And the Winner of the #RootsTech 4-Day Pass is …

rootstech-header-twWow! It’s been an exciting 10 days as entries for the RootsTech + Innovator Summit 4-Day Pass flowed into my inbox! For those of you who entered, THANK YOU! I hope that you also visited my fellow ambassadors’ sites, looked around, and entered their giveaways as well. As RootsTech Ambassadors, we may be a bit biased, but I believe our collective experience says that if you attend RootsTech 2017 you’ll up your game and be a winner in researching your family history!

Before I announce the winner here at the Single Leaf, I want to mention that there are 3 additional giveaways that continue today:

  • Legacy Tree Genealogists is giving way a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass. Deadline for entry is Tuesday, November 29, 2016. The winner will be selected at noon TODAY so enter NOW!
  • Fellow Ambassador Nicole Dyer has another #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass to giveaway at the Family Locket blog. Answer 1 of 3 questions for your chance to win! Deadline for entry is Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 11:59PM MST.
  • Fellow Ambassador Allison Kimball is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at Allison Kimball.com. Leave her a comment about what you hope to learn at RootsTech 2017. She is giving away 8 awesome journals, too! Winner(s) will be chosen on November 30, 2016.

Now, for the announcement you’ve been waiting for!

The WINNER of the RootsTech + Innovator Summit Pass here at the Single Leaf is

SUSAN JAYCOX!

Congratulations, Susan! We look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2017!

Just an FYI, RootsTech 2017 discount pricing continues with passes starting at $49 for the 1-day Getting Started pass. Check out the price comparisons and the class schedule for further information. Have questions? Just drop me a line and I’d be happy to assist you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services, opportunities, and meals to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor, the BYU Computerized Conference on Family History & Genealogy, for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright ©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

 

Enter to Win a Complimentary #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit 4-Day Pass Today!

rootstech-2017It’s Black Friday here in the U.S.! Why not enter to win a RootsTech + Innovator Summit 4-Day Pass? RootsTech will be held February 8-11, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The opportunity to win a complimentary pass is coming to an end with deadlines as early as today. Each contest has specific requirements, some are simple, others are more involved, so find the contest(s) that suits you and enter today!

  • Fellow ambassador the Ancestry Insider is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at the Ancestry Insider. Deadline for entry is TODAY, Friday, November 25, 2016.
  • Fellow ambassador Alison Taylor is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at Pictures and Stories. Deadline for entry is TODAY, Friday, November 25, 2016.
  • Fellow ambassador Helen V. Smith is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard. Deadline for entry is TODAY, Friday, November 25, 2016.
  • Fellow ambassador Richard Young is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at Family History Tech. Deadline for entry is Monday, November 28, 2016.
  • Fellow ambassador Renee Zamora is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at Renee’s Genealogy Blog. Deadline for entry is Monday, November 28, 2016.
  • Fellow ambassador Toni Carrier is giving away a #RootsTech +  #InnovatorSummit Pass at Lowcountry Africana. Deadline for entry is Monday, November 28, 2016.
  • Fellow Ambassador Katherine R. Willson is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at socialmediagenealogy.com. Deadline for entry is Monday, November 28, 2016.
  • Legacy Tree Genealogists is giving way a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass. Deadline for entry is Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
  • Fellow Ambassador Nicole Dyer has another #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass to giveaway at the Family Locket blog. Deadline for entry is Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
  • Fellow Ambassador Allison Kimball is giving away a #RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit Pass at Allison Kimball.com. Leave her a comment about what you hope to learn at RootsTech 2017. She is giving away 8 awesome journals, too! Winner(s) will be chosen on November 30, 2016.

