Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#RootsTech Opening -- Hold onto your seats, here we go

The WiFi connection here is spotty so this might be a few minutes late.  Steve Rockwood, VP of International FamilySearch.  I should have brought my big camera, then I could have walked around and looked official. We do have blogger seats. is the sponsor of the day. Josh Taylor, speaks, the President of the Federation of Genealogy Societies. Genealogy Roadshow hosts, Mary Tedesco and  talks about the effort to digitize the War of 1812 Pension digitization project. They are raising money to help preserve the records.

Keynote by Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International. I note that they are using the name of the corporation including the "International" part for the first time. This is a change. He is getting a degree in family history from BYU Idaho. This year we will have about 21,927 people registered so far. They have people from 35 countries, but their graph had no dot for Australia and I am sitting next to three very nice ladies from Australia including famous blogger, Jill Ball.

Theme is how do we get more people involved in family history. Such as a family history conference in Nigeria. They had 1183 remote conferences around the world. The total attending either in person or electronically, is over 200,000.

Some of the things happening in FamilySearch. The obituary indexing did 100 million names by volunteers. 319,000 volunteers with 13 million names every day. FamilySearch has started Record Hints, which I find very accurate, they claim 98% accuracy. 1.1 billion people in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Partnerships:, Tim Sullivan, 545 million new records on and 80 million Mexican Vital Records digitized by not indexed. But will index these records by the end of 2015. Much faster than previously possible. They welcome Annelies van den Belt from, working on a number of records from England. New partnership coming. Another partner, Gilad Japhet is here, FamilySearch Family Tree on Record Matches, and many other records.

Two new partners, New England Historic Genealogy Society, Ryan Woods here, and with Harrison Tang, President. A.J. Jacobs from Global Family Reunion. The theme of the Global Family Reunion is "I am a cousin."

FamilySearch has over 10 billion records and has started the FamilySearch App Gallery. Dennis talks about discoveries made by users of these online websites. You should watch this in the recording. You need to see that FamilySearch is talking about doing research! This is very helpful. Use whatever tool gives you the best experience in doing family history.

The joy of discovery. We all have this curiosity, but people are trying to discover what helps them understand that curiosity. They show the video about the Instant Discovery. I have talked about this before.

Museum of me. The Family Discovery Center, explores name and history. Reviews timeline and other things from the new centers opened this week. I have already written about this. Dennis talks about his family that comes from the Family Discovery Center. Being built in Philadelphia and perhaps London. One is being built in Seattle. Need to reserve time online to visit Discovery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please go out and discover. Absolutely great presentation. is sponsor today. Mike Valen, Chief Product Officer. Wants to talk about future. Quoting Arthur C. Clarke about technology and magic. Story about magic trick. The magic captivated him. What is a discovery? We need to realize people need help right away. A discovery is a gift of knowledge. This is the amazing technology that gives people an instant connection to the family. is going to give this to everyone across the globe. Instant Discovery is the way to see what happens when they produce a family tree from sources.

These presentations have come a long way from the "tech" talks we had five years ago at the first RootsTech. It is interesting to see how much has been accomplished.

Now we have Emotiv's Tan Le. She is a an Australian who was a Vietnam refugee and escaped in a boat. This is another presentation you will want to watch on the website. Telling the story of her grandfather and her life. "Yes, history may crush us, but we endured." She is speaking so poetically, I will just listen. "Just do it and don't be what you are not."

I am going to post this first part of the session now. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment