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

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Check out the full list of RootsTech sessions both live and online

Yes, the schedule of classes including rooms and times for the live classes is online on the RootsTech 2024 website. The schedule is divided into the In-person schedule and the Online Schedule. 

There are 222 speakers scheduled over the three day conference. You can still register for the in-person conference from the website. I am presenting three classes. Here is a screenshot of the classes that are all three scheduled for the afternoon of the first day, Thursday, February 29th of the conference. You can check out a video preview of the classes on

You can view the class schedule by hour and day.

But you have to click around on the website for a while to see all the different lists and offerings. My classes are at 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:30 pm. 

I will also be presenting in the Expo Hall for The Family History Guide,, and at the Brigham Young University booth. You can look for the schedule at the booths in the Expo Hall. 

Hope to see you there. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

World-renowned photographer Nancy Borowick -- RootsTech Keynote Speaker

Quoting from an email announcement:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—RootsTech by FamilySearch, the world’s largest family discovery and genealogy conference, and Pictureline, a gold sponsor at RootsTech 2024, are excited to announce Nancy Borowick as a main-stage keynote on Friday, March 1, 2024, and part of the globally broadcasted event. Pictureline is sponsoring Nancy Borowick, a world-renowned Sony Artisan photographer, speaker, and teacher, with a unique gift and talent for capturing the moments to not be forgotten—a great fit for RootsTech’s global audience and this year’s theme of “Remember.” Learn more at

RootsTech invites a wide range of talented celebrities to its annual event’s main stage. Each one has offered different perspectives and inspiration regarding the importance, diversity, and yet uniqueness, of each family, and the importance of uniting with your family and remembering who you are. Nancy Borowick will continue that strong tradition as she takes to the main stage at RootsTech 2024 on Friday, March 1, 2024. 

You can read more about Nancy Borowick on her website.  

Here is a further quote from the email announcement:

Borowick’s family has left an indelible imprint upon her life. They taught her that life is precious, to live it on her own terms, and to face uncertainties courageously. She saw both her parents struggle with stage 4 cancer together, passing away just a year apart. She honored them with a special photography tribute and book that celebrates their strength and grace while illustrating the simultaneity of life (see The Family Imprint: A Daughter’s Portrait of Love and Loss).

"I'm so excited to speak at RootsTech 2024! Family, memory, and storytelling through photography is an integral part of my life and work, and I can't wait to share my personal family journey and story in Salt Lake City at RootsTech 2024." Nancy Borowick, RootsTech 2024 Keynote 

Nancy Borowick graduated from the International Center of Photography and has made a career as a photojournalist, author, teacher, and speaker. Borowick’s work has been exhibited in more than 100 cities worldwide, as well as in many notable publications such as National Geographic, Time Magazine, O the Oprah Magazine, Glamour magazine, Le Monde, Stern magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and outlets such as CNN and Bloomberg. A few of her many renowned accolades and awards include World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, and the 2018 Humanitarian Award from the organization Women That Sour. 

While teaching photography classes to children in rural Ghana, Borowick learned of the villagers’ need for a fresh water well and spearheaded a project to raise the monies needed to provide one. She also sponsors an initiative to honor and help mothers heal from the trauma and grief of losing a stillborn child and to reduce public bias regarding pregnancy care and infant mortality.

"Pictureline is pleased to be a part of RootsTech 2024 and to sponsor renowned Sony Artisan Nancy Borowick as the Friday morning keynote speaker. Photography has a way to foster memories, bring together communities, and strengthen relationships. Our camera store has been part of RootsTech for over 10 years, and we love seeing how passionate RootsTech attendees are about helping bring life to their genealogy through photos and videos. We are excited to see how RootsTech will inspire all of us again this year.” —Jens Nielsen, founder, Pictureline

Meet Nancy Borowick in Person

Join Nancy Borowick on the RootsTech main stage as she shares her enthralling family story of what family and memories mean to her, and her personal perspective on the RootsTech theme “Remember.” Following her keynote address in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nancy will hold a meet and greet and book signing. 

Attend RootsTech 2024 in person at the Salt Palace Convention Center, or online for free. Learn more or register at

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

On Enjoying Your RootsTech 2024 Experience

Coming to Salt Lake City, Utah at the end of February and the first of March for the conference can be a weather challenge. It could be snowing and/or raining or cold or not-so-cold. Whether you are a local and drive to the Salt Lake Salt Palace Convention Center or fly into town to the newer Salt Lake City Airport, the weather is always a factor and it is a good idea to prepare for the alternatives. Here is a link to a map of the Salt Palace

RootsTech is worth the time and expense of attending in person. However, there are two options. You can attend in person or view hundred of online classes for free. The website,, is the source for what information is available about the event with two tracks for those who choose to come in person and those online. I have been to every RootsTech conference either in person or online since the first one in 2011. Quoting from Wikipedia

While some claim that RootsTech is an outgrowth of three former conferences, the Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy, the Family History Technology Workshop and the FamilySearch Developers Conference, these three conferences were invited to participate in the original 2011 RootsTech, but some of them remain in existence today. The RootsTech conference was an entirely new and different event.

Actually, the BYU Family History Technology Workshop is alive and well and is being held this year on February 27th at the BYU Hinckley Alumni Center in Provo, Utah. I will be presenting at both the workshop and the RootsTech conference. 

