Saturday, February 11, 2017
My Day at RootsTech - Saturday
Today was the final day of RootsTech, and once again another outstanding day full of good speakers and information about what is happening in the world of genealogy.
At the opening session, Tim Sullivan from Ancestry discussed a new feature coming over the next few months, Genetic Communities. This looks like an interesting timeline of genetic clusters based on their ever-expanding database. Will be interested to see what it shows about my genetic migration. I still would like them to give us a chromosome browser.
Next up was CeCe Moore talking about her experiences helping solve DNA mysteries and speculating on what the future will hold with DNA genetics. Things such as recreating the images of your ancestors based on DNA of their descendants and genetic memory might sound like science fiction today - but a lot of what we are doing with genetic genealogy now was not even imagined just a few years ago. She shared a DNA story about her brother-in-laws discovery of his connection to Thomas Jefferson and Hemings family. DNA research is blurring the color lines and also bringing healing and forgiveness as people find their biological relatives through DNA research. CeCe is supposed to be coming to Fort Wayne in the next few months and I want to catch her talks.
The celebrity guest speaker today was the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro. I've enjoyed watching his shows on TLC and in person he is just as he appears on television. He is an energetic speaker who told the story of his success, which has come through drive and hard work. He was inspired by his family and his Italian-American grandfathers and parents are true American stories. Hearing him talk about how his father taught him the value of hard work and how Buddy started out cleaning toilets in the bakery explains why he is so driven and successful today. I was a little surprised that they didn't have any family history finds for Buddy today.
After the opening session, I went into the Expo Hall and ran into Dear Myrtle and had to snap a selfie with her. You meet so many nice people at these genealogy conferences and it's especially nice to meet someone whose blog you follow.
I did see the Cake Boss being interviewed as well at the media hub and managed to snap a couple of semi-close pictures of him.
My first session to attend today was to be Continuing Your Genealogy Education at Home, taught by Crista Cowan. Unfortunately, I didn't make it early enough to get a good seat and the session was full! Hopefully, I can catch it online. That's one downside to these conferences, sometimes the classes fill up early.
I spent some more time in the Expo Hall, purchased a copy of RootsMagic for my son-in-law for his birthday and grabbed some lunch. I ate the best darn plate of nachos I'd ever had. Seriously. They were so good I had to take a picture.
While having lunch, I struck up a couple of conversations with some nice folks from Idaho and a gentleman from Utah. It's nice to be in a place where everyone there is interested in family history and sharing stories of our ancestors. None of them had any ancestry from Indiana, though.
Because today was Saturday, it was the most packed day and there were a lot of families here with young children. A couple of them stopped and asked to take a picture with me - they were completing a scavenger hunt for MyHeritage - must have been a contest. So I'm out there on someone's phone.
After lunch, while charging my phone at one of the nice charging stations in the convention center, I was even asked to complete a survey by a nice young lady from BYU regarding the economic impact of the convention. I hope my answers helped - I can say I definitely have enjoyed my time here.
My next session was entitled What is Your Revolutionary War Ancestor's Story by Ken Nelson of FamilySearch. This talk gave me a lot of good sources to look into more of my Revolutionary War ancestry. Helping mom work up a DAR line this past year, I have discovered that we have quite a few different lines that could be researched and proven for her, as well as for me through the SAR. One piece of advise that stuck with me was that we should check local court records for pension application information, as those records had to start at the local level. Ken's handout will be one that I'm sure I refer back to again and again.
My final session was Helping Your Grandparents Share their Story by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. Their presentation focused on some interesting ways that they have leveraged social media applications to get their family members collaborating and creating family history content. Their handout highlighted ten apps that could be used - many that were familiar to me, but a few that I hadn't utilized. Though they had a couple of technical issues due to internet connectivity in the room, they gave everyone some good options for bringing the generations together and preserving their memories. The bottom line is that we all need to begin to save and share the memories before they are gone.
After that session, I decided to head back to the hotel without staying for the closing ceremony. On the way out, cake was being served from the cake decorating contest that was held earlier in the day. How can you go wrong with an event that ends with cake ?