Already registered for RootsTech? Enter today and you just might win a full REFUND. If you’ve already entered the contest posted here at the Single Leaf, you’re on your way with a chance to win! If not, why not enter now? And, just in case you don’t win, RootsTech is offering a Cyber Monday discount! Use promotional code RTCYBERFAN to receive over $100 on each regularly priced RootsTech + Innovator Summit Pass. Good Luck!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services, opportunities, and meals to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor, the BYU Computerized Conference on Family History & Genealogy, for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright ©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

President Russell M. and Sister Wendy Watson Nelson to Keynote Family Discovery Day at #RootsTech 2017

rootstech-fdd-2017-russell-m-and-wendy-watson-nelsonIt was announced today that President Russell M. and Sister Wendy Watson Nelson will keynote Family Discovery Day at RootsTech to be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 11, 2017. They will be joined by Kalani Sitake, Vai Sikahema, and Hank Smith. The following press release provides the details with emphasis added. Register today for this inspirational event!

President Russell M. Nelson to Speak at RootsTech Family Discovery Day

RootsTech, the world’s largest family history conference, announced today that President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, will be speaking at RootsTech’s popular Family Discovery Day on Saturday, February 11, 2017, in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The unique format of RootsTech Family Discovery Day will give attendees a more intimate perspective into the family lives of Elder and Sister Nelson and their insight into the significance of family. The event is free, but registration is required at RootsTech.org.

Prior to receiving his call in 1984 as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Nelson was well-known both nationally and internationally as a heart surgeon and medical researcher. He performed the first open-heart surgery in Utah and has helped people throughout the world with heart problems. He served his medical residency in surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the University of Minnesota. He is the recipient of many distinguished honors and awards and is the author of numerous publications.

Sister Wendy Nelson, also an author and avid genealogist, graced the Family Discovery Day stage in 2016 and won the hearts of all in attendance by sharing the excitement she has experienced in her family history discoveries. She is excited to be speaking again in 2017, this time sharing the stage with her husband, President Russell M. Nelson. Prior to her marriage to President Nelson, Sister Nelson was a professor of marriage and family therapy for 25 years, the last 13 years at Brigham Young University. She holds a Ph.D. in family therapy and gerontology.

Joining the exciting and inspiring speaker lineup at Family Discovery Day will be Kalani Sitake, Vai Sikahema, and Hank Smith. Sitake is BYU’s head football coach. Sitake played collegiately at BYU as a fullback and served as an assistant coach for the Oregon State Beavers and Utah Utes before taking the head coaching position at BYU in December 2015.

Vai Sikahema is a former NFL football player and current television personality. Sikahema is well-known for his diverse skills as both an anchor and sports reporter and can be seen co-anchoring NBC10 News Today on weekday mornings. He also serves as NBC10’s sports director.

Also joining the lineup is Hank Smith, BYU professor of religion and popular public speaker. Smith enjoys speaking at assemblies in elementary, junior high, and high schools around the country. He has also published many talks on CD and speaks to tens of thousands of youth each year. His life has been touched by family history and temple work. “There is something about temple work that unlocks our own personal gifts,” he says. When asked what family means to him, he readily replies, “Don’t make me cry! Family means happiness. Family means fun. Family means experiences. It means learning, friendship, and love.”

Family Discovery Day is a free, one-day event for members and families of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Attendees are invited to come and enjoy inspiring messages, engage in interactive activities for all ages, and discover the latest technology, products, and services in the family history industry by touring the expansive expo hall and other fun activities throughout the venue. Families with children and youth can discover the fun of family history together by playing games such as Family Feud and Twisted Family History.

Family Discover Day is the perfect place for individuals and families to discover helpful family history solutions, watch demonstrations, get one-on-one help, interact with innovative family history technologies, and mingle with hundreds of exhibitors from around the globe.

Select sessions are also available for those with Church callings and responsibilities related to family history and the temple. Individuals will be able to get their questions answered, discover new tools, and learn best practices.

Over 15,000 adults and children attended the free event in 2016. Tickets will be limited again in 2017 for this increasingly popular event.

Interested individuals and families should register as quickly as possible online at RootsTech.org.

