Did you participate in RootsTech 2023? If so, have you looked at Relatives at RootsTech recently? I have to admit that I haven’t paid much attention to it since RootsTech ended. However, I recently received a FamilySearch email indicating that I was related to Pocahontas. Curious about that relationship, I followed the link to discover that I have over 136,000 relatives at RootsTech 2023.

And I discovered that I can still access Relatives at RootsTech until June 1, 2023!

While my relationship to Pocahontas did not load, I was curious about my ‘relatives at rootstech’. Thus, I clicked on that link to discover several close cousins including one of my dad’s first cousins on the list. Since these are potential DNA matches and research collaborators, I had started a spreadsheet during RootsTech to track this information. While my spreadsheet may not be the best designed, it has the following fields:

  • Given Name (of relative)
  • Surname (of relative)
  • Username (of relative)
  • Relationship
  • Common Ancestor
  • GroomSurname (of Common Ancestor)
  • Spouse (of Common Ancestor)
  • BrideSurname (of Common Ancestor)
  • Confidence (likely, maybe, unknown)
  • Gen1 (1st generation descendant of common ancestor on their line)
  • Gen2 (2nd generation descendant of common ancestor on their line)
  • Gen 3 — etc.

Since I now have a 1st cousin once removed, some second cousins and additional third cousins on my list of relatives, I need to update my spreadsheet! Thankfully, I have a month to get this done! Thank you RootsTech 2023!

Relatives at RootsTech

Have you registered for RootsTech 2023? While many will be attending in person, I will be participating virtually. One of the fun things to do at RootsTech is to connect with other attendees who are cousins.

While RootsTech is over 10 days away, it is possible to begin making those connections thru Relatives at RootsTech. A Facebook admin of a Facebook DNA group posted a link to Relatives at RootsTech with the comment, “Let the Fun Begin.”

So, I decided to check out this years version and as of Feb. 15th, I have 15,763 relatives who are registered for RootsTech2023. Knowing that I will never be able to study my relationship with all of these relatives, I often use the tools to filter those relatives. My favorite filter is the ‘By Ancestor’ filter.

When I click on that filter, it displays the closest common ancestor I share with another attendee: Horatio Hammond.

To the right of Horatio Hammond’s name is a downward carrot that opens the list of common ancestors I share with other attendees.

Of course, I’m looking for connections to my CRAWFORD line! While my Crawford ancestors (Washington Marion, Nelson G. or James) do not appear on the list, James’ wife Sarah Smith Duggins Crawford does appear. Since Sarah was married to Alexander Duggins prior to her marriage to James Crawford, I figured I would be finding attendees with connections to my DUGGINS research. Instead, I discovered that another daughter, Mary Crawford was connected to Sarah but not to James.

While it is highly likely that James and Sarah Crawford have a child that I’m unaware of, I’m not sure it is this Mary Polly Crawford.

  • According to the FamilySearch tree, Mary Polly Crawford McGown was married in 1809 in Warren County, Kentucky.
    • James and Sally were married in 1799 in Garrard County, KY. For Mary to be their daughter, she would have been born at least a few years prior to that marriage in 1799.
    • While Warren County, Kentucky is next to Barren County, I have yet to be able to verify that James (and Sally) resided in Barren County, Kentucky prior to moving to Ohio.
  • James and Sally have a daughter named Mary Polly Crawford who married John Nelson Stoner in Preble County, Ohio in 1821.
    • James’ will does not identify any daughters. However, it does identify two granddaughters: Mary Ann Wikle and Martha Jane Stoner
    • Ancestry DNA supports a relationship to STONER descendants.
  • Sarah Smith Duggins Crawford does have children by her first marriage to Alexander Duggins: William and Henry Duggins.
    • Records exist connecting James’ son, Nelson, to his step-brother, William Duggins
    • Ancestry DNA supports a relationship to these DUGGINS stepbrothers.

When I first saw this possible relationship, my initial thought was to merge the two Mary Polly Crawfords. Fortunately, I realized that these are not the same person. My second thought was to disconnect Mary Crawford McGown from Sally Smith Duggins Crawford. I also have not done this. Instead I posted an ‘Alert Note’ on Mary Polly Crawford McGown.

I will also be contacting these RootsTech attendees to begin a discussion about Sarah Crawford to see if it is possible that she had a marriage sometime between the death of Alexander Duggins and her marriage to James Crawford. I will also need to research Mary Crawford McGown looking for ties to any of my Crawford research in Kentucky.

While I may not be related to these attendees, this may lead to information that pokes a small hole in my Crawford brick wall.

Friday Finds – Relatives at RootsTech

Are you ‘going’ to RootsTech 2022? If so, are you participating in Relatives at RootsTech? Although it is fun clicking on a post to see whether I’m related to one of the professional genealogists participating in RootsTech, they usually end up being very distant cousins.

Thus, when I say Roberta Estes’ post on DNA-Explained, RootsTech Launches “Relatives at RootsTech” App – Are We Related? I decided to do a better job this year of working with these potential relatives.

Following the tips in the post, I started working on a spreadsheet for those ‘relatives’ sharing a common ancestor. As I was working on my spreadsheet, I started noticing some missing surnames. Thus, I tried looking at relatives and our common ancestors in a different way.

I printed out the fan chart for my dad and my mom and then outlined the ancestral couples appearing on my list of ancestors in Relatives at RootsTech. I then wrote in the number of relatives I have for each. Below is the finished chart for my dad.

While I hoped to find more 3rd cousins, the chart isn’t that surprising for my dad since I have relatives identified for his lines. However, when I look at my mom’s side of the tree, there are some glaring holes. I don’t have any relatives for her Thompson, Evans, Mentzer or Minnick surnames.

While these charts show the holes, I need to continue working on my spreadsheet. I have modified it a bit by adding columns so I can record the descendancy from the common ancestor to my RootsTech relative. With that information recorded, I can later go back and review our possible relationship.

Not only will I be able to compare their lineage with what I have for the family, but I will also be able to check Ancestry’s ThruLines to see if they (or their line) show up.

This spreadsheet will also help me make contact with these cousins. Even though I have already contacted my Crawford cousins, the post on DNA-Explained has made me think of other pieces of information I want to include in future messages:

  • My Ancestry username
  • Name of my tree on Ancestry with link to our common ancestor
  • Fact that I manage Ancestry DNA tests for myself, my 2 brothers and my mom
  • Where I have uploaded my Ancestry DNA
  • My Gedmatch numbers
  • Link to my blog
  • If I’ve completed one, a link on my blog to a descendancy report for the common ancestor

While I have way too many ‘relatives’ at RootsTech, I do hope to continue working on my spreadsheet so I can track my contact with them and my work to verify our relationship.

In the meantime, where are my Mentzer, Minnick, Thompson and Evans relatives?

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.