Sunday, September 30, 2018

Three Things You Need to Know Now About RootsTech 2019

I am excited to be a RootTech Ambassador once again. RootsTech 2019 is at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. The dates are Wednesday, February 27th through Saturday, March 2nd.

Here are some things you need to know.

Registration is open. Early bird pricing is good through October 12 for the RootsTech Pass ($189) and the RootsTech One Day Pass ($99).

There is also a RootsTech Ultimate Experience Pass being offered for $499 this year. There are a limited number of these passes available. It includes reserved seating for general and class sessions, meet-and-greet opportunities and much more.

For more information and to register, go to the RootsTech website.
You can read more at this RootsTech press release.

Hotels: Three of the four conference hotels are showing as sold out of the RootsTech rate. For more hotel information go to the RootsTech Hotels page.

RootsTech Pass Giveaway
I'm glad you are still reading this! As a RootsTech Ambassador, I get to give away a RootsTech Pass. Stay tuned for details that are coming soon.

Finally, here is my tip of the month. The RootsTech folks started a video series to help everyone get ready. It's called the Road to RootsTech.

Disclaimer: I (Michelle Goodrum) am a RootsTech 2019 Ambassador and received complimentary registration to RootsTech along with other perks.

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 © 2018 copyright Michelle Goodrum


Friday, July 6, 2018

Book Review: Research Like a Pro

Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide by Diana Elder, AG, with Nicole Dyer, isn’t just a book for professional genealogists. It’s for anyone who wants to improve the quality of their genealogical work. It’s down to earth and easy to follow. Perfect for someone new to the field of genealogy or a professional wanting to polish or brush up on a few skills.

The author devotes a chapter to each of the following topics:

  • Research Objectives
  • Analyze Your Sources
  • Locality Research
  • Research Planning
  • Source Citations
  • Research Logs
  • Report Writing
Diana gives lots of examples and exercises for the reader to work through. If there’s an area you want to delve deeper into, she provides references to works for that particular subject. For example, readers wanting to study citations more in-depth are referred to Evidence Explained, by Elizabeth Shown Mills and Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas W. Jones.

One of the most important topics Diana discusses is formulating a research question and objective. It’s a basic step but many genealogists fail to do. Instead, they often choose to try to find everything out about an ancestor. Developing a question and objective is crucial to keeping your research focused and will increase your success.

Also provided are many forms and templates the reader can download or use to develop their own form. My favorite is the “Locality Guide Template.” It’s easy to skip creating one on the excitement of chasing down an ancestor. But taking the time to make one and update it will help you perform thorough research in the long run.

Whether you are new to genealogy or a seasoned researcher, there’s something for everyone in Research Like A Pro. The book is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon. For more information check out Diana and Nicole’s blog post at Family Locket.

Disclaimer: The author provided me with a free pdf version of the book for this review. All opinions are my own.


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© 2018 copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, March 19, 2018

Thoughts on RootsTech 2018

RootsTech 2018 is over. But I still have more to share in the coming weeks.

Here's a brief overview summary of the conference with links to all of my blog posts at the end of this post. I'll add additional links here as I continue to blog about RootsTech.

This year's theme was Connect. Belong. My goodness, did I ever Connect!

  • Every conference and institute I attend leads to new friends. RootsTech is especially great for connecting and reconnecting with GeneaBloggers, old and new friends and fellow researchers. Some of these friends especially feed my soul. I look forward to seeing them every year.
  • Through the FamilyTree app, I connected with several "relatives" attending RootsTech. One of them is already a real-life friend. Now she's family.
  • RootsTech definitely leads to a feeling of belonging to something bigger in a way that other conferences doesn't. Maybe it's the inspiring keynotes. Or maybe it's somehow managing to run into friends purely by chance in the exhibit hall full of thousands of people. Whatever energy it is that runs through the conference, I'm thrilled to be a part!

RootsTech 2018 Posts:

Link to my talk:
Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve and Share

Last but not least, I want to thank the RootsTech folks for putting on such an awesome conference. And MyHeritage for their after party. It was a great way to finally relax, connect and realize we all belong.

Disclaimer: I (Michelle Goodrum) am a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador and received complimentary registration to RootsTech along with other perks.

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 © 2018, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, March 4, 2018

RootsTech Session Notes

Here’s a quick summary of the sessions I attended at RootsTech.

But first, a little self-promotion. Here is a link to the talk I gave titled, Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve & Share.

And now for the sessions:

Missing – Presumed Dead: A Case Study of Civil War Records, presented by Rebecca Koford
Rebecca is a fantastic storyteller – weaving historic details both visually and verbally into the Civil War story of her ancestor. Rebecca’s presentation was somewhat in the style of Ken Burns. I can’t even begin to imagine how many hours, days and years it took to perform the research and prepare this talk. It was a beautiful presentation full of great how-to information.

A tip: investigate all the records rather than assuming your Civil War ancestor wasn’t in a particular record. You never know. I think this applies to other areas in addition to Civil War research. Her handout has a nice list of records to use as a checklist.

Migration Trails Across America, presented by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen
Peggy is an entertaining presenter who always has a fun story ready to tell. Here are a couple of takeaways from her talk.
1.     The FamilySearch Wiki has excellent maps. Try looking under something along the lines of Migration Routes or American (or United States) Migration Routes.
2.     Determine what churches existed at the time and places your ancestor lived. Do this even if they weren’t religious people. Churches kept records of baptisms, christenings, marriages, burials and funerals. They also would write letters of introduction. So if your ancestor moved, they might have gotten a letter of introduction for the new place they moved to.

Beyond Population: Researching in Special Census Schedules, presented by Angela McGhie
Genealogists are familiar with the population schedules. Angela gave a great overview of the other kinds of federal census schedules. There are so many kinds, I’m not going to attempt to list them all. Some are digitized and online at Ancestry and FamilySearch. In the catalog on FamilySearch, try looking under non-population, supplemental or special schedules. Also, remember that many aren’t indexed so you might have to page through the schedules the old-fashioned way: one page at a time.

I also attended all four of Jennifer Holik’s sessions on World War II research. My comments are here.
This session was live-streamed. I highly recommend watching.
·      The Greatest Generation: Advanced World War II Research
·      World War II Sacrifice
·      Battlefield Stories: Writing Your Stories of War

There’s intense interest in our World War II veterans these days. For more information, check out Jennifer’s website, World War II Research and Writing Center.

Remember there are many recorded session from RootsTech 2018 available to view.

Even though RootsTech ended yesterday, I’m not done posting. Stay tuned…


Disclaimer: I (Michelle Goodrum) am a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador and received complimentary registration to RootsTech along with other perks. All opinions are my own.

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 © 2018, copyright Michelle Goodrum