Family Discovery Day Schedule:

  • 1:00 p.m.—Opening General Session
  • 1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.—Sessions
  • 5:30 p.m.—Closing Event
About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Would you like to know more about Family Discovery Day? Here is my report on the 2016 gathering: Family Discovery Day @RootsTechConf.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services, opportunities, and meals to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor, the BYU Computerized Conference on Family History & Genealogy, for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Copyright ©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

#RootsTech + #InnovatorSummit 2017 Pass Giveaway Begins Now!

rootstech-2017-headerOne of the duties of a RootsTech Ambassador is to promote the conference by giving away a RootsTech + Innovator Summit 2017 Pass, a $299 USD value. As I’ve mentioned before, I have attended RootsTech since its inception and each year it gets better and bigger. I say it this way because a bigger conference is not always better, but better makes it worth your time and mine. Continue reading

Have You Submitted Your #DNA Yet? Holiday Deals Going On Now!

dna-graphic-ipNovember 1, 2016 marked 100 days until RootsTech’17! In honor of this mark in time, I asked my fellow ambassadors to share their greatest tips to make this year the best ever for those planning to attend the conference using the social media hashtag #100days.

One of the tips I shared was to submit DNA so results will be returned and available to you by RootsTech’17, allowing you to be better informed if you plan to attend one or more of the many sessions held on this topic. There is nothing like results-in-hand to prompt meaningful questions and to receive expert advice from one of the presenters or from the staff of the very company from which you tested.

Well, I have good news! Family Tree DNA is offering Family Finder, their autosomal test, for $59, as well as special deals on Y-DNA tests and mitochondrial DNA tests! Which test would be best for you? Let me provide a brief description of each test:

  • Autosomal DNA, atDNA, is the collaborative DNA from all of your ancestors, male and female, that recombined to define you. This test is called Family Finder at Family Tree DNA. It is the DNA from which your ethnic origin is derived, as far as scientists, and others in related fields, can currently determine.
  • Y-DNA is the DNA that defines paternal lineage and is ONLY inherited by males. It is passed down from father to son. It provides positive identification of the biological paternal family and outlines the migration pattern of DIRECT paternal ancestors (ONLY from son to father to father to father, etc.) as far as science can currently identify. It is a MALE ONLY test so females must find a brother, father, brother of father, son of brother to test for this information. Family Tree DNA is the only major company to offer this as an independent test for genealogical purposes.
  • Mitochondrial DNA, mtDNA, is the DNA inherited by ALL of a mother’s children, but ONLY passed on to the next generation by females. It identifies the maternal migration pattern (from child to mother to mother to mother, etc.) as far as science can currently identify. Family Tree DNA is the only major company to offer full sequencing of the mitochondrial genome for genealogical purposes.

There is so much more that I could share about DNA, but the purpose of this post is to let you know that Family Tree DNA is having a great sale! Family Finder, the autosomal test, is the first test that is of interest to almost all individuals. Family Tree DNA uses a cheek swab instead of having to produce a vile of spit. This is sometimes helpful for the seniors in our lives. It is a great deal at only $59! Family Tree DNA offers a variety of Y-DNA testing options and a full sequencing mtDNA test for genealogical purposes.

Family Tree DNA allows you to maintain privacy and to opt-out of, or limit, cousin matching if you choose to do so. I realize that some individuals are only interested in their ethnicity results. I recommend that you read Legal Issues — Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Refunds at Family Tree DNA and similar documents of any other company that you consider.

