Friday was another great day at RootsTech. The general session was fabulous.
Shipley Munson, the creator of RootsTech shared some cool statistics. We broke the 26,000 attendees mark on Wednesday. Attendees came from all 50 states and 37 countries including Myanmar, Afghanistan, Australia and New Zealand. Last year the number of local Family History fairs as an extension of RootsTech was 1,499 and they were held on 5 continents.
AJ Jacobs gave us a report on his 2015 global family reunion and invited us to join him in 2016 for the same event. He said, “I believe in the message that we are all related.” I love that.
Josh & Naomi Davis, the bloggers behind the family blog Love Taza, shared some of their family stories and encouraged us to do the same. I loved Naomi’s first question, “What if my Grandpa Joe had instagram?” I have often said that my grandma would have LOVED blogging. Instagram? She would have loved that too. Naomi’s heartfelt desire to celebrate motherhood and family was awesome! She expressed something that is in my heart too. The world is filled with negative images of families and motherhood. She wants to be a force for good and share the beauty and challenges of the everyday experience of motherhood.
Ben Bennett, and exec at findmypast, shared the news that the new United States marriage collection is now available and will be free to use through Valentines Day. There are 33 million marriage records and this collection will continue to grow making it the largest collection of US marriage records.
David Isay was the real showstopper of the morning. He is the genius behind Story Corps. He shared powerful clips from a few Story Corps interviews. They were so raw and real. Each one drew me in, made me cry, made me laugh and made me fall in love with this incredible organization. One of the interviews he shared can be found here. It’s a compelling story of forgiveness and love. As he concluded he quoted a nun he met (I didn’t get her name) who said, “It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you’ve heard.” And then he quoted Mother Theresa, “We’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.”
The four classes I chose were:
- Maximizing Your Use of Evidence taught by Tom Jones
- NARA Mythbusters – Your Family IS in the National Archives taught by Judy Russell
- A Digital Treasure: PERSI and Your Family History taught by Josh Taylor
- Your Ancestors War Story from Beginning to End taught by Anne Mitchell.
Can I just say that after this second Tom Jones class I was over the moon about his incredible teaching style? He is brilliant. I had to buy his book.
Once classes were over I walked to the FHL and researched until it closed. I found some amazing things in the books. I skipped the microfilm since I can order those at BYU for free.
All in all it was another great day and I wondered over and over again why I hadn’t gone before.
I scored this cool button on Friday and wore it the rest of the time.
One funny thing about Friday – during the general session a camera parked right next to me and stayed, pointed at me for about 10 mintues (it felt sooooo much longer). It is very difficult to pretend a camera isn’t there! Then later during Josh Taylor’s class one of the ceiling cameras did the same thing. Once I thought it had moved back to Josh I looked up only to discover I was wrong, it was still pointed at me. Oh boy! I wonder if I’ll make any highlight reels?