Here is a link to my classes at the RootsTech 2024 Conference. This link might or might not work, but you can search the class list online by presenter to find me. I am a media representative, a speaker, and an exhibitor at RootsTech so you can find my by asking around. In past years, I have found that internet connections in the Expo Hall are spotty to non-existent. Perhaps this year will be different. 

There is also a booth in the Expo Hall for the BYU Library which includes the BYU Library Family History Center. A number of the BYU Library Family History Center missionary volunteers with be working at the booth. 

What else do you need to know in order to enjoy the RootsTech 2024 conference in person? You need to know that there is a lot going on during the conference besides classes and presentations. For some, the main attraction is the Expo Hall. Although there will be 250+ class sessions that are available only in Salt Lake City, there are an additional 120+ exhibitors/sponsors in the Expo Hall. My wife and I will spend most of our time in the Expo Hall. We are involved in The Family History Guide booth and my wife is in charge of all the volunteer workers at the booth. I will be involved in presenting some short classes at the booth and wandering around talking to people and learning about the updates to all the developers and vendors at the conference. 

Salt Lake is a good place to visit any time of the year, regardless of the weather. There are hotels and restaurants within walking distance of the Salt Palace. But if you want to stay close to the Salt Palace, you may have to make a reservation far in advance. By the time this blog post appears, hotel space near the convention center will be at a premium.

Oh, did I say walking distance? Yes, you will find that Salt Lake City is a walking city. The blocks in the downtown area are 660 feet long and the streets are 130 feet wide. The Salt Palace is large and you will spend a lot of time walking. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and your feet are ready for the exercise. The Salt Palace Convention Center is "across the street" from a major shopping mall called the City Creek Center. There is a lot of parking available but be prepared to pay for parking. There are a number of good hotels within walking distance also. About hotels, you need to realize that Salt Lake City is a major metropolitan area with traffic challenges and parking challenges. Here is a link to the website about parking

If you come to Salt Lake City by air, there is transportation by light rail called the TRAX from the airport to downtown Salt Lake City. The price of the TRAX is very reasonable and free in the downtown area. We live in Provo, Utah 45 miles (approximately) south of Salt Lake City and there is train service from Provo to Salt Lake on the FrontRunner. Even though we could stay in our home and commute (as many people do every day) from Provo to Salt Lake City, we find that staying closer to the Salt Palace helps us survive being at the conference and walking all day into the night. 

Of course, the RootsTech conference is right down the street from the world famous Salt Lake City, Utah FamilySearch Library. During the day, there are free ATV shuttles back and forth to the FamilySearch Library. There is a lot to see in downtown Salt Lake City and a lot of construction. Fortunately, the major hotel construction around the Salt Palace is finished but there will likely be construction in the area. 

Since I spend so much of my time online. Attending the RootsTech conference in person is not to be missed. It is the only opportunity I have to meet some of the people I talk to online in person. Find me if you can, I am glad to meet and talk to as many people as possible. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Keynote Speaker Henry Cho at RootsTech 2024 2024 has announced a the distinguished comedian, Henry Cho, to the stage as our keynote speaker on February 29, 2024. Here is some additional information about Henry Cho from RootsTech. 

RootsTech 2024 is gearing up to host a truly unique and unforgettable mainstage experience as it welcomes the distinguished comedian Henry Cho as its keynote speaker on February 29, 2024. This year’s conference theme “Remember” has the ability to elicit a wide range of emotions from longing to laughter—and Henry Cho is no stranger to laughter. Born to Korean parents and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Cho draws upon the memories of his life and upbringing to spread joy to his large audiences. Cho brings a wealth of laughter and a rich tapestry of life experiences to the main stage.

Henry Cho’s story is one of a kind. “I’m an Asian with a Southern accent,” remarks Cho. “To a lot of people, that right there is funny.” So funny, he’s currently working on the development of a sitcom based on his life. Known as “Mr. Clean” within the comedic stand-up industry, Cho has gained a reputation to make audiences roll with laughter without compromising his desire to only use wholesome comedy. Cho's unique identity as an "Asian with a Southern accent" has become a trademark of his comedic style. His ability to draw humor from his cultural background, upbringing, and life experiences has endeared him to audiences across the country. 

 Register for RootsTech 2024 by clicking here. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

FamilySearch Year-in-Review 2023

One interesting observation from this year-end report from is the extent to which artificial intelligence or AI is having on the website's records. The searchable names and records continue rapidly increase, due in part, to the use of AI based handwriting recognition and AI assited Computer Aided Indexing or CAI. 

The FamilySearch Family Tree grew by more than 80 million people and contributors added 450 million sources. The rest of the statics are equally as interesting. You can click on the link above to read the entire article. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Impressive MyHeritage 2023 Review


The highlight of the year for was the last minute, December 26th, introduction of their AI Biographer™ and AI Record Finder™. You can read about the details of all of the above accomplishments in this blog article:

Another major accomplishment was the introduction of the Wiki

Remember, this is what happened in 2023 and we are now in a new year. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

MyHeritage Two Part Movie Kate's DNA Journey; My Secret Egyptian Father


A MyHeritage DNA Match: Uncovering Kate’s Hidden Egyptian Heritage

Part Two - Unveiling the Mystery: Kate's Journey to Her True Heritage

The YouTube Channel is filled with remarkable stories about family relationships found from MyHeritage DNA testing in partnership with the huge MyHeritage database and user base. Take a few minutes to watch this two-part remarkable story. Here are some links for more information and more stories.

The MyHeritage YouTube Channel

MyHeritage DNA 

MyHeritage Wiki

MyHeritage Knowledge Base