Monday, March 19, 2018

What Happened to the 2017 Innovation Showcase Winners?

There were over 450 exhibitors at Rootstech 2018 and they were scattered across a seemingly endless exhibit hall. While checking out all the great vendors and products in the Exhibit Hall this year, I came across one of last year's Innovation Showcase winners, Kindex. This led me to wonder, what happened to all the winners from 2017? 

To refresh my memory, I took at look at the news release from FamilySearch last year. It lists the four winners:
  • First Place Judges’ Choice ($90,000 cash, AWS credits, and an investment from Kickstart Seed Fund), Bill Nelson of OldNews USA.

  • Second Place Judges’ Choice ($44,000 cash and AWS credits), The Qroma tag mobile app for embedding stories into pictures, tagging them by voice commands, and making the data accessible on various platforms.

  • Third Place Judges’ Choice Award ($26,000 cash and AWS credits), Louis Kessler, Double Match Triangulator, an app to help sort DNA matches into groups of relatives.

  • People’s Choice ($25,000 cash and AWS credits), Kindex, an app designed to help users create searchable, shareable archives of family letters and other documents using tags to help users easily locate information.

If you recall, the judges for the final round included Alan Doan, CEO of Missouri Star Quilt Company, John Richards, Founder and CEO of Startup Ignition, Kenyatta Berry, host of The Genealogy Road Show, Thomas MacEntee, founder of High-Definition Genealogy, and Dalton J. Wright, partner in Kickstart Seed Fund.

Armed with this information, I set out to contact each of them to see what has happened in the past year. 

In the next few days I will post do a short post of what I found for each of the winners.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of March 12, 2018

Almost 2 million new indexed records this week from Austria, BillionGraves, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Idaho, Illinois, Mexico, Spain, and Texas.

Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 6 billion free records at  FamilySearch.

Indexed Records
Digital Images
New indexed records collection
Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
New indexed records collection
New indexed records collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
New indexed records collection

Monday, March 12, 2018

March's Legacy User Group Meeting - Changed

We have had to move our March Legacy User Group meeting to another location and date. This month's meeting will be Thursday, March 15, at the Mesa InterStake Center, in room 107.

The address is 830 E 2nd Ave, Mesa, AZ 85204.

Please enter the building from the north side.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Connect - Belong

Thoughts while listening to Steve Rockwood this evening during his keynote at #rootstech:

We all belong, we are all connected, we all matter. 

We all need to Discover, Gather, Connect. 

Everyone deserves to be remembered. 

Everyone deserves to be remembered, not just the rich and famous, but everyone. The poorest, the remotest. Every boy, girl, man, or woman. Everyone. 

What are you doing to help the future remember? Are you letting memories disappear? Are you connecting the past and present to the future?

What are you doing?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Don't Forget Your Charger

I am here, or so the sign says. Actually, I am really across the street but that is being picky, I guess. 

Registration began today, from the looks of the crowd, several thousand picked up their registrations. Classes begin tomorrow, over 300 this year, check the list at

I have already had to go back to my car and retrieve my phone's battery charger. You can avoid those kinds of issues by checking out the Survival Guide at

Friday, February 23, 2018

Relatives at RootsTech

FamilySearch has announced Relatives at RootsTech. There are over 15,000 people registered and you are probably related to at least one of them.

News release:

Thousands of people gather from countries around the world to attend RootsTech, the world’s largest genealogy conference. With so many family history enthusiasts under the same roof, it’s only a matter of time before someone looks around and wonders, “Is anyone here related to me?”

Now they—and you—can find out who’s related by using your phones and the FamilySearch Family Tree mobile app.

Simply open the Family Tree app on your phone, and at the top of the screen, tap the Find Relatives at RootsTech banner. To allow the app to show how you’re related to other conference attendees, tap Yes, Opt In.

Once the app has finished searching, you’ll see a list of RootsTech attendees who are related to you, with their name, photo, and relationship to you. Tap on any person from the list to see more details about how you’re related. You’ll be able to see people on your list right away, but note that it may take up to 20 minutes for you to appear on the lists of other conference attendees.

You can message attendee, and arrange a time to meet up. FamilySearch even has a special gift for every attendee who meets a distant relative using the app, takes a photo together, and adds it to the wall of the FamilySearch booth in the Expo Hall.

So check it out and have some fun. Click here for the full news release. 

FYI - this feature is geo-mapped to the convention center, so we cannot check it out until we get there. :(

Monday, February 19, 2018

RootsTech 2018 Announces Free Online Broadcast Schedule

Can't be in Salt Lake City for the live event? 

