RootsTech 2019 From Home – #NotAtRootsTech

Next week the genealogy world converges on Salt Lake City, Utah in preparation for the world’s biggest genealogy conference, RootsTech 2019, which runs from Wednesday 27 February through until Saturday 2 March 2019.

With an expected attendance of around 25,000 people coming from 37 different countries, there’s 300 classes on offer, and over 200 exhibitors to check out – RootsTech really is something else, and nothing I’ve been to compares.

Sadly, I’m not going this year. I did make it in 2013, 2015 and 2017 (you can read about them here), and considering my first time was a “once-in-a-lifetime-bucket-list-thing”, I can’t believe I’ve made it there three times already.

Anyway, this year I’ll be a part of the #NotAtRootsTech crowd. And while I know it won’t be the same, I’m determined to still make the most of it, and ‘participate’ from home. At least when I’m not working anyway.

So how can I (and you) participate in RootsTech when we’re not at RootsTech? There are a few options.

Firstly, you can watch the Livestream Live. There’s 22 presentations being livestreamed, but if you’re on Australia, you;’ll need to be dedicated as due to the time difference the streams start at 3.30am (Sydney time) and go through till around lunchtime.

Here’s a link to the list of livestream talks with both the US time, and the Australian time for each, and click here for more details on each of the talks.

It is expected (although not 100% guaranteed as I can’t find it written anywhere) that these talks will all be available to watch later in the video archive.

The RootsTech website lists the following classes as being recorded (but not live streamed). they say that recordings of these will be posted shortly after RootsTech 2019 concludes and will be available in the video archive.
– Blending Family History and Technology with the Art of Storytelling
– Descendancy Research: Another Pathway to Genealogy
– Making Memories of You
New York Research Essentials
 – You Can Do DNA
– How to Write Your Life Story in Five Pages or Less
Heirloom, Documentation or Junk: What to Keep or Toss
S.O.S. (Save Our Stuff): Stories and Heirlooms
Families Discovering Family History Together
Writing and Publishing a Family History: Ten Steps
– Artificial Intelligence in Photo Management (and How It Can Boost Metadata)
– Breaking through Brick Walls in Scottish Research

If you’re super excited for RootsTech and can’t wait for it to start, why not watch the recorded and keynote sessions from RootsTech 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. They’re all there!

This a new feature they’ve brought in this year. For US$129 (which is approx AU$180) you can buy a Virtual Pass, and this gives you access to 18 presentations. From a look through the topics they are different from the Livestream ones, and different from the “recorded classes” sessions – so it would appear that these are EXTRA ones, just for those who pay.  They say “with the virtual pass, you’ll have access to the online recorded sessions from the conference. You can watch playbacks from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone device whenever and however you’d like!”

The list of talks covered by the Virtual Pass are:
– Chromosome Mapping for Absolute Beginners—Jonny Perl
– Must-Use U.S. Records at, FamilySearch, Findmypast, and MyHeritage—Sunny Morton
A Deep Dive into Understanding Your DNA Results—Blaine Bettinger, Angie Bush, Jonny Perl
The Surname Is Key: History of Surnames and Conducting Surname Research in Germany—Dirk Weissleder
One Touch Genealogy Research: Handle a Record Once—Thomas MacEntee
You Need Both! Uniting DNA and Traditional Research—Angie Bush and D. Joshua Taylor
Chromosome Mapping Tips and Techniques—Blaine Bettinger
Deeper Analysis: Techniques for Successful Problem-Solving—Elissa Scalise Powell
The Magic of German Church Records—Katherine Schober
My Ancestors Are from Germany, and I Don’t Speak German—Tamra Stansfield
When Details Disagree: 8 Ways to Resolve Conflicts—D. Joshua Taylor
20 Hacks for Interviewing Almost Anyone, and Getting a Good Story—Joanna Liddell and Karen Morgan
Going Dutch: Finding Families in Online Records of the Netherlands—Daniel Jones
Beyond the Mists of Time: Sources for British Medieval and Early Modern Genealogy—Nick Barratt
The Combined Power of DNA, Records, and Family Trees—Jen Baldwin, David Nicholson, Diahan Southard
The Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology—Lisa Louise Cooke
Jewish Genealogy: How to Start, Where to Look, What’s Available—Lara Diamond
Slave Traders, Speculators, and the Domestic Slave Trade—Kenyatta Berry

For details on the Virtual Pass, or to buy one, click here.

The geniepeeps who head to RootsTech are a very online social bunch, and you’ll no doubt find them Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming, and Blogging all the way through. But my advice is to head to Twitter, (yes, you will need an account, but it’s free) then type in the hashtag #rootstech or #rootstech2019 in the search box up the top and watch the tweets come up. Also type in #notatrootstech and you’ll find others also ‘participating’ from afar.

There’s plenty of tweets going on about it already, here’s a screenshot of a few …

Search results for #rootstech on Twitter

So there you have it. So from Wednesday to Saturday if you’re in the northern hemisphere, or Thursday to Sunday for those of us down south – it all happens. So let’s enjoy it, and learn from so many of the world’s best genealogy presenters.

And don’t forget to share your experience of #NotAtRootsTech with others. You can do this via your own private Facebook page, on public social media, or if you blog, why not blog about your RootsTech experience from afar.

So if you don’t make it to Salt Lake City by next week in time for RootsTech 2019, but you really, really, really wanted to go – you might like to consider going to RootsTech 2019 London in October 2019. While not quite on the scale of their US one, it’s still going to be a huge show, and would be awesome to attend. You can read about that here.

2 Responses to “RootsTech 2019 From Home – #NotAtRootsTech”

  1. Excellent post, Alona. I too am #NotAtRootsTech this year after being there in 2012, 2014 and 2017, and it was nice to get together with you in 2017.

    One other hint for your readers is to download the RootsTech App. There’s lots you can do with it even if you’re not at RootsTech. But what I like most is being able to download the speakers handouts of the talks I would have been interested in if I had gone. Here’s a great article by Heidi Ertel about the App:

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