Life at RootsTech can get rather hectic. And not getting any younger, I have been resting and recovering since returning home, downloading and sorting my photos. Apologies for not blogging last week, but I found it challenging to write, so I sent lots of tweets instead. You can follow me on twitter @historylady2013.
With over 150 presentations available to attend, and the major sponsors also offering short talks, there is plenty to do and see. This is a conference for people of all abilities, sharing a common interest, the pursuit of family history.
Day one started with classes at 9 a.m. but for me, the day started at 7.30, when Ambassadors were invited to join the team from Ancestry to learn about their latest developments and plans over breakfast on the Sunborn London Yacht Hotel which is moored at the Royal Victoria Dock, close to the Excel Centre where RootsTech itself was taking place. We listened to Todd Godfrey, the CEO of Ancestry tell us about the latest collections, John Eriksen, Senior Director Product Management explain the software tools being developed and. improved to help us solve DNA problems including sorting matches, Thrulines and hints. We can all help to improve hints by taking time to provide feedback on why we have accepted or rejected a hint.
Barry Starr, Scientific Communications and Research explained how the Ethnicities we see when we check our DNA results are arrived at. There are also then DNA Communities and Regions. The Reference Panels which are used to help define these has been doubled in size as more people test and more results from across the world are compared. With over 15 million tests results now available to analyse and compare, those DNA communities continue to grow. My own DNA results show not only British communities, but 3 US communities! I attribute my inclusion in these to the fact that the sister of one of my great great grandmothers emigrated to the States and has many, many descendants!
Christa Cowan Ancestry’s Genealogists completed the talks and explained something of the role of the ProGenealogists.
By 8.50, I had printed off my badge collected my RootsTech backpack and off to find my classroom for the session Getting the Most Out of the NEW Family Tree Maker. Having only just downloaded the software onto my computer, I was interested to learn more about its new capabilities and the talk, given by Robert Wilson did not disappoint. Later this week I am going to try and put into practice some of the things I learned about.
Next up was Thursday’s Keynote speech by Dan Snow. Dan’s speech was preceded by an excellent welcome by Nick Barrett, who introduced Steve Rockwood, the CEO of Family Search International, and Brad Argent from Ancestry who spoke about the stories of our Ancestors.
Rather than write about Dan’s amazing talk, you can watch his and the other general keynote sessions by clicking here https://www.rootstech.org/category/2019-london-keynotes-general-sessions