Have further questions? Contact me. I look forward to seeing you at RootsTech’17! Have a great day!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post notifying you of this sale from Family Tree DNA. The purpose of this post is for information only. The final decision to act upon this information is your own and you take sole responsibility for any and all outcomes. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright ©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Have You Heard? @VaiSikahema, @KalaniFSitake, & @HankRSmith Are Coming To Family Discovery Day At #RootsTech 2017

fdd-rootstech-2017If you follow me on Twitter @thesingleleaf, you may have already heard that the starting lineup for Family Discovery Day includes Vai Sikahema, Kalani Sitake, and Hank Smith! Family Discovery Day is held in conjunction with RootsTech and will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Vai Sikahema is a former BYU and NFL player who was drafted by the 1986 St. Louis Cardinals and later played for the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Kalani Sitake is also a former BYU player and has recently been appointed as the new head coach at BYU. So far the Cougars are 3-3, but in all have produced some very exciting games, including one that went into double overtime against Mississippi State University (MSU)! Hank Smith is a popular LDS youth speaker. I found one of his excellent talks on YouTube, The Power of One: Becoming an Exceptional Teenager, where he advocates for giving up Sunday football. So, does that make him part of this year’s opposing team?

Here are some further details, with emphasis added, from the media room at FamilySearch.org:

Family Discovery Day to Feature BYU’s Kalani Sitake and Hank Smith

(SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, 24 October 2016)–RootsTech 2017 announces that BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake, popular LDS youth speaker Hank Smith, and former NFL football player, now Philadelphia TV news anchor, Vai Sikahema, will join the lineup of speakers for its popular Family Discovery Day. This exciting, free, one-day celebration of families is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family Discovery Day will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is part of the annual RootsTech conference. Individuals and families can register online at RootsTech.org.

There’s something for everyone at Family Discovery Day. Attendees are invited to come and hear inspiring speakers, entertaining performers, engage in interactive activities for all ages, and discover the latest technology, products, and services in the family history industry in an expansive expo hall. It’s the perfect place to discover fun new ideas, hear helpful solutions, watch new concept demonstrations, get personal research help, experience innovative family history technology, and mingle with hundreds of exhibitors from around the globe.

Young single adults and other interested youth are invited to attend a special session with Kalani Sitake, BYU’s head football coach. Sitake played collegiately at BYU as a fullback, and he served as an assistant coach for the Oregon State Beavers and Utah Utes before taking the head coaching position at BYU in December 2015.

Hank Smith is a BYU professor of religion and popular public youth speaker. Hank’s life has been touched by family history work, and he plans on sharing some of that experience at Family Discovery Day. Joining the speaker lineup is Vai Sikahema, a former NFL football player and current television personality. He is well-known for his diverse skills as both an anchor and sports reporter and can be seen co-anchoring NBC10 News Today weekday mornings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Family Discovery Day will engage and inspire families, youth, and single adults to discover connections and share family stories together. Family Discovery Day is also a popular venue for Latter-day Saints to hear gospel messages from Church leaders. These speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Families with children and youth are invited to discover the fun of family history together by playing games such as Family Feud and Twisted Family History. Young single adults are invited to bring friends and participate in fun sessions and activities like #Myfabfamily Photography Contest, Family History in Emoji, Record Your Story, and Replace a Face.

Family Discovery Day also offers relevant sessions with the latest information for those with Church callings and responsibilities related to family history and the temple. Individuals will be able to get answers to questions, discover new tools, and learn best practices.

Family Discovery Day is free, but registration is required. Visit RootsTech.org to learn more and to register.

RootsTech is a genealogy conference of epic proportions. As the largest family history conference in the world, it provides extensive networking opportunities to a broad and diverse group of attendees. The conference showcases a vast array of modern resources and technology that aims to inspire and enable individuals to discover, preserve, and share their family stories.

