Friday, March 22, 2013

A NH Yankee at Day Two of RootsTech 2013

Here I am at Day Two of RootsTech.  There were two keynote speakers today.  The first speaker was not as interesting to me today as the presenters yesterday.  Jyl Pattee is a popular blogger with a very nice message about family, and she demonstrated how to use technology to preserve family memories and stories.  Nice and sweet, but her methods were all things that have been blogged about and demonstrated before.  I was very surprised that she was a keynote speaker over other presenters who had messages that were more cutting edge and ground breaking. Perhaps her celebrity won out over other choices for speaker? I had never heard of her before, but I surmise she was a "big deal" for RootsTech.

Speaker two was an improvement.  Tim Sullivan had a balanced message about, recognizing the shortfalls of some pedigrees submitted to the website, as well as admitting that the presence of these family trees is a valuable lesson in genealogy for all who use the website.  He also made several breaking announcements you can hear in the archived version of the video. I won't rehash his entire talk here, since you can see it for yourself, but the main announcements were a new iOS app 4.1 for Ancestry on iPhone and iPad devices (he explained that 1/3 of users now arrive at the website via mobile devices), $99 DNA tests, $100 million to digitize documents over the next four years, and a collaboration with FamilySearch to digitize 140 million US Probate records.  It was a great message, and the perfect place to break the great news to the genealogy community.

David Lambert from the
New England Historic Genealogical Society
The rest of the day was spent in smaller presentations, including hearing David Lambert of NEHGS at his talk on "Creating a Virtual New England Community Archive",  Thomas MacEntee at "Backing up Genealogy Data", and Amy Johnson Crow in "Turning Google Street View into a Time Machine with HistoryPin and WhatWasThere".  Then a few hours at the Family History Library, cramming in a last research session.

Thomas MacEntee hosted a huge birthday party for himself at the Radisson, and it was a "Who's Who" of genealogy bloggers, genealogists and genealogy company representatives. Thomas was the Man of the Hour and everyone in attendance had a great time!  We were sorry to leave early and crawl into bed (but not before posting this to my blog!)

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. It was great watching your bit about the gadget bag. Someday I'll be able to start going to all these great conventions, too.

  2. Thanks for the photos! I'm glad to see what everyone looks like, having a great time!