RootsTech Connect 2021 was AMAZING!!!!

Look at how many cousins I had a RootsTech!!! I couldn’t look at all of them but I DID look at so many!!

To say how incredible this year’s RootsTech Connect was would be hard to explain. I had moments of seriously deep emotions as I watched some of the Keynote sessions – I must say that Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s part of the Heritage Highlight Block 5 – sponsored by Ancestry was the one that got my tears flowing the most, while there were others. The group discussion and music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was powerful and … well, should I list ALL of the sessions, keynotes and educational content, the Expo Hall, exploring the Innovators area …. it was a busy time. AND I am truly glad that we have a year to watch all of the remaining content because, honestly, it was truly overwhelming and I wouldn’t have been able to do it all.

So I hope you will got to http://www.rootstech.org and add sessions to your “My Playlist” for viewing this year. I hope you got to the Expo Hall as I understand that is closing down (just like any conference) but if you saw a vendor that you wanted to check out, look for their website and visit them even after the conference as they could use your support!

And while “it’s a wrap” is perhaps in your mind, there is more to do – study, listen, learn, reach out, continue building your tree, connecting with cousins and share what you know to help others make the break-throughs that you made! And stay in touch! Contact me at judynmuhn@gmail.com.

IT’S LIVE – RootsTech Connect 2021 has begun!!!

Find cousins, check out the Expo Hall vendors, take classes and see Keynotes!

IT’S LIVE – IT’S FREE and it’s going to be awesome!!! There are over 500,000 (YES, you read that right!) from all over the world – 226 countries and counting! There are well over 11 languages for presentations but there are people representing WAY more languages in the world that are participating.

This is EPIC!! While RootsTech has been the largest genealogical conference in the world when we could meet in person at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, going virtual and FREE means that anyone/everyone, in whatever timezone or location – as long as they can register (FREE – here) and have internet access – can listen to classes, Keynote speakers, find cousins and so much more.

Here are some recommendations:

First – check out the Home page (https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/rtc2021) where there is a video presentation to help you figure out what to do at RootsTech Connect – where classes are, the schedule of Keynote Speakers, how to find relatives and more.

Second – Look at the course offerings and save them in your own list, called “My Playlist” – and …. wait for it …. the HUNDREDS of pre-recorded sessions are available now … FOR A YEAR!!!! Yes! Fill your Playlist with everything that you want to learn and take you time looking at them. However, for those of us who are speakers, if you want to use the Chat feature to reach out to us, you MUST do that during the event – today through Saturday! Then that feature closes. However, all of us (at least as far as I know) have attached PDF handouts to our talks and those have our website and email information. Please reach out as we are happy to help!

Third – Look for cousins! I have over 5,000 cousins and growing, now that it’s open and live! It’s called “Relatives at RootsTech” – and you MUST have a FamilySearch tree to participate. But look at all of the cousins who are registered that you can connect with! Save a copy of how they connect to you to use perhaps to break through that brick wall you’ve been working on. You can “friend” them and then maybe meet up during RootsTech to talk about family, records and more!

Fourth – Have fun! The Expo Hall is FULL of vendors wanting to connect with you, join Chat rooms to learn more or connect with speakers, ask questions. When you are on the RootsTech site there are people there to help you too! In the lower right corner of your screen is a button CONNECT (white with red) that will get you to someone live who can help you if you get lost.

Wow – take advantage of the whole thing!!! There is much to do, many to connect with, lots to learn and it’s just day one!!! Have fun!

Exciting Content at RootsTech Connect 2021!!!

LOOK at some of the Keynote Speakers coming to RootsTech Connect 2021! There will be these “live” segments and then HUNDREDS of classes, workshop series and more! An Expo Hall with vendors that you can connect with and the always wonderful Relative Connections that happen when you link your FamilySearch tree with your registration. There are well over 100,000 people registered from all over the world at this point and with FREE registration, there will be more. You could find a breakthrough in your genealogy because there’s a cousin out there in Poland or Brazil or Australia or Sierra Leone who knows something you don’t!

Can you tell that I’m excited? Gads, am I! And please find your way to my presentations – three of them. The virtual setting of this year’s event made us think about what is reasonable for people sitting in on virtual technology – so sessions are about 20 minutes long. So my sessions – The Big Five: Researching the Largest Tribes – is broken into three parts: Part 1 is an overview of Native research generally, and how to think about your families and where the hints may lie. Part 2 is about the Cherokee and Choctaw. Part 3 is about the Chippewa, Sioux and Navaho. Watch one, watch all! And there’s a PDF handout there to give you some resources. And please feel welcome to use the Chat feature that will be with each of these, to connect, ask questions or just meet other family historians who are doing similar work.

Click on the pictures above to register and join the fun! Or click here to register – it’s FREE!

RootsTech 2021 is coming!

RootsTech CONNECT – RootsTech 2021 is all VIRTUAL!!!!

THE BIGGEST genealogy event in the WORLD! Yeah, really!! AND in 2021 it is FREE!!! Yes!!! Is that amazing or what???