I’m only teasing about Hank Smith being part of this year’s opposing team! I am interested in your thoughts on football and the Sabbath day. If you are willing to share them with me for my future post, Faith, Family & Football: an American Tradition, contact me. Thank you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services, opportunities, and meals to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor, the BYU Computerized Conference on Family History & Genealogy, for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Are Family History & #Genealogy Your Game This Season? Register to Attend #RootsTech — the Largest Coaching Conference in the Game

rootstech-hallIf you have been following me on Twitter @thesingleleaf, you already know that registration is underway at RootsTech.org. You may also know that Early Bird registration is scheduled to end this week and it is yet to be determined if this discount will go into overtime! It has in the past but, to my recollection, not every year, so as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and to guarantee these savings, in its entirety and with permission,  I provide the following press release with emphasis added:

Popular RootsTech Event Open for Registration

FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2017 is now open. RootsTech is an annual family history and technology conference where guests of all ages are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories across generations—past, present, and future. In 2016 the event attracted more than 28,000 attendees in-person from all 50 US states and 30+ countries. RootsTech 2017 will be held February 8–11 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The popular Innovator Summit and free Family Discovery Day are also open for registration. The website for registration is RootsTech.org.

rootstech-2017-badgeThe 4-day conference will offer attendees a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers, over 200 informative sessions, including hands-on computer labs taught by industry professionals and leaders, interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall, and entertaining evening events, all designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries. Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $159 and $189 for the RootsTech plus Innovator Summit pass. Passes for the Getting Started track start at $49 for a single day and $69 for a limited 3-day pass. All passes include access to the popular expo hall and morning keynote sessions.

Starting off the 4-day RootsTech conference is the Innovator Summit, a unique 1-day conference designed for serious entrepreneurs, developers, and innovators interested in giving their creative ideas traction in a growing multi-billion-dollar industry. The event also offers attendees the opportunity to interact and connect with industry influencers, executives, and investors. The Summit will include a morning general session (the keynote speaker will be announced soon), over 20 classes, the Innovator Showdown semi-finals, and more. Innovator Summit ONLY passes are available at the discount price of $99.

Along with the Innovator Summit, the Innovator Showdown returns to RootsTech with $100,000 in prizes. Innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world and from any industry are invited to compete with their latest products or services that enable individuals to discover, preserve, and share their personal and family stories, memories, or ancestral connections. The top 5 finalists will be invited to present their product or service on the main RootsTech stage before a panel of judges and a live audience on Friday, February 10, just after the morning keynote session.

rootstech-expo-hallRegistration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, February 11, 2017, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free and fun 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders, engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults, and evening entertainment to inspire and help families and members discover, preserve, and share their family connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech expo hall. Event details, including speakers and classes, will be made available soon at RootsTech.org. Registration is required.

RootsTech offers great keynote speakers, great sessions, and excellent exhibits that provide players of all levels with excellent coaching in their family history and genealogy pursuits. Onsite attendance also provides opportunities for individualized coaching as participants engage with industry leaders. Register early and get into the game! Hope to see you there!

 About RootsTech

RootsTech, held February 8–11, 2017, and hosted by FamilySearch, is the largest global family history event in the world! The seventh annual conference—celebrating families across generations—is the perfect place to discover and share your family’s stories and connections through technology.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services, opportunities, and meals to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor, the BYU Computerized Conference on Family History & Genealogy, for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

myFamily History Youth Camp: a Family Affair

myFamily History Youth Camp 2016. Photo credit: Annie Merrell

myFamily History Youth Camp 2016. Photo credit: Annie Merrell

When Diane Laytham went to RootsTech earlier this year, she noticed promotional material for myFamily History Youth Camp to be held at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah from July 25-29, 2016. Her mother Roberta Allen Allred, an avid family genealogist, had left to Diane the family history trust fund established by Roberta’s father, Elijah Allen. Diane desired to use the fund to generate interest in family history with the younger generation, so she emailed all of her cousins asking if there were any youth in their families ages 14-18 who would like to attend this camp courtesy of the trust fund. The answer was 13 times “yes” — 9 young men and 4 young women, all descendants of Elijah Allen, but some of whom had never met one another. These young men and young women joined 45 other youth in attending the 2nd Annual myFamily History Youth Camp this year.

