Skip to content

RootsTech Bloggers After Party

I had a wonderful night at the after party/get together for RootsTech Geneabloggers. It was lovely to finally put a face to the names of those I feel that I know so well, through social media.




Thank you so much to DearMYRTLE (with me in the photo above) for so generously opening up her house to us, and for providing an amazing array of food and drinks. Your generosity truly amazed me.


Rootstech 2016 Day 4

Day 4……the last day. I woke early today feeling a bit sad, that the last day had arrived. I determined, as I walked to the Salt Palace conference centre, for the last day, that I would be really present to the day, and soak up as much information as I could. The classes I did today were relevant to my research and really worthwhile for me.

The Keynote presenter today was Pulitzer Prize winning author and Presidential biographer, Doris Kearns Goodwin. I sat there for the entire address, absolutely enthralled as she spoke of her family history, and her experiences as she  spent time with and wrote about the former Presidents of America.


Words that come to mind to describe this address are:

enthralling – engrossing – gobsmacked – speechless – teary – funny – touching

awe-inspiring – Wow!

I was so engrossed in what Doris was saying that when it was over, I realised I hadn’t done any tweeting about the session as I would ususally do. I sat there on the edge of my seat just soaking up her words. Sign of an excellent address I would say.

I’m really looking forward to reading her book about Abraham Lincoln, when I get back home to Australia.



RootsTech 2016 Day 3


Another wonderful day today, at RootsTech. So much information is getting crammed  into my brain, that after 3 days my head is spinning. There is going to be so much information to revise, when I get back home. I’m sure I’ve learnt a huge amount of new info that will benefit my research, so this genie is very much looking forward to getting back into research.

The day started with the General Session featuring another list of awesome guests. Josh and Naomi Davis bloggers from Love Taza  were up first. As a blogger, I was in awe of the success of their family blog. I love this advice below that Naomi shared with us.


David Isay, from StoryCorps, then came onto the stage and told us about his organisation that enables people to record and share their stories with family members or friends. I heard much sniffling in the room as he played some of these very touching stories.

David Isay

Today, I spent quite a bit of time during the lunch break checking out the Expo Hall. It was interesting to see all the new technologies, especially in relation to Story Telling, and recording family memories.



RootsTech 2016 Day 2



Stan Ellsworth from TV show American Ride introduced one of the guests. He spoke about those family members who came to America for a better life and what it means to be American. Familysearch posted the above video to Youtube.

Day 2 really began in a big way with the General Session having a list of incredibly interesting guests. The above video is Stan Ellsworth of American Ride, who introduced one of the guests. He spoke of family members who came to America for a better life and of what it is to be American.

First up was Steve Rockwood, Managing Director of LDS Family History Department, who talked about the importance of connectedness and creating memories. His advice to us was to be sure to use humour to engage the younger generation, when telling them family stories.

These words flashed up for us:


Quote from Steve: “Children who have a connectedness to family history are more grounded”.

Paula Madison, Chairman & Ceo, Madison Media Management grabbed my attention immediately when she said she had Jamaican heritage. Paula’s story of her journey, to find her maternal grandfather’s family in China was amazing.  The connection made with over 300 descendants was very touching to hear about.

Paula Madison

Her story, Finding Samuel Lowe has been released as a book and a documentary. I’m very keen to read the book.

Last, but most definitely not least, was  Bruce Feiler, one of America’s most popular author’s on contemporary & family life. He said story-telling has been his life. We heard stories of his incredibles travels and the incredibly popular books he has written.


Some great advice from Bruce,was to not just tell the wonderful family moments – also tell the difficult stories.

Quote from Bruce: “Family historians are the Super Bowl of Story Telling”.


I met DearMYRTLE in the Expo Hall today and she presented me with my Blogger Beads. Also caught up with  Kirsty Gray who gave me with my One Place Studier Ribbon.




RootsTech 2016 Day 1


Woke very excited today, keen to get to the Salt Palace for Day 1 RootsTech. We arrived very late last night to a cold, snowy Salt Lake City. My hotel is just across the road from the Conference Centre so there was no need to shuffle too far in the snow, although I was hit with an icy blast as I stepped outside. The snow was quite thick on the sides of the road and in the public spaces.

