Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My RootsTech 2018 Experience from Home

When RootsTech published the live stream sessions offered for 2018 it seemed packed with presentations.  When I looked more closely on the days RootsTech was presented, I realized that many of the sessions were rebroadcasts of previous years' keynote speakers.  How disappointing.  Now that I go back to the RootsTech website and look at the live stream videos, it once again seems packed with presentations.  Did they not stream all the presentations as announced before the event?  Whether they did or not, at least they are currently available in video format.  I have lots of presentations to watch now!

I watched the presentations below and also all of the keynote speakers.  (Clicking the title of the presentation will take you to the online video.)

Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections by Ari Wilkins
It's always interesting to see how others organize photo collections.  I liked Ari's methods and appreciated her hints for organizing as well as preserving photos.  Handout here.

Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve and Share by Michelle Goodrum
I use Google's old Picasa on my desktop to organize my photos but I don't store them online in Google Photos.  I appreciate the fact that it can be one more place to back up photos but I don't know that I will use it.  Handout here.

Findmypast's British & Irish Hidden Gems by Myko Clelland of Findmypast
Myko talks fast so the presentation was filled with information about collections available at findmypast and he included some interesting stories.  Toward the end of the presentation there were technology problems and there was no video.  Myko was so calm and collected and carried on as if things were normal.  I have only a limited subscription to findmypast so it's not as useful a website as it could be if I had a full subscription.  Handout here.

Elusive Records at FamilySearch by Robert Kehrer of FamilySearch International
This was my favorite presentation.  It was excellent.  I knew some of the information Robert presented but some was new and I learned several new ways to search the unindexed records available at FamilySearch.  Handout here.

Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales by Audrey Collins of The National Archives
Audrey explained the background to the indexes and the process by which they were compiled, then the progression of steps from initial registration to collection and processing of the information to the indexes.  It seems that the indexes and the information included in them have been gently evolving and include more information now than in earlier years.  Throughout the presentation Audrey quipped about some of her findings and sometimes about her obsession with genealogy.  ("Obsessed is such an ugly word," she said.)  Handout here.

Next RootsTech 2018 streamed videos to watch:

And then there are the handouts to read:

If you watched RootsTech from home, which presentations did you watch?  Were any especially interesting or helpful?


Copyright ©2018, Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Thanks for posting these reviews. I am going to check them out.

    1. You're welcome, Wendy. I hope you can find time to at least look at what's available for viewing. You may find a video or two that will be interesting or informative to you.

  2. The one I watched, that I want to watch over and over again, was Finding Elusive Records at Familysearch. I had one of those waking dreams years ago where my great grandmother told me she was in the catalog. I've searched the catalog at the Family History Library and read the microfilm but wasn't very good at it and finally just got discouraged and haven't been back at it. Seeing that I could access things from my computer is very encouraging. But, it's one of those things where seeing it once didn't stick in my mind. I downloaded the handout. And now I'm ready to watch it again. This is the same great grandmother that appeared to me in another dream and as a result I was able to do her work. Her SS had been done in the 70's but her ordinances had never been done. You are such a good cheerleader. Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you, Robin. Yes! Robert Kehrer packed a lot of information in that presentation, didn't he? Some of the things he mentioned I'd already learned by experimenting but other things were all new and there was that ah-ha moment when an ancestor came to mind who might be able to be found with one of the strategies he mentioned. For me, it's almost like I will need to have FamilySearch open when I begin the video, then stop and try out whatever he's talking about, then go back and rewatch the section if I need to. Like a mini tutorial, I guess. How wonderful to have your great-grandmother visit you in a dream -- twice!


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