News Release – Roots Tech 2022 Registration goes LIVE!

Ready to Connect? RootsTech 2022 Registration Is Now Open!

RootsTech 2022 is free, fun, worldwide celebration of family discovery and connection. The online event is March 3-5, 2022.SALT LAKE CITY, UT–FamilySearch opened registration today for RootsTech 2022, the largest family history event in the world held online March 3–5, 2022. It offers a forum where people of all ages across the globe are inspired to discover and share their memories and make meaningful connections. Register for free at RootsTech.org today. RootsTech 2022 will be a virtual-only experience, with some enhancements and improvements.

A new set of educational classes will be featured during 2022, along with new technologies to explore in the virtual expo hall, and inspiring stories shared by a fascinating line-up of keynote speakers.

“RootsTech 2022 is sure to be an incredible experience once again” said Jen Allen, event director for RootsTech. “Earlier this year, we organized our first-ever virtual event amid a pandemic—something we never thought would happen. But as we watched the participants come together to provide joyful learning experiences in many different languages, we knew something special was taking shape.”

Classes for the event will have a mix of on-demand, livestream, and interactive sessions that will allow attendees to learn, grow and connect to people all over the globe. Participants will also be able to connect with fellow attendees, speakers, experts, and enthusiasts. In 2022, the planners of RootsTech are looking to take that experience to the next level.

RootsTech is a place of connection. “We witnessed incredible connections [in 2021] between participants all over the world,” said Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch. “As they connected to their homelands and ultimately to their families, they then connected to each other. At FamilySearch, we choose connection, and we witness every day the ways family history transcends all walls of separation and unites us as the true story of humanity unfolds.”

While there will always be some differences between the in-person and online experiences, RootsTech will continue to expand its online experience while working towards a time when the hybrid model of both can once again be offered.

“We are busy creating innovative ways to capture and share messages of culture, unity and connection that push the boundaries of what a virtual conference can be. We can’t wait to share what we’ve got in store,” added Allen.

The event will take place March 3–5, 2022, and you can register for RootsTech right now by visitingwww.rootstech.org. The conference is free and open to anyone. For updates, be sure to follow RootsTech on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

One Man, Two Names, Two Countries

The Life story of Norbert Albert Amiot dit Villeneuve or Albert Villeneuve

The Villeneuve/Paquet family of Maskinonge, Quebec – after immigration to Ishpeming, Michigan

Why would a person, born with one name, change that name or use another?  Certainly, there are people who are hiding from the law and change their name.  There are people who change their name because their birth name is mispronounced.  A person may also change their name to avoid discrimination because their surname represents a hated minority group, like our immigrant Polish and German ancestors did in the period of the two world wars.[1]

The Amiot dit Villeneuve family however may have changed their name for entirely other reasons.  The parents and seven known children are followed to determine the correct name for one member of the family – Norbert Albert Amiot dit Villeneuve or Albert Villeneuve. 

BACKGROUND

In the French-Canadian communities of North America, particularly in the province of Quebec, from the 1700s into the late 1800s, the naming practice called dit names was utilized.  The word dit has come to mean alias or “so called” and is believed to derive from the French verb dire, meaning “to speak, say”[2].  In this narrative’s example, the surname from France was Amyot[3].  At some undetermined point, the family in question attached the “dit” name Villeneuve, so that the surname appears in records in New France[4] or Quebec as “Amiot dit Villeneuve”.  Sometimes these additional names represent a move to new land, a colonial leadership title, or a physical characteristic that distinguishes one man from another within a soldier group.

The research into the seven known children of Joseph Amiot dit Villeneuve and Julie Gregoire[5] may help to determine whether Norbert Albert Amiot dit Villeneuve born I 1840 in Maskinonge, Quebec, Canada is the same man as Albert Villeneuve of Ishpeming, Marquette, Michigan buried in 1914. 

RECORDS SEARCHED

Norbert Amiot dit Villeneuve was born on 3 March and baptized on 4 March 1840 in Maskinonge[6], Quebec[7] to Joseph Amiot dit Villeneuve[8] and Julie Gregoire.  He was the fourth of seven children.  His siblings were Antoine, Joseph, Adeline, Olivier, Pierre and Peter.  Each were identified with variants of the Amiot dit Villeneuve name on baptismal, marriage and burial records[9]:

First nameBaptismal nameMarriage nameName at death
AntoineAmiot dit Villeneuve Villeneuve
JosephAmiot Villeneuve
AdelineAmiot dit VilleneuveVilleneuveVilleneuve
NorbertAmiot dit VilleneuveAlbert VilleneuveVilleneuve
OlivierVilleneuve Vinlove
PierreVilleneuve Villeneuve
PeterVilleneuve  

Antoine and Adeline were noted in baptismal records with their father’s surname as “Amiot dit Villeneuve” while Joseph is listed with his father Joseph’s surname as “Amiot”, and all other siblings’ baptismal records noted the father’s name as “Villeneuve”.  The earliest census record found with some of these siblings was the 1851 Canadian census[10] and all are listed as “Villeneuve”.  All children born to this marriage after 1851 show the name “Villeneuve” uniformly.

