Rootstech 2020 – Time to Prepare!

This is the 3rd time I will be attending Rootstech in Salt Lake City with my friend, Cheryl. I scheme and plan for this trip every year, to make it affordable for us. I completed more than 50 “Rewards for Opinions” surveys in December to assure I would qualify for Companion Pass status on Southwest Airlines, thereby cutting our airfare cost in half. Also, I’ve been super lucky to win an Ambassador Pass each year, which means my conference fee is paid for!!

A kind gentleman took this photo of Cheryl and me last year.

In 2018, I won the pass from the lovely, Devon Noel Lee of Family History Fanatics. Last year, the pass was courtesy of a fellow Connecticutican, Jenny Hawran of Like Herding Cats. This year, I won twice! (The second one, of course, I had to decline, but I hope to meet the sponsor, Carole Steers in Salt Lake!) My sponsor this year is Tammy Osmer Mize, whose website ConferenceKeeper.org is an invaluable resource for keeping up-to-date on what’s happening in the genealogy world.

Even better, Cheryl also won a pass!! Her sponsor is Melanie McComb, the Shamrock Genealogist. That’s perfect, actually, since Cheryl really is Irish, unlike “you-know-who.” (I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that my DNA shows absolutley NO TRACE of Irish DNA.)

This year, the theme for Rootstech is “The Story of You.” I really connect with that as I spent much of my free time sharing family stories. Many of the sessions I plan to attend are related to writing, sharing, and preserving my family’s history.

I have my schedule all planned out. The Rootstech app is a great tool for that. I input every activity I wish to do and, voila, a calendar is created!! If there’s more than one session I’m interested in for a specific time slot, I add it in anyway. That way, if the class is full, I have a second (or third) choice I can run to. It’s also a handy way to remember what classes I might want to watch later (if it was recorded). For classes I was unable to attend, I can download the handouts, which gives me a taste of what was presented. (Wednesday looks to be pretty busy!!)

But, it’s not just all about classes. Cheryl and I take this week to treat ourselves. After all, we spend the other 51 weeks putting others first. (Not complaining, it’s just what we do!!) We made sure this year to leave time to visit the Great Salt Lake. Considering it’s winter, we won’t be able to take a dip, but at least we will able to see it!

We plan to attend a couple of meet-ups. One for sure will be the VGA (Virtual Genealogical Association) group dinner on Wednesday evening. At last year’s dinner we met the hilarious Debra Dudek, a genealogist with expertise in WW 1.

Cheryl and I both have reserved slots at the Coaches Corner on Saturday. The free 25- minute consultations with experts are sponsored by Trace. During my slot, I hope to finally determine the birth, immigration, and marriage information for Scott’s great-grandmother, Catherine Kenney. I’ll be happy to get even one of those three! Known to the family as Catherine C. Fitzallen, I uncovered her fascinating story which I shared in the book, Opulent in Aliases. Cheryl hopes to find out something more about her elusive great-grandmother.

I will finally have my photo consultation with Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective. We were unable to meet last year, since Maureen had injured her foot and had to miss the entire conference! I’m hoping Maureen will be able to confirm the identities of a few pictures for me.

The weather looks great for the week ahead, so there should be nothing standing in the way of our having a great time. Except, of course, the flu. Oh, and the Corona virus. We already have our face masks and sanitzer at the ready!

“See” you in Salt Lake!!

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