Snow SLC

Day 1 was for registration, checking out the layout of the Salt Lake Palace which is huge. There was much excitement and catching up with friends. We received a program and carry bag filled with advertising of the traders in the Expo Hall.

Reg Kit (2)

Just two sessions for me to attend today:

Mind mapping Genealogy Research Plans and Results: Thomas MacEntee

The first session of the conference was about planning a genealogy strategy in a different way. Using mind mapping to help create an effective research plan as well as helping to make connections in the data, once the research is completed. This is aprocess of creating a diagram of flow chart of ideas and concepts. We were shown automated mind mapping tools that would enable us to read our research data in a different way.

I have done mind mapping on a white board, many times over the years but never with a computer program.

I’m sure the skills learned in this session will be invaluable for breaking down some of those pesky brick walls. As I was listening, I found myself noting down the areas where mindmapping could be beneficial to my research

Using technology to ‘see’ research more clearly: Presenter Peg Evanyo:

This session explored how spreadsheets, mind maps and timelines can help to see our research, and gaps in our research, more clearly. There was a crossover between this session and the previous session. However, the information was presented with a slight difference.

I was really interested to learn more about using spreadsheets in genealogy. I know I should have been using them by now, but spreadsheets terrify me a bit, so I tend to steer clear of them.

Day 1 was very relaxed with plenty of time for registration and getting organised. Tomorrow the conference gets into full swing with a full day of sessions and the opening of the Expo Hall. I had a couple of sneak peeks while it was being set up today, and can’t wait to get in there to check out the traders.




Family Tree Maker

Before we even arrive in Salt Lake City for ROOTSTECH, there is fantastic news to rock the world of genealogy.

A few months ago Family Tree Maker users heard the news that this most popular family history program was to be DISCONTINUED at the end of 2016.

The good news today is that Ancestry have announced that the program will now not be retired.

Ancestry have sold the extremely popular program and the buyer intends to continue with maintenance and development.

When I heard this news today, I felt like jumping for joy and screaming out “yippee” at the top of my lungs.


Australia Day 1954

As my birthday comes just a few days after Australia Day, I have been wondering what this special day was like in the year of my birth. I did suspect it was a little different. I don’t recall there being much patriotism about our country in my younger years.

Really, my memories are only of it being a holiday weekend, with the day always being celebrated on the closest Monday, thereby always ensuring we had a long weekend to enjoy in what was usually a hot, lazy January.

I found the article below in TROVE, discussing exactly that – our lack of patriotism, or love of the day just for the long weekend and sport. It appears there was very little celebration of our national day, as I suspected.

This article was published just a couple of days after my birth. How different Australia Day is today. Today, I attended a local community Australia Day breakfast and witnessed patriotism of our day at it’s best.

from The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, 2 February 1954

Australia Day

AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL DAY:  AUSTRALIA DAY, 1954, is past. It will be remembered, if it is remembered at all; as a day of bad weather which caused many sporting functions to be abandoned or curtailed, and kept many people indoors with young, restless families.

That yesterday did all these things is indis- putable, but Australia Day can scarcely be blamed. After all, the national day, if it is to be recognised as such, fell last Tuesday, January 26, the anniversary of the first British settlement at Port Jackson, 166 years ago.

The fact is that Australia has no national day. Anzac Day is it’s nearest approach ; it undoubtedly has something of the spirit which should grip a nation on its special national day. But Anzac Day has its special application to – cetrtain members of the community who rightly regard it as their own.

There are sound reasons why January 26 should be celebrated fittingly as Australia Day. There is no tradition of revolt as in the United States and France. The country was settled peacefully – as far as any settlement can be peaceful – and the obvious choice for a national day is the anniversary of the first landing of a settling party.

Everyone recognises this, but no one has acted to ensure that January 26 develops into

national day with a national meaning. It can be done with proper leadership. That is how other countries have made their special days truly

significant. In Australia, it is now just another Mon- | day holiday with little meaning – a day for more race meetings and sports carnivals.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 83 other followers