RootsTech 2020 – The Last Day

The day started early – 8 a.m.! I attended “Practical Tools for Family History Storytellers” presented by Rhonda Laurtizen and Rachel Trotter of Evalogue Life), and Laura Hedgecock (Treasure Chest of Memories). They provided a nice overview of techniques to use for oral interviews (I really need to call my mother’s cousin!!), organizing your writing (gotta improve my Scrivener skills), and tips for publishing. I might look into a new book printer, Heritage Family Publishers. They’ve got some pretty cool layout software!!

Today was Family Discovery Day at RootsTech which means GOODIES!! The vendors have all sorts of tchotckes to give away. We made sure to leave plenty of time to explore the Expo Hall again before our scheduled apppointment at Trace, a 25 minute free session with a genealogy expert. Let me share a bit of what we did (in no particular order.) One of the fun activities was a game of Twister. If you answered a genealogy question correctly, you spun the dial and moved to right spot. The center picture below is of Cheryl getting clarification on how to use Wikitree. We thought the guy on the far right came up with a great product! He makes framed pictures depicting a ship your family came to the US on and adds in the route they traveled. (RelationShips – Family History in Art) You can’t see it really well in the picture, but the ship is 3D. His grandfather (I think!) was the chief steward on the Rotterdam, Statendam, and the Nieuw Amsterdam in the mid-to-late 1900s. I had family who emigrated to the US on each of those ships!!

Cheryl found a cousin – 10 times removed! I got the booby prize (appropriately, remember?) because they had never met anyone who had NO cousin matches at RootsTech!!
Cheryl met her favorite genealogy crime author, Nathan Dylan Goodwin

At 12:45, we had our research appointments at the Coaches Corner sponsored by Trace. For the second year in a row, I knew more than the “expert,” so no new finds for me. But at least this year I had a live person, not a Skype visit. Cheryl fared a bit better even though she had a “substitute” coach. Maybe the original one saw her coming and went home sick. Her new coach was able to steer her in the right direction, which enabled her to finally find information on her great-grandmother, Frances E. Howard.

After exhausting ourselves by visiting all the vendors (multiple times), we decided it was time to finally get down to business at the Family History Library. Cheryl was very productive. Armed with the information from her coach, she found additional information that will assist her in the search for her great-grandmother.


Cheryl pretended not to notice when the elderly gentleman who was helping me sneezed right in my face. After inhaling hand sanitizer, I decided it was time to leave. (Needless to say, I didn’t find any new genealogical information.)

I had a picture from Scott’s grandmother’s album that was taken in Salt Lake City in the early 1900s. (Katherine Pearl Seeley married John W. Holman in 1900.) We decided to recreate the same photo 100 years later. After checking with a woman at the Temple information booth, we set off to find the statue of Brigham Young. The statue was moved 82 feet to the north in 1993. See the comparison photos below. Pretty cool, right?

I think that’s Scott’s grandfather talking to the police officer in the left photo. John W. Holman (Jack) published Mining magazine at the turn of the last century. He may have come to Salt Lake City because there were gold, silver, and copper mines in the area.
Another picture from Katherine’s album with a scene from today as comparison.
After dinner at JB’s.

We had the server take our pic because we had been asked at least four times today if we were sisters!! It may have had something to do with the fact we were wearing the same color.

That’s it folks. RootsTech 2020 is over. All that’s left is to go home, unpack, and wait till next year when I’ll rediscover everything I gathered this year!!

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