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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance!

You know the dance. You know you've done it. The one every researcher does after finding something new. The one where you want to jump up and down and shout to everyone around that you found the document, contacted a cousin who has the family Bible, made a DNA connection or found a whole new branch to your tree. The one that is met with glazed stares and eye rolls.
                                                          Celebration Sunday is a place to share your discoveries. 
This is a weekly series to enable everyone to tell about their Genealogy Happy Dance moment. This can be done by scrolling down and adding your story to the comments section. You may also put a link to a blog post.

My Happy Dance This Week:  Genfriends!

No matter if we've met in person or support each other online-
Thanks for your love and friendship Genfriends! 

                                                                                              Share your discovery!
                                                                                           Let the dancing commence!

Looking forward to reading about your Happy Dance moment!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday at RootsTech-Keynotes, Vendors and Genfriends

Ready for another day of learning and fun!

With Judy Russell 

With Scot and Maureen Proctor

There was a buzz in the air as we gathered for the opening session of the last day of RootsTech 2017. Buddy Valastro,"The Cake Boss" was to be the keynote speaker.
Another confession:
I have never watched his show, but my 14 year old son has. And he was excited for me. He requested a picture and a full report.
Buddy talked about his family, especially the influence of his father and the beginnings of his restaurant.
The recording can be found here.

I fulfilled Josh's request and was able to get these pictures.

The Cake Boss

With Buddy Valastro

In the media hub, I was impressed at the warmth and the caring for those who were there to speak to him. He stopped the official media several times in order to reach out to those who were beyond the barriers. One elderly lady was pushed in her wheelchair up to the outside of the media hub in order to give Buddy a basket of Italian goodies. He stopped in the middle of our interview to reach over, give her a hug and thank her for her gift. He did this with several fans. It was done with sincerity from the heart and not out of any sense of duty.
I may not have watched "The Cake Boss" but I became a fan of Buddy.

Speaking of "The Cake Boss"-what a great opportunity to have a cake contest! The entries were incredible.
Here are just a few of them.
Genetic Genealogist, Cece Moore was also part of the Saturday opening session. Her words on what lesson had been learned so far from DNA testing were moving. She described identities reexamined, families redefined and secrets unlocked.

Cece Moore
 Cece's presentation can be viewed here.
Meeting with Cece Moore in the Media Hub
One of my favorite places to hang out during the week was the Media Hub. Thanks to the folks at RootsTech media and ambassadors had a place to relax, interview and report on the events of the day. They even provided free lunch and snacks!
Pictures show just a few of those who used it each day.

I spy DearMYRT, Angela Walton-Raji,
and Michelle Roos Goodrum
Jill Ball, Ruth Blair, Marie Cappart, Lara Diamond,
Jennie Fairs, Amy Lenertz, Amy Johnson Crow, and Kirsty Gray

Kirsty Gray, Peggy Lauritzen, and Jennie Fairs
Dick Eastman

The Annual RootsTech Genealogy Bloggers Photo!

Some of the Bloggers at RootsTech 2107
Time for helping out with another booth!
Helen Smith finds me at the APG booth          

A Progen meet up

Then a trip around the Expo Hall

I visited Twile.com which produces online timelines from your pictures.They also take your family tree via .gedcom file and print out a graphic called Family Tree by the Numbers. 
Ambassadors were able send in their information ahead of time so we could pick our up at the booth.
Here's mine:

My Family in Numbers produced by Twile.com
Thanks Twile.com!

Scenes from the Expo Hall

Finding friends 
Gordon Erickson and Roger Moffat

Lisa Louise Cooke and
Amie Bowser Tennant

Toni Carrier and Angela Walton-Raji

Louis Kessler, Alona Tester,
 Judy Russell, and Helen Smith 

Can't pass up a picture with Alona and Helen!
A big part of the Saturday schedule at RootsTech is Family Discovery Day sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Three of the keynote speakers were Sheri Dew -CEO of Deseret Book, speaker and author, Vai Sikahema -BYU and NFL football player, NBC affiliate sports director, and Reno Mahe-NFL football player, assistant coach for BYU.
Each is well known in the church community.
I was able to participate in an interview with them in the media hub following their talk which they presented together. They spoke of the love of families, traditions and what family history work means to each of them. I was touched as Reno Mahi spoke to our small group about his young daughter who passed away from a tragic accident.  All three spoke of loved ones beyond the veil whose presence can be felt during important events in their lives.
As we took pictures at the end of the interview, Reno and I consoled each other briefly for being part of the club no parent wants to be in. We both lost children in tragic circumstances a little over a year apart.
Interested in hearing their presentation? Click here.

