I'm going to list the highlights (in no particular order) of our experience at RootsTech and ask you, as you read them, if you think any or all of them were worth the $39. As a Disclaimer, let me add that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As such, I am extremely proud and supportive of my Church's FamilySearch Department who hosted the conference. I serve in our local church as a "Consultant" in our Family History Center, assisting patrons who come in to research their families.
- I was introduced to the FamilySearch partner Puzzilla, which reveals the descendancy of my ancestors in the Family Tree program at FamilySearch.org.
- Upon departing the airport in SLC and getting into the back seat in the Shuttle that was transporting us to the Radisson, I looked up and saw that I was being seated beside Denise Levenick, one of the Presenters at the Conference. I'm a big fan of Denise since she published the book "How to Archive your Family Keepsakes" just at the time I was cleaning out documents and photos from my father's house and needed this wonderful resource.
- In my first (and only) free afternoon of the week, I visited the Deseret Book store at City Creek Center, one of my favorite places in the world.
- We worked in several personal visits with my husband's dearly-loved brother and sister-in-law (my in-laws too, but this tells you how we're related) and members of their family, who reside in Utah.
- We were treated to an exceptional concert by Vocal Point, the A Capella group from BYU. I haven't heard such good music and talent at a live concert since we attended the Righteous Brothers concert in Reno, Nevada a dozen years ago!
- To benefit from and be enchanted by the expertise of Keynote Speakers such as Todd Hansen, Stephanie Nielsen, Judy Russell, Dr. Spencer Wells, Ree Drummond ("The Pioneer Woman") and FamilySearch CEO Dennis Brimhall was a real treat. I have so much respect for Dennis Brimhall and the direction he is taking FamilySearch!
- I personally shook hands with, hugged, or visited with such genealogy notables and Facebook friends as Pat Richley-Erickson (Dear Myrtle), Drew Smith, David Rencher, Jen Baldwin, Janet Hovorka, Holly Hansen, Dennis Brimhall, Denise Levenick, Crista Cowan, Russ Worthington, Renee Zamora, Miriam Robbins, James Tanner, Tami Mize, Randy Whited, Randy Seaver, Sue Maxwell, and Amy Coffin.
- I met, for the first time, a dear cousin, Jacqui Maxfield, about whom I will write in my next post, and another friend Shari Stone, who is "connected" to me through ancestors. My husband & I also met up with Utah resident and "cousin" Elaine Mayfield.
- My husband & I bought our AncestryDNA kits, which is our FIRST delve into the world of DNA research as it connects us to our ancestry.
- I can't begin to list all the valuable pieces of information that were shared with my by the instructors of the classes. I learned things in every class I attended, and I attended classes all day for each of the three days! Randy Whited reminded me how to add metadata to my online photos. Ron Tanner brought me up to date on Family Tree, which I'm using as my repository for ALL my research, Crista Cowan took me on a much-needed tour of the great features at Ancestry.com, Shipley Munson reminded me of techniques to use to get our Youth more involved in family history research here in our church congregation. I was inspired to meet and listen to the presentation of noted LDS biographer Heidi Swinton.
Here are selected photos from our RootsTech experience.