Photo credit: Annie Merrell

Photo credit: Annie Merrell

Youth arrived Monday afternoon and settled into their dorms for a week of full activity! During the welcome party the youth divided into teams, painted team shields, and completed a case study introducing various record groups and the importance of researching an entire family unit. As they analyzed documents they recorded the family’s story on a “massive butcher paper timeline.” This year’s camp director, Annie Merrell commented, “The youth really like being actively engaged with each other. The case study activity really got them involved and helped them to understand how to use historical records to build the family story.”

Timelines provide youth with context as they research their respective families. Photo credit: Annie Merrell

Timelines provide youth with context as they research their respective families. Photo credit: Annie Merrell

Tuesday began with a combined keynote session with the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy, featuring Paul Cardall, an award winning musician. Cardall shared his story about how he and his wife embarked on a spiritual journey searching for his wife’s ancestors, meeting her family members in Slovenia, and sharing his gift of music, first in the local Catholic parish and then, 6 months later, in the local opera house. About the same time Cardall was approached by Elder David A. Bednar of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to compose the music for lyrics he had written. The result of these experiences in Cardall’s life resulted in the song One by One available at lds.org. After this inspirational keynote address, the youth attended instructional classes, workshops and labs that answered the question, “Where do I start?,” including a class on using social media for family history.

Photo credit: Annie Merrell

Photo credit: Annie Merrell

The youth took off from Provo on Wednesday and traveled to Salt Lake City to participate in a scavenger hunt and family research at the world-renowned Family History Library. Amy Schmuhl, one of the youth participants, reported, “My mom signed me up [for the youth camp], but I’m glad she did. I already found lots of ancestors, and it’s just the second day!” While in the city the youth also had the opportunity to explore their ancestors at the local Discovery Center and visit Temple Square. In the evening youth previewed the movie The Cokeville Miracle in preparation for Thursday’s keynote address by Amy Williams, one of its survivors.

Photo credit: Annie Merrell

Photo credit: Annie Merrell

After the keynote address on Thursday, participants attended workshops introducing them to small databases; paleography, a skill that is so helpful when indexing and reading old records; the most popular and useful family history sites and apps; and, how to follow their ancestors’ trail on Google Earth. Youth divided into teams to compete in AncestorsGo, an activity that required them to scan a batch of photos, index a batch of names, transcribe 20 headstones on Find-A-Grave, write a letter to a parent or a grandparent, and record a memory on the FamilySearch Memories app in record time. Youth participated in other activities, such as karaoke, bowling, and dances, including one combined with participants attending Especially For Youth. One of the highlights of the camp was an opportunity for the youth to gather and share the success that they experienced in their research during the week with each other.

John Bytheway with the descendants of Elijah Allen, some of whom met for the first time at the myFamily History Youth Camp.

John Bytheway with the descendants of Elijah Allen, some of whom met for the first time at the myFamily History Youth Camp.

Friday’s keynote was given by the popular youth speaker John Bytheway who encouraged the participants to keep a journal of their experiences because “everybody has a story!” He encouraged youth to use technology as a tool, not a distraction. Bytheway quoted Elder Quentin L. Cook saying, “Much of the heavy lifting and hastening of the work of salvation for both the living and the dead will be done by you young people.” (“Roots and Branches,” General Conference, April 2014.)

Grace Hancock of California said that when she heard that the myFamily History Youth Camp was going to be offered at BYU she “jumped at the chance.” She continued, “I wanted to know more about family history. How to do it and how to get others excited about it.” Suzy Hall from Utah paid for the camp herself! Currently serving as a ward family history consultant, she wanted to learn more about how to do family history. Emily Harmon shared her reason for attending the camp by stating, “In Wyoming, you don’t have opportunities to be surrounded by youth with similar interests.”

myFamily History Youth Camp Counselors 2016. Photo credit: Annie Merrell

myFamily History Youth Camp Counselors 2016. Photo credit: Annie Merrell

When John Best, the program administrator, was asked why BYU hosts the myFamily History Youth Camp, he replied, “To build excitement, knowledge, and needed skills among the youth so they can return home and spread that enthusiasm [for family history].” Of interest, ten percent of the participants from last year’s inaugural camp returned this year! Camp registration was $450, including 4 nights in BYU Campus Housing and meals for each day; the cost was $360, excluding BYU Campus Housing. The 3rd Annual myFamily History Youth Camp will be held July 24-28, 2017 on the Brigham Young University Provo campus.