Interview with Reno Mahi, Sheri Dew and Vai Sikahema

 Sheri Dew

 Reno Mahe and Vai Sikahema
Before I knew it, RootsTech 2017 had come to an end.
Those of us who were headed to a Genealogy Blogger party at the home of DearMYRT (Pat Richley-Erickson) headed out to catch our rides.
A special thanks to Thomas MacEntee for providing the transportation.

Pat and Gordon's hospitality provided just what we needed to unwind from a hectic week. We talked, ate, laughed and enjoyed each other's company.

Party Pictures

A great group of Bloggers!

One last thought from RootsTech 2017
A favorite quote from this year.

Steve Rockwood, President of FamilySearch International

 A special thank you to all those who worked so hard to put this amazing conference together! 
Your efforts are recognized and appreciated! 
RootsTech 2017 Bling

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday at RootsTech 2017~Laughter,Tears and Smiles

Every morning as we came into the hall for the opening session of RootsTech, we were treated to the comedy of Jason Hewlett. He warmed up the crowd with jokes, impressions, songs and facial expressions.
 On Friday he treated us to hits from Motown and had us up and dancing!
Jason Hewlett

Bernice Bennett getting her Motown on!

The Catholic Heritage Archive Announcement
 Exciting news came from Findmypast  The Catholic Heritage Archive was announced. This initiative to digitize Catholic Records is a first in the United States. To learn more visit their website with the link above.

The first African American Day was held this year at RootsTech.
The keynote speaker was LeVar Burton of Roots, Star Trek, and Reading Rainbow fame.

LeVar had us in tears after his touching words, but that was just the beginning of one of the most memorial moments from the conference.
 Thom Reed from FamilySearch came on stage and presented him with several generations of his genealogy.
 LeVar asked "Is that what y'all do all day?", to which the audience yelled "Yes!". 
 Then, while looking at the pedigree chart on the screen he exclaimed "Those are my people!"
 LeVar was visibly touched with the gift of discovering his ancestors.

Genealogy presented by Thom Reed
Unfortunately, LeVar Burton's Keynote address, although live streamed is not available now. Contract issues may be to blame. For those who were not there or missed the live broadcast, there are some excellent blog posts that capture the eloquence and emotion of his words.
The RootsTech Blog, Michelle Goodrum's Turning of the Generations and Jenny Joyce on Jennyalogy all contain a good recap of this inspirational talk. 
LeVar Burton Interviewing in the Media Hub
  Next up: The Innovator Summit Finals!
Innovator Summit Finals
With 5 still in the running, the judges listened again to each of the short presentations of each contestant and then deliberated.
 The audience was able to tweet and vote for the People's Choice Award.
And the winners:

There were some fantastic entries this year. You can learn more about all this year's entries by visiting the RootsTech Innovator Summit page and watch Jason Hewlett as he hosts this year's finals by clicking here.

Interviews with the Winners and the Judges
Yep, that's me sitting on the left edge of the far couch!

Winners and Judges Interview

Talking to the winners was fun, but I especially loved being able to ask the judges a few questions. My question of what is lacking in the genealogy tech community brought interesting answers.
Thomas MacEntee shared his thoughts on the need for the desire to search for our ancestors and would like to see products that would light that fire and interest more people. 
 The others discussed apps to help understand DNA results. They also wanted ways to make doing genealogy easier but with a clear understanding that "easy" also means correctly.

Helping out in the FGS (Federation of Genealogy Societies) Booth was next on my agenda, and once again, friends found me there!

Lottie Johnson from home!

Eowyn Langholf from WikiTree

After a packed day, it was time for the infamous MyHeritage Party!
My post about the much talked about event and to watch the video click on the link
MyHeritage After Party 2017-The Video!  Enjoy!

Findmypast Friday~New Records to Search

As a Findmypast Ambassador, I received this press release this morning:

