Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Writing-Related Sessions at RootsTech 2015

The RootsTech 2015 Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 12-14, 2015.  The early registration deadline ends today, so if you haven’t registered yet, head over and do so to save some $$$.

Since one of my passions is writing, I always try to compile a list of writing-related sessions at the major genealogy conferences.  So here’s the list for RootsTech 2015, along with the topics related to preservation, since these topics sometimes go hand-in-hand.  The full schedule can be viewed here.  If you are attending the 2015 FGS Conference in conjunction with RootsTech, you might also want to review my post Writing-Related Sessions at the 2015 FGS Conference.

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6 Tips for Visiting the Family History Library During the 2015 FGS & Rootstech Conferences

FGS 2015 Ambassador BadgeIf you are planning to attend either the FGS 2015 Conference or the 2015 Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City come February, you will likely want to swing around the corner and get some research in at the Family History Library.  Having visited the FHL a few times (and once during a Rootstech conference), I thought I’d share a few tips with you for getting the most out of your visit.

#1 – Plan Ahead of Time

This is actually two tips in one.  First, you’ll want to figure out about how much time you will be able to spend at the FHL.  Will you be there are few extra days before or after the conference?  Have you gone through the schedule for the conference(s) you are attending to see if there are pockets of time to squeeze in an hour or so of research?  Note, I have not heard about extended hours, and according to the schedule as of today, the FHL will have regular hours during the conference (they will be open on Monday, February 16, which is President’s Day).

Once you have figured out about how much time you’ll have for research, you can start combing through your to-do lists, research plans, etc.  Pick enough items to keep you busy to make the most of your time at the FHL.  You may want to have a list of high priority items, as well as a list of other things ready to go just in case you have extra time.  Keep in mind that with two major events right around the corner at the convention center, drawing in tons of people, the FHL will be BUSY!

#2 – Order Vault Films Day 1

If you have research that involves films that are in the vault, you will need to order them.  Be sure to do this Day 1 to ensure you have enough time to get the film and review it.  Any one of the staff or volunteers can direct you in how to order these films.

#3 – Come Prepared

When the FHL is super-busy, I tend to take high-quality photos of the microfilm (and even books), since the digital microfilm scanners are usually occupied.  You might want to consider this option, especially during the conferences (and don’t forget to bring plenty of memory cards for your camera).  If you do take your chances with  the scanners, be sure to have a few USB flash drives to save your digital images (or cash if you plan to make paper copies).  As an aside, when using the scanners, please abide by the FHL’s time limit.

You’ll also want to bring whatever it is that you use while conducting research on-site, whether it’s paper files/notebook, a tablet, a laptop, or a combination.  I seem to go back and forth with bringing my laptop to the library or just bringing my Kindle.  It sort of depends on what I’m working on.  I have been able to get by for a week’s worth of research at the FHL with just my Kindle, using the Families app designed to work with Legacy Family Tree (you can read about my experience here; also there is a similar app that works with GEDCOM files, which you can read about here).  The last time I was at the FHL, I was working on a specific case and I needed access to a variety of files that were stored on my laptop, so I usually had that with me at the library.  Bring whatever you need to effectively work on the research you plan to do.

#4 – Wear Comfortable Shoes & Dress In Layers

This is also a conference tip.  You’ll be doing a lot of walking, both at the conference and the library.  Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes.  Additionally, the temperature can fluctuate at both the convention center and the library, so dress in layers to keep comfortable.

#5 – Research Consultants

Take advantage of the research consultants that are available on each floor of the FHL.  If you are stuck on a problem or need helping reading a foreign language, this is the time to ask.  And do it right away.  The sooner you ask for help and get some guidance, the more time you can spend working on it at the library.  Waiting until the last minute to consult with these fantastic people puts you is a position where you’ll likely have to wait until your next trip to follow up (or order films to your local Center and miss out on additional help from the experts).

#6 – Find a Quiet Place

Because the library will be busy, it can feel a little chaotic.  If you’re like me and can’t focus with all the craziness around you, try to scope out a spot that’s quiet.  I like spots with little foot traffic, preferably on the end of a row (otherwise I feel claustrophobic).  Another tip—go to the International floor.  This is usually the quietest floor (and there is usually less of a wait for the scanners).  You CAN bring films from other floors down to the International floor, you just have to remember to return them to the correct floor/spot.

That about sums up my six tips for visiting the Family History Library, particularly during a busy time in conjunction with a conference.  If you have other tips, please feel free to share them by leaving a comment below.

Hotel Reservations Open for 2015 FGS and RootsTech Conferences

I received the following press release from the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) earlier today announcing that attendees can now reserve their hotel rooms for the FGS 2015 Conference and the 2015 RootsTech Conference, which will both be held February 11-14, 2015 in Salt Lake City.

Also, don’t forget that the FGS 2014 Conference is coming up later this year.  It will be held in San Antonio, Texas, August 27-30, 2014.  Registration for FGS 2014 is now open.  Details can be found on their website.

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15 RootsTech Sessions Will Be Streamed Live Feb 6-8

The schedule for the live streaming sessions has finally been released!  There are some great presentations that you can watch from the comfort of your home if you’re like me an unable to attend RootsTech 2014 in person.

Each session can be accessed through the RootsTech home page (http://rootstech.org) during the time listed below.  Note, all times are in Mountain Standard Time.

I have a hectic schedule, but I will try to attend as many as I can.  I’ll also be on Twitter (@geneaJulie), tweeting away!

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RootsTech 2014 – Register by 9/9 and Save!

Last week, registration for RootsTech 2014 opened.  Early bird rates are available through January 6, 2014, however, you can save $20 on a full-access pass if you register before September 9, 2013.  Details about the event are below.

Announcing RootsTech 2014 Registration and Limited Time Discount


Registration is now open for RootsTech 2014, which will be held February 6­-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. This annual family history conference, hosted by FamilySearch, is a unique global event where people of all ages learn to discover and share their family stories and connections through technology. Over the past three years, RootsTech has grown in popularity with attendees to become the largest family history event in the United States!

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Federation Of Genealogical Societies Announces 2015 Conference


Big news!  The FGS 2015 Conference and RootsTech2015 will be held together in Salt Lake City, Utah from February 12-14, 2015.  Details in the press release below.

Federation Of Genealogical Societies Announces 2015 Conference

FGS and RootsTech Events To Be Held In Tandem February 12-14, 2015 in Salt Lake City

22 August 2013 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced today that its 2015 National Conference will be held February 12-14, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch. RootsTech is held each February in Salt Lake City and helps thousands of attendees from around the world discover and share family connections, stories, and history.

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My #RootsTech 2013 Recap

RTOfficialBlog_GSaturday afternoon marked then end of the third annual RootsTech conference.  As an official blogger for the second year, the 2013 conference was a much different experience for me…simply put, I wasn’t in attendance, well, in person that is.

Instead, I watched from the sidelines at home.  In a way, I felt like I was at the conference, as many people in my online social networking circles were posting comments, news, and photos.  And best of all, some of the session were streamed lived right to my home computer, where I could watch and enjoy while in my PJs.  Attending the conference in this manner also gave me more opportunities to share and converse with others, particularly over Twitter.

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