Friday, February 10, 2017

RootsTech 2017 - Friday's Threes

LeVar had an exercise for the audience where we closed our
eyes and imagined someone who believed in us.

Today's points at RootsTech came in threes. Here are three sessions I attended with three take-aways from each.

General Session with LeVar Burton
·      LeVar told us about his wonderful mother who instilled in him the importance of education and introduced him to the power of storytelling.
·      The human imagination is our superpower and "connects us to our birthright as storytellers.
·      LeVar received a standing ovation and was then presented with research on his family tree done by FamilySearch. When the marriage certificate of his grandmother appeared on the big screen, it showed his grandfather's original signature. LeVar emotionally responded with, "Is this what y'all do all day?" The researchers found two of LeVar's  second great grandparents and five of his third great grandparents. Some were born into slavery and lived through emancipation. LeVar exclaimed through tears, "These are my people!" I don't think there was a dry eye among the thousands of people in the room.

For a beautiful summary of LeVar's talk, read the post, "LeVar Burton's session brings us all to tears," over at Jennyalogy.

Preparing for Research Trips to Your Ancestral Homes - Dirk Weissleder
The presenter is German so the focus of this session was preparing for a trip to your German ancestral home. Much of the information is applicable to a trip to any country.
1.   The smaller the place, the deeper your roots may go in that town. Since "old" in Europe might be 500-800 years (compared to a couple hundred years in the U.S.), you need to be prepared for the emotions you might experience. Take your time and soak it in.
2.   Ask lots of questions. It shows your interest and you will not only learn more but also make a connection with the people. Germans appreciate this.
3.   Graves. This topic sparked lots of questions! In Germany, due to space limitations, a gravesite is only good for 25 years. After that someone else can be buried in the site. The person who was there before is cremated. It's something Americans have a difficult time wrapping their heads around. So don't expect to find a gravesite. Go after records instead.

Finding your French Ancestors Via Societies and Other Genealogical Sites: Who Can Help - Jacques Le Marois
This talk covered a variety of websites to use in researching in France. Here are three that stuck out to me. Go take a look and see what you think.
1.   Geneanet
2.   GeneaBank
3.   Filae formerly known as 

Disclaimer:  I (Michelle Goodrum) am a RootsTech 2017 Ambassador and received complimentary registration to RootsTech along with other perks.
Any opinions expressed are my own.

 © 2017, copyright Michelle Goodrum

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