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

Over 455,000 new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;
Northamptonshire Baptisms contains over 14,000 transcripts of original baptism records and covers 34 parishes across the East Midlands county. These records have been transcribed by the Northamptonshire Family History Society from parish registers found at the Northamptonshire Record Office and cover the years 1559 through to 1901
The level of detail found each transcript may vary although most will include a combination of your ancestor’s baptism date, baptism place, the names of both parent’s, document reference, page and entry number. 
The Northampton General Hospital was founded in 1744 by Dr James Stonhouse and supported by local benefactors who paid for patient’s treatments through subscriptions. Today, the Northampton General Hospital is still providing healthcare as part of the NHS Trust.
This collection consists of over 126,000 transcripts of original admission registers held by the Northamptonshire record office. These transcripts will not only allow you to discover whether your ancestors were admitted to the hospital, but also when they were admitted, why they were admitted and the year they were discharged. Most records will also reveal the nature of your ancestor’s ailment and the outcome of their treatment.
Over 54,000 records covering more than 1,800 counties have been added  to our collection of United States marriage records including substantial updates from Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. Released in partnership with FamilySearch international, these new additions mark the latest phase of efforts to create the single largest online collection of U.S. marriage records in history.
Each record include transcripts and images of the original documents that list marriage date, the names of the bride and groom, birthplace, birth date, age, residence as well as fathers' and mothers' names. The entire collection now contains over 168 million records and continues to grow.
Warwickshire Monumental Inscriptions is an index containing over 201,000 transcripts.Each record will list your ancestor’s birth year, death year and the location of the monument.
Over 60,000 articles and 10 new titles have been added to the Periodical Source Index this month. PERSI enables you to easily locate key information about people and places through millions of entries from thousands of historical, genealogical and ethnic publications.
PERSI provides access to articles, photos, and other material you might not find using traditional search methods. This can help to build the historical context around your personal research, and the world your ancestors lived in.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday at RootsTech 2017~Tradition, Connection and Song

Salt Palace Convention Center
Home to RootsTech 2017
Another early morning train ride from Fruit Heights to Salt Lake in time for the Ambassador Tour of the Expo Hall.
 It was massive! A genealogist's Disney Land I heard it called.
From demonstrations of the large genealogy websites to small Mom and Pop businesses, you can find what you are looking for to help your tree grow. In just a few hours it would open to the public and it would be filled with people, but for then, we had a chance to walk through and take it all in.

Expo Hall Tour

After the tour, we were lead backstage and to our seats. It just so happened that Drew and Jonathan Scott aka The Property Brothers were being interviewed before their keynote talk at the opening session and we walked right by them. More than a few quick pics were taken as we did!
Drew and Jonathan Scott
The Property Brothers 

Sitting together and enjoying each other's company is always a highlight of the keynote sessions.

Valerie Elkins, Helen Smith, Mary Roddy, Jennie Fairs, and Amy Lenertz
Peggy Lauritzen, Amy Bowser Tennant, Angela Walton-Raji, and Toni Carrier

Randy Seaver, Ruth Blair, Marie Cappart and others!

Congratulations Amy!
I happened to be sitting by Amy Johnson Crow when she won an Amazon gift card for entering the twitter contest as the Property Brothers were speaking. It was fun to see her reaction and to get a test from my brother-in-law who was watching that said " I just saw you on the live feed!!"

A confession: I have never watched the Property Brothers TV show.  Coming into the conference, I was aware of them and had seen them in advertisements and such.
The excitement in the air before they came on stage could be felt in the room.  They spoke of family and their Scottish roots, kilts, and bagpipes. For someone who didn't know much about them, I really enjoyed their presentation! Did you miss it or would like to see it again? You can view it here.

Interviewing in the Media Hub

Steve Rockwood of FamilySearch explained the importance of food and family ties. He is seen here drinking A&W Rootbeer, a family tradition, and eating his grandmother's Rocky Road fudge.
Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International
My choice of class was My DNA Runs in My Family from genetic genealogist Angie Bush and her daughter Brynne.

Angie Bush and daughter Brynne
This was a fun explanation of the types of DNA and how to use it to discover your family. Brynn explained how she became interested in DNA and used it in a 7th grade science fair project. She takes us through the steps of discovering how she connects with her family.

Luckily, it was one of the live streaming presentations for the day and can be watched here.     

Part of my afternoon was spent helping in the In-depth Genealogist Booth.
Terri O'Connell and Jennifer Alford

Love being part of the IDG Team!
You never know who you will run into when running a booth!

Mary Tedesco from Genealogy Road Show!

Great Tips from David Lambert
David Lambert gave an informative class on "Researching Your WWI and WWII American Ancestors". He gave many tips on where to find records that may still exist for those who served.

After a long day of classes, ambassador and booth responsibilities, it was time to relax and enjoy a special concert from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir the Orchestra on Temple Square and the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein, Oscar "Andy" Hammerstein III.

      We were seated early and had the privilege of listening to them practice. No video taping was allowed during the performance but I was able to take this one as they ran through one of my favorite songs!

This special night of music and memories touched all of our hearts. Singing softly along, I was in tears as memories of my grandmother taking me to see "The Sound of Music" as a child filled my soul. Not once, but five times. There was no watching the DVD when it came out then.  She has passed but just hearing the opening strains of each song brings her back to me.

After returning home, I was thrilled to discover that the link to the whole performance is available. 
Don't miss this opportunity to hear this amazing choir and the words and music of Rogers and Hammerstein as they present Music It Runs in the Family.

Another fun filled, emotional day at RootsTech!