Well, grab a big bag of your favorite chips and catch the 19 live sessions being broadcast from

All 19 are FREE, and will include the sessions by former Olympic gold-medalist Scott Hamilton; Brandon Stanton, founder of the Humans of New York photo blog; host of the popular PBS show Finding Your Roots, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; Natalia Lafourcade, internationally recognized singer songwriter; and Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International.

No registration is required to view the live streams. Check the schedule at below or at

RootsTech Streaming Schedule  

Time (MST)
Class Title
Class Description
Speaker or Speakers

Wednesday February 28, 2018
9:30 a.m.
Family History in 5 Minutes a Day
Explore 20 ways to effectively do your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day.
Deborah Gamble

11:00 a.m.
DNA: One Family, One World
A new project by Living DNA is mapping the world's DNA, building one world family tree through genetics. Gain insight into how this will impact your family history.
David Nicholson

(Sponsored by Living DNA)
1:30 p.m.
Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections
Step-by-step direction in organizing, preserving, and cataloging photo collections for future generations and identifying, digitizing, and sharing collections using family trees and social media.
Ari Wilkins

3:00 p.m.
Finding the Answers: The Basics of WWII Research
Fire destroyed many US military and civilian service records. Alternative record sources exist to reconstruct service history. Learn how to research World War I and II records.
Jennifer Holik

4:30 p.m.
Wednesday General Session and Innovation Showcase
Steve Rockwood explores where industry giant, FamilySearch, has been and is going. Introduction of the all-new RootsTech Innovation Showcase.
Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International

Thursday, March 1, 2018
8:30 a.m.
Thursday General Session
Brandon Stanton started Humans of New York, a photography and storytelling blog. HONY has built a devoted following of over 20 million fans across several social media platforms.
Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York

11:00 a.m.
MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results
Learn about the MyHeritage DNA service and how the process works, from taking the test to the lab analysis. Learn about MyHeritage DNA's over 40 ethnicities and how to optimize your DNA matches.
Yaniv Erlich

(Sponsored by MyHeritage)
1:30 p.m.
Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve, and Share
Google Photos is a powerful, free app for storing, organizing, and sharing. Learn how to edit and create photo projects and automatically add your photos to the app from digital devices.
Michelle Goodrum

3:00 p.m.
Unlocking Roman Catholic Records
The Catholic Church is essential for uncovering the lives of millions of immigrants from many nationalities. See how findmypast and the Catholic Church are working to make these records easily accessible.
Brian Donovan

4:30 p.m.
A Gift of Life: Who's Writing Your Story?
Only you can tell the real stories of love, loss, forgiveness, and change. Don't leave the task of finding the answers of your life's history to someone else. Take the time to write your life story.
Deborah Abbott

Friday, March 2, 2018
8:30 a.m.
Friday General Session
Scott Hamilton is the living example that good guys CAN finish first! He is an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, television broadcaster, speaker, author, husband/father, and eternal optimist!
Scott Hamilton, Olympic Skater

11:00 a.m.
findmypast's British and Irish Hidden Gems
Explore some of the wonderful collections that can help you break down your British ancestry brick walls, go back further in your family research, and add untold color and detail to your family story.
Myko Clelland

(Sponsored by findmypast)
1:30 p.m.
Finding the Right DNA Test for You
DNA testing is becoming an integral tool, but what is it and what does it do? How can DNA actually help your genealogy? If you are brand new to genetic genealogy, this is the class for you.
Jim Brewster

3:00 p.m.
How Not to Leave Your Genealogy Behind
Nobody wants their genealogy research to end up in a landfill. Hear a few horror stories of genealogy materials destroyed and how you can avoid those mistakes.
Amy Johnson Crow and Curt Witcher

4:30 p.m.
Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch
Learn new skills and techniques used by the experts and lesser known record identification tools and features of the FamilySearch website.
Robert Kehrer

Saturday, March 3, 2018
8:30 a.m.
Saturday General Session
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of popular PBS Finding Your Roots series, and Natalia Lafourcade, one of the most successful singers in the Latin America pop rock genre, will keynote this opening session.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Natalia Lafourcade

11:00 a.m.
Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales
England and Wales national indexes and recent innovations at the General Register Office have opened up new possibilities and completely new indexes.
Audrey Collins

1:30 p.m.
Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA
Learn what new tools AncestryDNA has to advance your research and get more out of your DNA results.
Anna Swayne

(Sponsored by Ancestry)
3:00 p.m.
Pain in the Access: More Web for Your Genealogy
Library, archive, government, and specialized websites have much to offer. Discover these sites and strategies for getting more online data.
Curt Witcher