RootsTech Connect 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1) Did you attend the free and virtual RootsTech Connect 2021 this week? What was your favorite moment, experience, session, and/or feature?

Well, let’s say I tried to attend RootsTech 2021. That is before I had a Thursday afternoon appointment and ended up under the weather on Friday.

In my limited viewing, I

  • created my playlist of sessions to watch.
  • checked out many of the exhibitors in the Expo Hall Wednesday evening.
  • watched the Main Stage opening session on Thursday morning.
  • left the Main Stage to watch a presentation by the Library of Virginia.
  • forgot that the sessions were on YouTube and finally realized that I was watching older genealogy presentations when YouTube just kept going after the Library of Virginia presentation.
  • watched several of the FamilySearch sessions on Saturday.

But, my favorite moment has to be using Relatives at RootsTech. Yes, the concept of 88,907 relatives is beyond comprehension. But the app of my phone took about the top 300 of those and sorted them by common ancestor! Using that feature, I now have a spreadsheet of those contacts with their user name, relationship, and the common ancestors. On Wednesday, I sent a message to quite a few of those ancestors. Since my list has changed from Wednesday, I could make more connections.

So, why is this my favorite part?

One of those relatives is the great grandson of my great aunt. I haven’t heard back from him yet — but I’m going to keep trying to make a connection. Hoping that he is active on FamilySearch, I uploaded the pictures that I have of his great-grandmother to the tree.

Another of the relatives is a descendant of my 3rd great grandfather, Ozias Wells. When I got a response from this relative, I went digging in my files to locate the photocopy of the Wells family Bible. Even though most of the Wells family, including her branch, stayed in Michigan, the Bible found its way to Kansas. I’ve also uploaded this resource to the tree.

But the best part was seeing all of my 5th cousin descendants of my brick wall ancestor, James Crawford.

So, I have a full to-do list: watch all of the sessions on my playlist and work on connecting with these cousins!

Thank you RootsTech for this opportunity!

Over 19,000

Have you attended RootsTech? I’ve never had the privilege of attending RootsTech, but I have been a ‘Not at RootsTech’ participant. This year, everyone will be a ‘Not at RootsTech’ participant by attending the virtual RootsTech Connect.

For those who were able to attend last year, they could use the “Relatives around Me” task on the FamilySearch app. This year, we can all take advantage of this technology.

To get to the screen informing me I have over 19,000 relatives who will be attending RootsTech, I simply clicked on the red ‘Join’ button at the top of the FamilySearch screen after I logged in.

I have to wait until Feb. 25th when RootsTech starts, but then I will be able to see how I am related to these other attendees.

This is just an added benefit of RootsTech. If you aren’t registered to attend, you might want to register.

It will be interesting to see what happens with all of these relatives! Join me so we can see if we are related.


The Site is LIVE!

There is a ‘See Relatives’ button that takes you to your relatives.

The ‘Relatives at RootsTech’ page has a list of relatives on the left with a map of where those relatives reside toward the right side of the page.

Of my over 25,000 relatives, I currently only have about 15 4th cousins or closer. The rest are 5th cousins or greater. Curious as to whether I am related to any of the ‘big’ names in genealogy, I did a search for DearMyrtle, Pat Richley-Erickson and found that we are 11th cousins. My connection is thru my WELLS line.

These results are similar to those on the old ‘We’re Related’ app: they depend on both parties having an accurate tree. So, I’ll admit right now: I don’t have my tree back that far! I have documentation back 6 to 7 generations.

So, for most of my numerous ‘relatives’, my tree doesn’t go back far enough to prove distant cousin relationships. Sorry! But it is fun to see who I might be related to!


Mark your calendar for February 27th thru March 2nd and join me #NotAtRootsTech!

This will be my third year of #NotAtRootsTech and I can’t wait. Having been away from genealogy for several years, I was unaware of RootsTech when I returned to my genealogy. During my first year of retirement, I somehow learned about the RootsTech conference and its Live Stream schedule.

I watched all of the sessions that year and was very thankful for the opportunity to view them. I’ve thought about attending in person, but the idea of winter travel isn’t that appealing. As I watch it snow on one of the coldest days of the year, I can’t imagine having to drive a couple of hours or longer, depending on conditions, to an airport or train station for a trip to Salt Lake City.

Thus, I’m preparing for being NotAtRootsTech again in 2019. RootsTech is making it easier for those of use who can’t (or in my case won’t) travel to Salt Lake City to participate. They are offering a ‘Virtual Pass’. By purchasing my ‘Virtual Pass’ I will have access to the recordings from several RootsTech classes.

I’m also preparing by

  • Downloading the RootsTech app to my cellphone
  • Updating my profile on the RootsTech app
  • Checking out the Live Stream schedule
  • Identifying bloggers and vendors who might be posting from RootsTech and making sure I am following both their blogs and their Facebook accounts
  • Turning on notifications for Facebook Live broadcasts so that I can catch those bloggers and vendors who happen to host such an event
  • Going over the entire schedule looking for sessions of interest
  • Locating handouts (via the app) for sessions of interest
  • Following the #NotAtRootsTech hashtag on Twitter to learn more ways to enjoy RootsTech

For more information on the RootsTech Stream, watch this Family History Fanatics video, A Teens Take on the 2019 #NotAtRootsTech LiveStream Schedule.

Join me #NotAtRootsTech in February.