the end of the day.

An innovator summit pass is required to attend. For event information and registration, visit RootsTech.org/InnovatorSummit.

Expo Hall Vendors List Assistance Available at ConferenceKeeper.org

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Tami Osmer Mize compiled a listing of the RootsTech 2016 conference Exhibit Hall venders. The RootsTech 2016 mobile app has a good map of the hall, but it’s difficult to locate the booths. Click here to go to the iPhone RootsTech App.

Tami has two lists. One list is sorted by booth number. The other is sorted alphabetically by vender. See the lists at ConferenceKeeper.org.

MyHeritage Adds Audio Recordings For Interviewing Your Relatives

Now this is cool… And just in time for RootsTech 2016! Check out the following note from MyHeritage, and then go read their blog full blogpost about the new feature.

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We’ve just released a new feature in the MyHeritage mobile app: Audio Recordings. You can now interview your relatives directly from their profile in the family tree, and store your family’s stories for future generations in your MyHeritage family site.

The MyHeritage mobile app is free. It’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android, and it lets you access and enhance your family tree on the go. The Audio Recordings feature is now available in both the iOS and Android versions of the mobile app.

Read the full blogpost at MyHeritage.com.