©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The @RelativeRace is On … @BYUtv

In case you missed it, Relative Race is a new show that premiered last Sunday, February 28th at 6pm MT on BYUtv. With 9 more episodes to go, the good news is that there is time to catch up by watching the first episode on BYUtv.org. If you like Amazing Race and family history, you’ll love Relative Race!

What is Relative Race? Those who attended RootsTech were the first to see the premier episode and the response was one of enthusiasm and anticipation!

I had the opportunity to visit with the Relative Race production team at RootsTech who explained the details. It began last year with an audition call for couples to submit an approximate 2-minute video introducing themselves and explaining why they would want to be on the show. Not all audition videos are available, but here is one example:

Four couples were finally chosen:

  • Anthony and Brooke Brown from Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Doug and Margo Engberg from Seattle, Washington
  • Bradley and Heather Randall from Phoenix, Arizona
  • Patrick and Janice Wright from Anchorage, Alaska

Each couple took AncestryDNA tests that discovered DNA matches throughout the United States and then the matches were verified by a researched paper trail. These findings defined the Relative Race route for each couple that spans from San Francisco to New York.

In Relative Race, each couple is given a team-colored rental car, a paper map, a $25 per diem, and a flip phone. No GPS here. No advantage to the technological native born; a possible advantage to the technological immigrants of today. Each couple must stay at the home of the newly acquainted relatives along the way!

Dan Debenham is passionate about Relative Race!

Dan Debenham is passionate about Relative Race!

Each team’s route is unique. Relative Race ensures fairness by estimating how long each team may need to complete a challenge and arrive at their destination each day. At the end of each leg, teams are ranked by subtracting their estimated completion time from the actual completion time or vice versa. It’s the difference that matters. The couple in last place for each leg receives a strike. If a team receives three strikes, they’re eliminated from the race. The couple ranked first at the end of the race wins $25,000.

At RootsTech the Relative Race production team discussed the adventure, the challenges, and the long hours spent making this show a reality. Some tough decisions were required in editing to allow the audience to actually feel like they are a part of Relative Race. It’s exciting. It’s emotional. It’s heart-warming. It’s funny. It can bring out a bit of road rage at times, but in the end these couples are introduced to family they have never met. At the end of the season, Relative Race will culminate with a “Where Are They Now” episode. I’m looking forward to it. I know from experience that these types of road trips are game-changing. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll catch the first episode before Sunday 6pm MT. I have it on good word that this show gets better and better. For all of us watching, let’s enjoy Relative Race!

Follow @RelativeRace, @BYUtv, and @thesingleleaf on Twitter.

©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

@AJJacobs, @LoveTaza, & @StoryCorps @RootsTechConf

Friday, February 5, 2016

At the Friday keynote session, RootsTech attendees were greeted with some exciting news. First, on-site registration surpassed 26,000. Second, those in attendance were from all 50 states and more than 35 countries. Finally, Thursday night’s Freedmen’s Bureau index-a-thon exceeded its goal. Indexers, on-site and virtual, sought to index 900 batches in 90 minutes; the result was that participants indexed and arbitrated over 1860 batches! As Steve Rockwood said in his opening remarks, “We come to RootsTech to DO family history!” Thursday night’s index-a-thon was a great example of this declaration. It speaks volumes :)

One aspect of RootsTech that I love is the live streaming that allows anyone with an internet connection to be included throughout the majority of the conference. The RootsTech theme is “celebrating families across generations.” It also connects time zones and distance through this technology and it is offered free of charge.

