RootsTech 2017 – The People You Meet...

For me the best part of RootsTech is the people. Yes, were are many, many, MANY thousands of people who attended (around 30,000 they say), and no, I didn’t meet them all … but I did get to catch up with quite a number of friends, as well as meeting a bunch of wonderful people for the first time. This is a collection of photos of some of the people I met. Some were were taken at lunches, others at dinner, a number at RootsTech itself, and a few at after parties. Please note they’re in no particular order. Enjoy! As someone told me, “RootsTech brings us together from around the world”, and it’s true, with people from around 40 different countries attending this year. The geneablogger community, as well as the wider genealogy community is such a wonderful group to be a part of. So friendly and so welcoming. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. Well that’s all for RootsTech 2017 from me. But for a whole heap more reports, be sure to check out Randy Seaver’s compilation of other bloggers reports...

RootsTech 2017 – A Few Words From the Autograph Book...

Wherever I went during RootsTech 2017 (and even the few days prior), I made sure I had my autograph book with me. Putting it simply you just never know who you’ll meet, where. And that proved very true. I tried to make the most of my opportunities. I had such fun meeting people and asking if they’d like to sign my book. And surprisingly not a single person refused. All up I had 95 people from 11 different countries sign my book (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Israel, Norway, France, Germany and Poland) which is awesome. And there’s so many beautiful comments that people have written, I wanted to share a few of them with you. Note for privacy reasons I have chosen not to include the names of those who wrote them. Thankyou for your wonderful friendship. Hope you are enjoying America and Utah. have fun hunting for your ancestors. Thrilled to have a visitor from so far. Thanks for making our day brighter. I always enjoy spending time with you, so this is a bonus. Have a wonderful RootsTech. Do you know the difference between inlaws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted! We live as long as long as we are remembered – keep on remembering those ancestors! We’ll have to stop meeting like this – people will talk! Alona, so great to meet you. Looking forward to many more fun adventures here @ RootsTech 2017. To my genimate, Alona. So thrilled to be sharing the RootsTech experience with you once more. Happy ancestor hunting. I wish you the very best in your genealogy work – you’re quite the beautiful, energetic, friendly & vivacious personality. It’s so great that RootsTech brings us together from all over the...

RootsTech 2017 – An Overview...

RootsTech came, and RootsTech went. And that’s it for another year. It kind of reminds me of Christmas. There is so much excitement and buildup to it, then the crazyness of it all while it’s on, and suddenly it’s all over, and everyone heads on home, back to their own part of the world. And then the post-RootsTech blues set in. So while I can’t convey the whole vibe that RootsTech has, I’ll do my best by sharing a few pictures with you of my experience there. I’ll be honest I can’t give you any report on the keynote sessions, or even a single talk as I didn’t get to any. My RootsTech experience was in the Expo Hall. Since I went as an exhibitor, that’s where I hung out. Everything about RootsTech is BIG. Actually it would be more technically correct to GIANT. The venue (the Salt Palace Convention Centre) itself is massive. The banners were massive, the room the keynote talks were in is big enough to hold 10,000 people. The Expo Hall is the size of several football fields, with hundreds of exhibitors. It’s a massive event, unlike any other genealogy event in the world … and I know I’ve said it before, but if you EVER get the opportunity to go, DO IT! This quote did the rounds on Twitter, and it most certainly is true. “RootsTech is Disneyland for Genealogists!” The Expo hall not only had hundreds of exhibitors, big and small, there were also places to get one-on-one research, the comfy lounge chair area for the demo theatre, numerous mini-theatres within stands to learn more about something specific. You could get heirlooms valued, tell a family story in the ‘story booth’, get photos...

RootsTech 2017 – Behind the Scenes Set-up...

For most who attend RootsTech, they arrive, go to talks, and wander around the Expo Hall, but they may not realise just HOW MUCH effort goes into the event. As I work for a company that does organise genealogy events, I know that months of planning is required to make it happen. I also know that our events are not even comparable in any sense of the word to RootsTech, so I imagine that years of planning is what’s required for even just one of these. Just setting up the RootsTech Expo Hall is a mammoth task. With hundreds of exhibitors, there were probably over a thousand people who were busy for several days getting set up. And as an exhibitor (this time with Unlock the Past/Unlock the Past Cruises), this is a sight I’m familiar with, but figured most wouldn’t be, so I thought I’d share a few pics of the set-up. You’ll see crates, cases and pallets of supplies delivered, as well as forklifts, cherrypickers, and giant ladders everywhere. Not to mention the big team of people from the convention centre itself who have been busy laying carpet and making sure each booth has the right tables and chairs, as well as power. That’s an incredible job in itself! So for those who attend RootsTech, or even those who see photos of it from afar, you’ll see how lovely they all look (and they really do). Just take a moment to think of the exhausting amount of work that went into the set up, even before the exhibition opened! Next up three crazy days of...

RootsTech 2017 – Scenery, Socialising and Finding Ancestors...

