When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday at Rootstech 2017-Inspiration, Friends and Fun!

Front Runner to Salt Lake
On the train and ready to begin the first day at RootsTech 2017!
The morning began with a meet up with Jen Baldwin from Findmypast.com
Jen Baldwin
We had breakfast at the Blue Lemon where I was happy to be able to interview her about PERSI, the Periodical Source Index available on their website. 
What I learned about this invaluable tool is coming soon!

It was then time to head over to the conference center and register. Luckily the line was short for Ambassadors and I was finished and wandering around looking to see who else had arrived.

Wednesday morning was the opening of the Innovator Summit where ideas for new businesses and the Showdown for the winner of the best for the year was in it's semifinals.

The keynote speaker, Liz Wiseman was inspirational. If you aren't familiar with Liz or listened to her speak, I would encourage you to do so here.  
 Liz asked us to think back to when we were new to something and had a "Rookie Moment". We were to tell our neighbor about that experience. I was sitting next to friend Michelle Ross Goodrum of the Turning of Generations blog and told her I felt like my whole life was a "Rookie Moment"! 
With Liz Wiseman
When we are learning and trying something new, we are growing, not bored and in a teachable place. 
Out in the hall, I noticed Liz was talking to a few of the attendees of her keynote presentation. I took the opportunity to thank her for the presentation and was able to get a couple of photos.
Liz looking at the beginning of my trail of ribbons!

Eating lunch with friend Kathleen Keenan
while waiting for the Showdown to start.

The Innovator Showdown Semi Finals were judged by Thomas MacEntee, Kenyatta Berry, Alan Doan, John Richards and Dalton J. Wright. 

Judges Alan, Kenyatta and Thomas
  Each contestant shared a brief overview of their product and what it can do for the genealogy community. This was shown live and can be watched here. There were some very interesting and useful products in the running! I wouldn't have wanted to try to decide on a winner. Those moving forward into the finals were announced later on in the evening at the Opening Social.

Listening to Diahan Southard

RootsTech sessions began at 3pm. My first choice was Diahan Southard's presentation "DNA: The Glue that Holds Families Together". This was a touching story of her mother's use of DNA to reunite with her birth family.  

Learning from Angela McGhie
I also attended "Using Identity Characteristics to Locate Ancestors" by Angela McGhie.  In this presentation, Angela gave examples of how she was able to use things like occupation, family members, and other types of identity markers to differentiate people with the same name. 

Part of the day was also spent running into friends. 

Fellow Genealogy Bloggers

The NextGen Genealogy Network

With Valerie Elkins

The Opening Social, was held that evening across the street at the Marriott Hotel. It was sponsored by FamilySearch and featured light refreshments, a photo booth, and dancing.
 The Finalists of the Innovator Showdown were announced-Double Match Triangulator, Emberall, Kindex and OldNews USA.  For more information about these products please click here.

Photo Booth Fun with Michelle Goodrum and Mary Roddy 

Opening social with Thomas MacEntee and Michelle Goodrum
A fantastic start to RootsTech 2017!


  1. thanks so much for sharing photos and your moments - for those of us who could not attend this year, we got to live RootsTech through you.

    1. Wish you could have been there, Tessa . I am glad you are enjoying my posts as they report on my week!