You can get registration information here: www.rootstech.org. There are hundreds of classes, a VIRTUAL exhibit hall, talk with professional genealogists, get tips and techniques to help you, contests, games, activities for families and SO much more! Can you tell that I’m excited?!

YES, I get to be an Ambassador again – my FOURTH year, and this year is the 11th Anniversary of RootsTech, so you can bet that there will be lots of special announcements, people and things going on. So you will want to be there.

Again, register – check out the information that is out: https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake

WIN a FREE Registration to RootsTech 2020!!

Prize: 4-Day Pass to RootsTech 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 26th to 29th, 2020 This is a $299 full price value! CONTEST ENDS December 28th!!!! Enter now!

Pass includes the following: Over 300 Classes, the Keynote / General sessions, the huge Expo Hall, any evening events, Power Hour sessions and thousands of your cousins and networking opportunities!!

No purchase is required to enter. If you have already purchased a 4-Day registration for a RootsTech SLC 2020, you will get a refund.

Increase your chances of winning by “liking” my “Lineage Journeys” Facebook Page, my Twitter Page, and subscribing to my blog. Each one that you do will give you another chance to win.

The prize is a RootsTech 2020 4-day Pass only. It is not transferable as cash. The prize DOES NOT include any RootsTech paid lunches, paid labs or cover other costs such as accommodation and tra.nsportation costs. The winner will be announced on the blog, FB and Twitter. If the selected winner does not reply within a week of being announced, there will be another drawing.

So join in now!!! Enter TODAY!!! CONTEST ENDS DECEMBER 28th!

Tips to Prepare You for RootsTech 2020!


2020 is the 10th anniversary of RootsTech and promises to be another amazing experience! Here are some of the things I learned in 2019 that may help you in preparing for the RootsTech 2020 ….

Learned a lot this year! Returning for RootsTech for a second year gave the advantage that I knew more of what to expect, knew my way around the building and locations where I could prepare as a speaker and take time to blog, but also to network, meet other professionals and hook up with cousins. SOOOOO fun!

Lessons learned – participants sometimes don’t fully read the descriptions for presentations, so please read the descriptions and don’t mark a speaker down just because you misunderstood what they were going to be sharing. Participants want to take pictures or record our presentations to share with others, and there’s an internal struggle to be honest about how we are working hard to make a living while also being transparent with how that works/doesn’t work when others share our content. This is hard for all speakers but we put in hours of unpaid time to customize content for our lectures – please don’t photograph or record them. And finally, by far the biggest learning is that there are thousands of truly dedicated family historians that want to get it right – to document their families through records, stories, photos and more so that present and future generations can appreciate the blessing of lives well-lived. And some great stories along the way! I learned A LOT from the cousins I met, other attendees that offered me their perspectives.

So, if you haven’t attended RootsTech, DO!! Stay tuned ….. FREE pass for registration will be offered next month … watch for it!

Things To Do At RootsTech 2020

REGISTER NOW!!! http://www.rootstech.org/saltlake

There is SO much to do at RootsTech, I thought I’d give you some ideas from my perspective of attending for the last two years! So here we go!

First, if you are “into” DNA, there is no other place to be than RootsTech! Why? Because all of the vendors of the kits will be there AND they give really awesome discounts for buying at the conference. Yes, really great discounts! AND there are free, exhibit hall “classes” that are offered by all of the vendors – in their booths, with experts and company leaders, who give you the latest and greatest of what they have developed and new tools for your to use to find that elusive ancestor.

Second, cousins! Yes, you can find many of your cousins from among the THOUSANDS (yes, you read that – there are more than 15,000 that attend this conference!) of people attending. The key is that you need to post your family tree on FamilySearch …. and the mobile app at RootsTech that you can use to track what classes you want to take, etc. ALSO can help you to find those who connect with your tree! YES! It’s so cool – that each day, as everyone is attending classes, walking around the exhibit hall, eating lunch, whatever … the app (you have to set it up, allow it to show you and your tree) will scan those thousands of people and let you know who is there. Then you can send them a message and meet. I’ve done it and met gobs of cousins (I descend from lots of French Canadian and Acadian people so most of my connections are with them!).

Third, the classes. Internationally known speakers who have interesting topics, give you the benefit of their many years of study, and are offering you the opportunity to gain insight into how best to find your people. There are hundreds of classes! DNA, migration, ethnic groups, records and how to find them, geographically-focused, lineage societies, techniques, tools, technology and so much more! Yea, your brain is going to explode! Really ….

Fourth, people. Lots of really nice people! You will meet genealogists from all over the world who don’t roll their eyes when you start talking about how your great-great-great grandmother survived a horrible flood and got all of the kids into a boat and …. well, you get the idea! You get to talk about genealogy and your family for DAYS and everyone will get it, and you will have SO much fun!

So, sign up to be there! http://www.rootstech.org/saltlake …. it’s going to be epic!!

RootsTech 2020 is coming!

THE BIGGEST genealogy event in the WORLD! Yeah, really!! Hotels are selling out fast, you can get registration information here: http://www.rootstech.org. There are hundreds of classes, a HUGE exhibit hall where you can buy DNA kits, talk with professional genealogists, get tips and techniques to help you, jewelry and t-shirts with family history themes, book publishers for those of you who have created your family story and need to share it, contests, games, activities for families and SO much more! Can you tell that I’m excited?!