By contrast, Norbert Albert’s aunts and uncles, just one generation earlier, consistently included the “dit” name although with the expected spelling variations.  For example, his sister Adeline’s baptism record notes her father’s name as Joseph Amiot dit Villeneuve[11] (like Joseph’s) but Joseph’s brother Amable’s surname was given as Amiot dit Vilneuve and sister Marie Domitilde’s was noted as Amiot dit Vilnoeuve[12]


RECORDS UTILIZED

Norbert Villeneuve married Adele Paquette on 7 November 1865 in St. Justin de Maskinonge, Quebec[13], Albert Villeneuve died on 13 May 1914, listing his father as Joseph Villeneuve and mother as Sophie Carpentiere[14] and the informant being Joseph Villeneuve, his son[15].  While an obituary in Marquette County has not yet been found, a notice appeared in The Calumet News, noting “Mrs. Ed. Elliott[16] of Laurium yesterday received word of the death of her father, Albert Villeneuve …”.

The census information for the 1880[17] and 1881[18] censuses have both men with a wife Adele/Adel, and children Florence/Flore, Louise/Louisa and Noah/Noe and many of the ages aren’t consistent.  These two censuses are during the time that the family is known to be moving back and forth between Michigan and Canada (according to family stories), but the 1910 U.S. census indicates that Albert reported immigrating in 1878.  From family stories, the family coped with the moving and a large family (there were a total of 11 children in all) by splitting up for times with the mother with some of the children and father with others.

The obituary in Marquette County for Albert Villeneuve[19] names children Joseph, Florence (Mrs. Adelord Morin), Louise (Mrs. Ed Elliot), Clara (Mrs. Alphonse Lesage), Rose (a widow of Mr. Clement), Alphosine and Adel (Mrs. Will Kaiser), confirming those listed with him in census records.  Will/Probate records[20] name children Eva, Alphonsine, Flora, Clara, Louise, Rosana, Joseph, Noe (with the daughters named with both their maiden and married names), again confirming census records.

Records still to be found:

Naturalization records – Immigration is noted in the 1910 census as happening in 1878

Potential additional city directories for more years

Land or tax records if they name children

Military service or employment records

CONCLUSION

As the names of the children consistently match in census records, newspaper articles, as well as the will and probate records, the variations can be explained as the likely variations that are due to the multiple names (baptismal, given names, middle names) that are common in French-Canadian families. 

The only time that the name “Norbert” has been used is in the baptismal record and the 1881 Canadian census; it is likely that Norbert may have been a first name with Albert as a middle name and it could have been dropped in favor of Albert especially after moving to the United States.  Similarly, the change from Amiot dit Villeneuve to simply “Villeneuve” may reflect a desire for a shorter, simpler name and reflect the move also to the United States.  This family still lived within a primarily French-Canadian community for some time, but the ease of pronunciation may have created the adoption of the shorter name. Thus, in the end, the use of Albert Villeneuve for the bulk of this ancestor’s life does not negate the fact that his name was likely Norbert Albert Amiot dit Villeneuve when he was born.


[1] Robert Siegel and Art Silverman, “During World War I, U.S. Government Propaganda Erased German Culture”, All Things Considered, April 7, 2017, 6 p.m.; typed transcript from recording, NPR (National Public Radio), Washington, D.C., All Things Considered  (https://www.npr.org/2017/04/07/523044253/during-world-war-i-u-s-government-propaganda-erased-german-culture; accessed on July 25, 2018).

[2] The most direct explanation of this comes from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dit_name: viewed July 19, 2018) although the author’s own French language and research knowledge is extensive in this area.

[3] The immigrant ancestor from Soissons, Departement de l’Aisne, Picardie, France was born in 1628 and first appears in “New France” in 1636 (the descendants of Matthew Amyot are documented from his Ancestry tree down to the subject of this work at https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/48774945/person/28213115197 ).

[4] Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, “New France: French Colonies North America”, Encyclopedia Britannica, HTML edition (https://www.britannica.com/place/New-France; accessed July 24, 2018). New France was used initially in the 16th century when France was establishing colonies and trade relationships in North America.

[5] Women in French Canada retain the use of their maiden or nee names throughout their life and are documented with these names in French Catholic church records, marriage contracts and land records.

[6] For this narrative, the French words that use accent marks when written in French will be omitted as they add nothing to the narrative other than in any official titles (see next note) for records.

[7] St. Joseph de Maskinonge (Maskinonge, Quebec, Canada), chronological records in Actes d’état civil et registres d’église du Québec 1621 à 1967 (Collection Drouin, Institut Généalogique Drouin, Montreal, Quebec, Canada); Baptismal record, Norbert Amiot dit Villeneuve, 4 March 1840; digital image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1091/d1p_25590543/12014791?backurl=; accessed on January 20, 2013, reviewed July 21, 2018).