Having arrived in Salt Lake City a few days ago in preparation for RootsTech, my time has so far been spent wandering around the city, catching up with friends (and making new ones), and researching. Not a bad way to spend my time, eh? Salt Lake City is gorgeous. I’ve say that each time I visit. It’s kind of like my hometown of Adelaide in South Australia in that it’s laid out in nice straight streets, so is very easy to find your way around. And while there was snow at SLC last week, and there’s still plenty on the mountains, so far there’s none here in ‘downtown’. But I did see some of the leftover snow, including piles of muddy snow, which was a new sight for me. Actually it’s been nice weather (cool but sunny) here so far, though rain is coming. The socialising part is half the reason I come. It’s when you get to meet and actually chat to others and aren’t rushed like you are when the conference is actually on. DearMyrtle’s “Monday’s with Myrt” hangout was broadcast live from the the Family History Library, and I took part in that, as well as meeting up with others I knew there who were there to watch and take part too. Monday night was Jill Ball’s Commonwealth Dinner, and this year 28 people (29 with Louis Kessler making a late appearance), from 4 countries (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand) made it which was awesome. It’s an informal thing, and that is what’s so nice about it. And it seems to grow every year. During dinner I caught up with some Canadian friends from last RootsTech, and made new Canadian and UK friends. Great...

RootsTech 2017 – Counting Down...

The countdown to RootsTech is most certainly on. In just a few days I’ll be heading to the wintery (and hopefully a little snowy) Salt Lake City, USA. I will be just one of the many, many thousands who will converge on the city, to attend the RootsTech conference, the biggest genealogy conference in the world. While most people go to RootsTech for the conference and will visit the exhibition, I will be attending as an exhibitor. For those who don’t know, I do work for Gould Genealogy & History (a retail/webstore company in South Australia), but at RootsTech I will be exhibiting as our sister company, Unlock the Past. So if you’re attending, please stop by, and say hello. So getting down to the nitty gritty of stuff to do, and what to pack … both Jill at GeniAus, and Pauleen at Family History Across the Seas have great checklists which are totally worth a look.  And while I’ve scanned over them, I did decide to write a little checklist for myself myself … General stuff … – Flights booked (obviously) – Travel insurance done (always a necessity) – ESTA (visa) done (so they’ll let me into the country) – Hotel booked (booked ages ago actually, but rechecked to confirm booking) – trip from airport to hotel sorted – Bank advised (you really don’t want a stop put on  your account while travelling) – Got some US dollars (I didn’t have to do this before I left, but decided to) – Got my watch out ready to take  in case my Fitbit decides not to change to US time – RootsTech app installed (not sure I’ll even get to look at it though) – Copied latest version of...

My First Hannaford Family in Australia...

For Australia Day this year I decided to write about the Hannafords, who are one of my immigrating families. Or more specifically I should say, about  Susannah Hannaford (nee Elliott), who is truly the matriarch of the family, and her children. I admit I am in awe of Susannah,  in some ways anyway. She was a widow by age 48, not an easy thing for anyone, but then to pack up all of your belongings and move to the other side of the world, to a colony that had only been founded a few years before, with her six children, leaving her family, friends and whole life behind, to start again from scratch. I can’t even begin to think of what that would be like or how she managed it.  But she survived. So did her children, and now her descendants number the thousands. But let’s go back a little bit first. Back in Devon … Susannah Elliott was born in 1790 in the market town of Totnes, in Devon, England. Meanwhile the Hannaford family (the ones I’m writing about anyway), grew up just four miles away in the little town of Rattery. I mention that as the Hannaford name in Devon is much like Smith or Brown everywhere else. Hannafords are everywhere! When Susannah was 30 years old, she married William Hannaford (one from the neighbouring parish in Rattery), and who was actually a few years younger than her. Sadly William died at age 42, leaving Susannah with six children ranging in age from 17  down to 6. Devon at that time (actually probably England at that time) had limited employment opportunities, and with high taxes (land tax and window tax for instance), it would seem that emigrating...

So. Much. More. Research. To. Do!...

It is said that ‘genealogy never ends’. You get one generation back, then you suddenly double the number of people to research on the following one. Not to mention following the the siblings, and the side branches as well. So it’s true … it doesn’t. And anyone who says it does, should take part in this “Ancestor Tally” or “Ancestor Tracking” geneameme which I’ve seen on a few blogs now (Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches, and Michael Dyer’s Family Sleuther), so I thought I’d play along and see what my 15 or so years of on-off research shows. In short it shows that I need to spend a whole lot more time researching! So the idea is to count up the number of direct line ancestors you can identify going back10 generations (starting from yourself). So I sat down, printed out a 10 generation ancestral  chart (4 pages so it wasn’t too bad), counted them up generation by generation … and wallah … I have the numbers, which I then also converted to percentages. As you can see from the numbers I’m not doing too bad till I reach my the 7th generations (4x great grandparents). Part of that is probably due to the fact that I just haven’t entered some info (I really find the search more interesting than the entering, do others find that too?), but it does also highlight that a LOT more research is still to be done. It’ll happen bit-by-bit. Another name here, another date there, or something verified so I can add it in. We all know it’s a slow process. That’s just the way of proper genealogy.  GenerationRelationshipNo. in GenIdentified% TOTAL1023171 1Self11100% 2Parents22100% 3Grandparents44100% 4Great Grandparents88100% 52x Great Grandparents1616100% 63x Great Grandparents322681%...