YES, I get to be an Ambassador again – my THIRD year, and this year is the 10th Anniversary of RootsTech, so you can bet that there will be lots of special announcements, people and things going on. So you will want to be there.

Again, register – check out the information that is out: https://www.rootstech.org/salt-lake

Day 2 at Roots Tech – whew!!!!

Ambassador day – Getting into the classes, Exhibit Hall, luncheons, keynHiotes, activities and more of RootsTech 2019!

Wow, the end of Day 2 of RootsTech and has it been a ride!!! I’m exhausted, happy, excited and needing some rest.

The day started with joining my fellow Ambassadors in the Media Hub and crazy, fun people like Mr. Thomas MacEntee from High Definition Genealogy.

The Media Hub – morning of Day 2 at about 10 a.m. An hour later, there were no seats available and people were standing. At least three interviews were happening and friends meeting up!
Crazy fun Thomas MacEntee of High Definition Genealogy is such a joy to be around. With mad skills in promotion, marketing, networking and all around sharing guy, his workshops are fantastic!!

I was able to observe some interviews – Patricia Keaton was one of those I listened in on. She was the Keynote Speaker this morning, sharing her career story and what she knows about her family. Patricia had the benefit of the work of Family Search and AncestryDNA and learned more about her family live on stage – it was very fun, touching.

Lunchtime was VERY special as I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the host of Finding Your Roots on PBS. We watched a new movie, initially shared at the Sundance Film Festival, entitled Railroad Ties. Following the meeting and interconnections between a group of people whose ancestors knew each other at a key time in American history (I won’t spoil the story line)…..get out your tissues!

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – Host of Finding Your Roots on PBS; Harvard professor in African American Studies.
Talking about Railroad Ties, a new movie first released at the Sundance Film Festival.

And the fun continued as a met up with others at the Family History Library for a follow up conversation about my Wednesday “Mobile Apps for Genealogy” session.

The evening ended with some appetizers and conversation with the Genealogy Business Alliance group at the Marriott. Networking with other business owners, I wanted to learn more about ways to share Lineage Journeys with others.

Live From Salt Lake City!

Just the first day .. not as many people yet, but by Friday and Saturday, there will be probably 14,000!!

From RootsTech 2019, where there will soon be over 14,000 people taking hundreds of classes and networking, finding cousins and having fun!

My first workshop, You CAN Take It With You:  Mobile Genealogy Tools for Genealogists, went SOOO well and there must have been over 600 people in the room.  Great questions, energy – we even did “stand up, sit down” exercises.  AND cousin meet-ups!  How fun!

In the midst of the “stand up if you ….” exercise with over 600 people in the room!

Today felt like a day of healing and reconciliation … certainly, there is much more to do, but a beginning and significant movement in the right direction.  Friend and fellow GeneaBlogger Tribe member Cheri Hudson Passey offered a workshop “Discovering Slave Owners in the Family Tree” that was so impactful that people were crying, and not bad tears but those tears of recognized loss and finding common ground for healing.  We also learned about the incredible donation of $2 Million to the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, announced at the Opening Session!  Wow!  There will be a family history center within the museum that will help anyone seeking information about their family, especially focusing on the African diaspora and records that will help in tracing those that were enslaved.  An incredible opportunity for everyone to learn, share, grieve, and hopefully gain some healing, pride in the strength of ancestors.

Part of the magic of RootsTech is the networking, mingling, meeting cousins.  Also having opportunities for growth from those synchronistic meetings or information that those of us long in the genealogy field know to expect.  My research time at the Family History Library on Monday and Tuesday led to some really great information for my clients (one in French-Canadian and another in Native research) AND some perfectly wonderful experiences for myself.

Met another wonderful French-Canadian cousin! Meet Amberly Peterson Beck!

As I have just begun the research on the Polish family on my dad’s side, I had recently found the name of the village that my great-grandparents immigrated from – Gorlice, Malopolska, Poland (it wasn’t always Poland, as it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire).  The Niemczyk, Niemiec, Nimer, Nemshak family (yes, they changed the name a number of times) immigrated in about 1880 but no one in the family knew where they came from.  The family worked hard to fit into their initial American community in Chicopee, Massachusetts and later in Detroit, Michigan but not many stories of “the old country” apparently were shared.  Reaching out to cousins, there was much to go on.  So, I went down to the International section of the Family History Library and, wonder of wonders, there is a specialist FROM POLAND who is a Missionary there.  She was awesome!  AND introduced me to two young men, themselves Polish and here doing research.  AND …. Wait for it … they are from the Malopolska region!! Yes!!  So they are going to take the information that I know about my family and see what they might find when they are in the Polish archives.  :::::::::::::::crossing my fingers::::::::::::::::::::::::

Hopefully the pictures here will show you just how great RootsTech 2019 is and what a great experience it is.  And it’s only the beginning of Day 2 as I write this.  Stay tuned for more!