[8] St. Joseph de Maskinonge, Marriage Record, Joseph Amiot dit Villeneuve and Julie Gregoire, 3 August 1830; digital image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1091/d1p_25590043/11594503?backurl=; accessed on July 21, 2018).

[9] Sacramental records (baptism, marriage, burial) for St. Joseph de Maskinonge, Maskinonge, Quebec, Canada were researched for seven siblings; with death records also in Kansas for Oliver (Villeneuve) Vinlove, and Norbert and Pierre Villeneuve in Michigan.  Citations for all of these records can be provided.

[10] 1851 Canadian Census, St Joseph de Maskinongé, St. Maurice County, Canada East (Quebec); Schedule: A; Roll: C_1141; Page: 121; Line: 15; digital image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1061/e093-e002316886/1894563?backurl=; accessed November 12, 2017)

[11] Baptism for Adeline; St. Joseph de Maskinonge, Maskinonge, Quebec, Canada. Actes d’état civil et registres d’église du Québec (Collection Drouin), 1621 à 1967. Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin, digital image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1091/d1p_25590436/10354364?backurl=; accessed on July 7, 2018).

[12] Baptism records for siblings Amable and Marie Domitilde are found at: St. Joseph de Maskinonge, Maskinonge, Quebec, Canada.  Actes d’état civil et registres d’église du Québec (Collection Drouin), 1621 à 1967. Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.  Amable: (https://www.genealogiequebec.com/Membership/LAFRANCE/img/acte/2943308; accessed on July 23, 2018); and Marie Domitilde: Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1091/d1p_25580900/1487119?backurl= ; accessed on July 7, 2018).

[13] St. Justin de Maskinonge, (Maskinonge, Quebec, Canada); chronological records in Actes d’état civil et registres d’église du Québec 1621 à 1967, (Collection Drouin), May 13,1865, Norbert Villeneuve and Adele Paquette.

[14] Sophie Carpentiere is actually his mother-in-law, mother of his wife Adele Paquette.

[15] Michigan Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate, registered no. 50, stamped “Jun 5 1914”, Albert Villeneuve; Seeking Michigan (http://cdm16317.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p129401coll7/id/77250; accessed May 12, 2018).

[16] “Father Dies in Marquette”, The Calumet News (Calumet, Michigan), page 5, 15 May 1914; Mrs. Ed. Elliott is Louise Villeneuve, daughter of Albert, noted in census records cited.

[17] 1880 U.S. census, Marquette, Michigan, population schedule, Ishpeming, p. 349D, dwelling 230, family 283, Albert Villeneuve; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 23 July 2018), citing Family History Film 1254954.

[18] 1881 Census of Canada, Maskinonge, Quebec, for District Maskinonge, Subdistrict St. Justin, p. 13, family 64, Norbert Villeneuve; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 23 July 2018), citing Library and Archives Canada, Record Group 31 C-1, microfilm C-13162 to C-13286.

[19] “Death of Albert Villeneuve: Pioneer French Resident Passed Away Yesterday Afternoon”, Daily Mining Journal (Marquette, Michigan), page 6, column 3, 14 May 1914; Marquette County Historical Society, J. M. Longyear Research Library, Marquette, Michigan.

[20] County of Marquette, Michigan, Last Will & Testament, Albert Villeneuve, will dated 13 May 1911; probate case files beginning 20 May 1914; Probate Court Clerk’s Office, Marquette County, Michigan.

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

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

Amazing Speakers, Content in RootsTech 2019

Stage image

There is A LOT that is fun at RootsTech beyond the genealogy research, learning and cousin-connections happening …. it’s ALL fun, right? But the general sessions take it up a notch with some content that is inspiring, with music, prizes, and lots of enthusiasm.

A really great feature of the RootsTech website and team is that they produce a bunch of great videos that share about aspects of the conference. Here is one about the plans for the keynotes/speakers and entertainment that will be happening:
RootsTech 2019 video. As an overview, on Wednesday, Steve Rockwood (CEO of FamilySearch) will start things off with updates, what’s coming and the opening of the vendor hall. Thursday, Patricia Heaton, star from Everybody Loves Raymond, will be sharing about being a “real life” mom and a book she has written about family, motherhood and her experiences. Friday could be really emotional as star Saroo Brierley, from the movie Lion (have you seen in?? Boy becomes lost from family, is taken in by another family, later in life seeks out his birth family … very cool film!), will offer his perspective on family, belonging and connecting. Friday night is a special evening event that includes dancer Derek Hough, who will encourage everyone to get on their feet and learn some dances (…. lots of music, motion and fun!). Saturday’s closing general session will feature Jake Shimabukuro, an incredible Hawaiian ukulele artist who is fun, entertaining and VERY skilled (can you imagine Bohemian Rhapsody on ukulele!?!!!).

I was SOOOO wowed by the content of these general sessions that the energy carried me through long days. The excitement of it all is infectious and, if you are going, you will SOOO want to be in the room. They are moving these to 11 a.m. this year – so that there are workshops before these keynotes and then you go out for more after. Really great stuff! Are you coming? Let’s meet up – Lineage Journeys are gearing up!!!!