***RootsTech is the world’s largest genealogy and family history conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a four-day conference hosted by Family Search. RootsTech 2020 was held February 26 – February 29, 2020.***
Although I have really enjoyed myself during this conference, I must admit that the long nights, all the walking around the convention center, and my daily walk to the Family History Library has caught up with me. Luckily I had blocked my tentative schedule off to go back to the Family History Library this morning, but I decided that I needed some rest. So I slept in and didn’t rush this morning. So ended up arriving at the Salt Palace around 1030am. Saturday is also Family Discovery Day, and there is an expected additional 10,000 people who have registered just for today. Family Discovery Day is a free one-day event for families and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Registration is required and includes the general keynote session, entrance to the expo hall, youth activities, and a selection of classes.
Since I didn’t have any sessions on my schedule until after lunch, I headed towards the expo hall. My first stop today was to Celebrate DNA. This company designs t-shirts, tote bags, and coffee mugs with your unique DNA ethnicity. You just download your genetic DNA test results (Ancestry, 23 & Me, etc.) when you place your order, then you chose the design. I bought a t-shirt last year, and I always get compliments from people when I wear it. Alexander Cross, the founder of the company, is so nice. He actually remembered me from last year. Their booth was really busy this year too. Next, I headed over to the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society booth. I wanted to make sure I saw everyone and said goodbye before we all left for the day.
Today’s keynote speaker for the general session was Emmitt Smith, NFL Hall of Fame running back. With the additional people at Family Discovery Day, I knew the general session would be packed, so stuck with my plan to watch the keynote address from the expo hall. When I say that was one of the smartest decisions I made this conference, it really was. Because from where I was sitting Emmitt Smith walked right in front of me when he left the general session on his way to his meet and greet. He looked right at me and said ‘hi, how are you doing?’ I’m sure he was just being polite, but it was special to me. This year in there was a DNA Basics Learning Center in the expo hall, I thought since I hadn’t been by there this week that today was as good of a time as any. I walked down there and looked at the schedule to see a session that would be starting soon. I attended What Should I Do With Unexpected DNA Results. It was a really good session. After that, I grabbed some lunch and headed to my last session of the day and RootsTech 2020.
As I was headed to the Family History Library after my last session ended and walked through the now empty expo hall, I was a little sad that RootsTech was over. These last four days really did fly by. But I was able to learn some new information, meet some new genealogy buddies, reconnect with some people that I had met at last year’s conference, and network with other genealogy bloggers. To say I had the best time at RootsTech would be an understatement. There’s just something about the energy in the air at this conference that makes you excited about family history. It’s hard to explain. It’s something you have to experience for yourself to truly get the full idea. So mark your calendars and save the date because RootsTech 2021 will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 3-6, 2021. It will be here before you know it, so start preparing now. I hope to see you there!!!!
Sessions I attended:
- Healing and Family History – The Emotional Side of DNA presented by Robin Wirthlin
- What Should I Do With Unexpected DNA Results presented by Carolyn Joy Webber
- Developing a DNA Testing Plan to Attach Brick Walls presented by Blaine Bettinger
Click HERE to read RootsTech 2020 Day 1 Recap
Click HERE to read RootsTech 2020 Day 2 Recap
Click HERE to read RootsTech 2020 Day 3 Recap