My Top Ten RootsTech 2018 Moments

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Me, RootsTech 2018, posing with my Photo+Story submission

Wow!  Last week was a blur of genealogy goodness at RootsTech.  There were so many awesome moments.  If you were not at RootsTech, but want to enjoy some of the awesomeness, you can view the general sessions and many of the classes for free here.

I made notes of so many fantastic quotes during the general sessions.  I will share those slowly over time.  My favorite keynote address was Scott Hamilton.  His love and respect for his mother was so moving.

One of the main reasons to attend RootsTech is for the classes.  They were great.  Lots of choices about lots of topics.  There was definitely something for everyone.

I loved being there all week long with one of my favorite friends, Catrina.  That definitely made the week the best RootsTech yet.  Even though we were together every day, we failed to take a picture together.  Does anyone else have that problem?  Haha.

Aside from hanging with my pal, there were lots of other amazing moments, here’s a quick recap of my RootsTech Top Ten:


10 – I spent a lot more time in the Expo hall this year.  There were so many cool sales, coupons, products, and demos.  I could have happily spent a small fortune for sure!


9 – The DNA sales were fantastic!  Living DNA was $49, 23 & Me was $99 for the autosomal + health, Ancestry was $59, and FTDNA was $59 for atDNA and $139 for YDNA.  I may or may not have purchased 7 tests from 4 different vendors…


8 – On Wednesday evening I stopped by the Larsen Digital booth and shared with them the short video of Grandpa Costello they digitized for me last year.  I thanked them for helping me discover and preserve this special treasure.  The darling woman running the booth said, “Can you say that again and let me record you?”  I laughed and then agreed.  There really is nothing like being asked to record a video on the spot to promote something.  Of course, watching it after the fact, I realized I am basically a super happy genealogy cartoon character.  😂  Here it is:



7 – On Friday I attended the BYU Sponsored Lunch.  I ended up sitting next to the head of the BYU Family History department and the Deputy Chief Genealogist for FamilySearch.  Very cool experience!  Next year I will definitely attend another sponsored lunch or two.


6 – I skipped class on Friday morning and wandered the Expo hall in relative quiet.  I met Johanne Gervais at the Québec Genealogical Society booth and learned about some awesome resources available to society members.  She also looked at two curious records for me and shared some insight.  I was delighted when she said she hadn’t seen a record quite like that before.  It’s always nice to know that a record you find curious is just as curious as you thought.  😉


5 – During my Friday morning Expo hall wanderings, I joined NGS and learned about a few opportunities from the wonderful ladies running the booth.  This was definitely a good thing for me!


4 – My first year at RootsTech I met Kit.  We chose a lot of the same classes and both love the front row so we kept sitting by each other.  By the afternoon of the first or second day, I had shared a snack with her and we have been pals ever since.  Kit and her friend Karen travel to RootsTech together each year.  This year Kit and Karen met Grace on the flight to SLC and so our circle of friends grew.  On Friday evening, Kit, Grace and I enjoyed a lovely, long dinner that was super fun!

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Thursday morning – me, Kit, and Grace (who I didn’t realize was in the shot until later, I should have gotten her in closer and with a smile ;))


3 – Meeting Diahan Southard on Thursday at her booth.  I thanked her for helping me smash a brick wall and she said, “Can you say that again and let my assistant record you?”  So on Friday, I met Diahan at her booth and we recorded a video together.  Twice in two days!!  What are the odds?  I quit thanking strangers for helping me with my genealogy after that.  😂  But it was a super fun experience!

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Diahan Southard & I on Friday after recording a video together.


2 – Finding a VERY important land deed at the FHL on Saturday for a (sort of) end-of-line ancestor that helps tighten up his timeline!  🎉


And finally… my top moment at RootsTech 2018 was…



1 – My Photo+Story Submission won 3rd place!  New Canon Rebel DSLR camera for me!  🎉




Thank you, FamilySearch and RootsTech for a great week of genealogy goodness, learning, friendship, and connections!






Thinking about RootsTech for next year?  The dates are – February 27-March 2, 2019.  I hope to see you there!



10 thoughts on “My Top Ten RootsTech 2018 Moments”

  1. Sounds like you had an awesome time, and congrats again on winning third place! I must say that I read a description someone posted of RootsTech, and it would have been awful for an introvert like me. She said the place was overwhelming and that you had to get to sessions an hour or more ahead of time to get a seat. I think I will wait for the videos!

    1. Thank you, Amy!

      There were some definite issues this year. They scanned everyone’s badges at the classroom doors and wouldn’t allow seat saving. RootsTech only works with the seat saving otherwise everyone is doing the same things at the same times and it is a zoo. Thankfully I had been there the previous two years and clung to how it used to be and hopefully will be again. (I tried to just focus on the positive in my post though… Because, well, there was lots to be positive about.) RootsTech is definitely not for everyone. There are lots of smaller, wonderful conferences that would probably be more to your liking. I have heard that Jamboree is really great. Deborah Sweeney lives close to that one and always goes. She taught last year. She could probably give you good insight into that conference.

      But honestly, now, so much is available online for genealogy learning that you can stay comfy at home and get a lot of the same experiences.

      1. I think the only reason I’d ever be tempted to go is to meet some of the people I have connected with online like you and a few others. I learn best by reading and asking specific questions of people and by trial and error on my own, and I have always found lectures in large groups too distracting. I went to a college with small classes for just that reason!

  2. Congratulations!!! It looks like you had an amazing time. I’m with Amy though; I think I’d retreat into my shell (hotel room) and miss all the good stuff. I really can’t do crowds. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Su! I get that for sure. It was really hard for me to commit to going the first year that I did. But I discovered that most genealogists are a lot like that (not all of course) and I was far more comfortable than I expected. 😉

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