Our cousin A.J. Jacobs returned to the stage this year to report on the Global Family Reunion held on June 6, 2015. He affirmed that Sister Sledge had it right, “We are family.” DNA has helped him discover hundreds of cousins, including his wife. He admits that she is a distant cousin and assures us that their children are all okay. He said that although some cousins had previous commitments, 3700 attended the Global Family Reunion in New York with 40 simultaneous satellite reunions around the world totaling 10,000 more in attendance. The event broke several world records, including biggest worldwide family reunion. One of the purposes of this event is to garner interest in family history. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People magazine & Good Morning America provided coverage and the reunion will be featured on the season finale of Finding Your Roots. Jacobs announced another family reunion in 2017 so you may want to keep your 2017 summer calendar free until the date is set. He closed by saying he believes that “We are all related and it’s not us vs. them. It’s just us; there is no them. We’re in this together.”

Jacobs then introduced Josh and Naomi Davis, fellow New Yorkers who author the blog Love Taza. As a couple, they took center stage to share their journey of blogging as newlyweds to blogging as the parents of 3 children. They now have over a million people throughout the world interested in their family adventure. Recently returning from Australia, they admit that theirs is an ordinary life. Besides photography, Naomi likes to capture moments with her children by recording “-isms.” She calls them “Eleanorisms” and “Samsonisms” after their authors. One example Naomi shared was when their daughter Eleanor was “looking at [her] pregnant tummy and asked, “So, is the baby just swimming around in there? … Is she wearing a swimsuit?”                                                            Love Taza WP

As we heard throughout the conference, Josh and Naomi reiterated that “everyone in this room has a story!” and encouraged all of us to “become a part of a global community of storytellers” because “it’s not a story if it’s not told.”

These words were the perfect transition to the next speaker, David Isay, founder of StoryCorps. StoryCorps was founded in 2003 when a recording booth was established in Grand Central Terminal. The premise is that a person brings someone that they want to honor to the booth and he or she then has the opportunity to record a 40 minute interview. StoryCorps provides a facilitator and, if desired, a list of questions. After the interview concludes, one copy of the interview goes to the Library of Congress and another copy is given to those who interviewed.

Isay played for those in attendance a number of excerpts of these stories. In my opinion, no one can tell their story better than they can so, if you’d like to hear these stories, watch the RootsTech keynote address below or listen to a number of examples on the StoryCorps website. StoryCorps expanded its reach by having mobile units that are dispatched throughout the United States. Schedules fill up quickly. Most recently, StoryCorps released an app that allows an individual to record his or her story and send it directly to the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress where it will be archived. [Note: The StoryCorps app requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is also available for Android from Google Play.]

David Isay closed with a quote from Mary Lou Kownacki, a Philadelphia nun who said, “It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you’ve heard.” As he continued he quoted Mother Teresa saying, “We have forgotten that we belong to each other.” He thanked the RootsTech audience for asking the important questions, for honoring our families, and for listening.

After David Isay’s address, it was time for the Innovator Showdown where 6 finalists competed for $100,000 in cash and prizes. TapGenes took 1st place, followed by STUDIO, and Twile. Twile was also the recipient of the People’s Choice Award.

Although I planned to attend a number of sessions, my schedule permitted only one. It was a panel discussion on ethical dilemmas in the genealogy community. Copyright, plagiarism, compensation, and other issues were addressed. To summarize the wisdom gleaned from the discussion: if it’s a violation of law or a violation of a moral conscience, don’t do it; if it’s considerate of another, such as reimbursing a volunteer for out-of-pocket expenses incurred on one’s behalf, do it.

[Today’s title consists of the Twitter handles of Friday’s keynote speakers or their organizations.]

Copyright ©2016 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.