RootsTech 2019 Roundup

With another successful RootsTech behind us and RootsTech London looming on the horizon, we decided to recap all the amazing events, meetups and lectures we could here at NextGen.

With so many lectures to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down, but there were some great lectures from our very own NextGen members

  1. Melanie McComb – Conducting Research Using Roman Catholic Church Records
  2. David Lambert – Breaking Down Genealogical Brick Walls: Strategies for Success, Colonial New England Research and Resources: From Archives to the Internet, and American Ancestors: Who We Are, What We Do, and How We Can Help
  3. Daniel Earl – Going Wayback: Using the Internet Archives in Your Research
  4. Andrew and Devon Lee – YouTube and Genealogy: A Visual Library of Learning and Family Bonding; How to Magnify Hidden Stories in City Directories

In addition to all the courses, they keynote speakers seem to inspire one and all who attended. My favorite moment (for myself) has to be when ukuleleist, Jake Shimabukuro, got the entire hall to sing along to a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

Isn’t that just amazing?

But let’s not forget about the meetup. Friday night was NextGen’s official meetup at the hotel bar name Marriott. I’ve honestly never met a group of more dedicated and passionate genealogists. These folks are working hard and changing the face of genealogy as we know it.

This year also included the inclusion of the first ever power hours (which are like small TED talks with three speakers per hour), one of the the first that streamed online, was recorded and lives was “Making the Leap: Becoming a Professional Genealogist” with Valerie Elkins, Luana Darby, and Anne Teerlink.

These power hours were actually one of my favorites lectures of all of Rootstech, and I do hope that in future years and conferences that organizers give more opportunities for these collaborate group talks.

How did you like them?

One thing that I noticed this year was subtle, but improved experience for everyone. The level of flow and organization that the staff of RootsTech put into the conference was noticeable. It felt much less hectic, less crowded (even though we topped numbers this year!) This was probably (in my opinion) because of the inclusion of the Rootstech Virtual Pass which allowed anyone who wasn’t able to make it to Salt Lake City to be able to view and watch what was happening in many sessions.

Best of all, attendees had the chance to register for the very first international RootsTech in London this fall. Are you going?

Before I wrap up this post, I wanted to share some of my favorite classes that I attended this year, some of which were ones that focused on the subjects that I am currently researching (German ancestry!). Which classes did you get the most out of?  In no particular order, some of my favorites were:

  • German Family History: Where do I Begin? By Kelsee Jackson Walker
  • Uncovering Family Stories with British & Irish Historic Newspapers. By Myko Clelland
  • Where the Heck is my German DNA Estimate? By Blaine Bettinger
  • Tour of Online European Archives by Miles A. Meyer

What was your favorite part of RootsTech 2019?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is beckskobel-1.jpg

Becks Kobel is The Hipster Historian, and an active member of the NextGen community. Her goal is to bring genealogy and intersectional history to the masses and younger generations by keeping the love of genealogy going throughout all generations. She can be found online at The Hipster Historian and on social media: Facebook and Instagram.