Roots Tech 2021

Greetings, marhaba, and welcome.

I can’t image that anyone in the genealogy world or with the slightest interest in genealogy has not heard of RootsTech 2021, the free virtual conferences being held the past few days. The conference has over half a million registrants from at least 226 countries attending.  I started visiting the Expo Hall on Wednesday night, creating a playlist of sessions, and clearing my schedule to give it the attention it deserves.

As of today, day 2 out of 3, I have watched several live and recorded sessions. However, since they are available for 365 days from the start of the conference, I am trying to pace myself. A genealogist colleague shared with me an excel spreadsheet of all the sessions and this has been a tremendous help keeping track of my “watched” list.

For those linked to the global Family Search tree, the conference also connects potential relatives attending the conference. I have to admit that I have spent a significant amount of time working on my Family Search tree the week or so prior to the conference. I have also helped others fix their tree in anticipation of the event. Although I am told I have over 18,000 relatives attending the conference as of today, I know I have to remember that this number is only as accurate as the tree itself.

The Family Search global tree is built by many genealogist and family history enthusiasts who do not always use verified sources to justify the family connection. They do not necessarily check if there are more than one “John Smith” in the area before they connect them to a child or parent. I have fixed my tree as far back as I can prove, but I don’t know if the others connected have done the same. What the connection does do, however, is provide another avenue to research.

Those 11th or 13th cousin connections that go beyond my current research provide many benifits to my research. I am spending the rest of the day choosing which “cousins” to save on my friend list, which can only include 150 of those 18,000+ relatives. The friend list is a private list for my eyes only, but it is the only part of the relative list that will be left after the conference ends tomorrow. I can also screen print those I want to help with future research.

Another way I am using these connections, is to search for those “cousins” in my ancestry DNA match list. Many people use the same pseudonym for and, which is helping me find the connection to those DNA matches who haven’t shared a public tree on Ancestry.

I hope fellow RootsTech attendees out there, “cousins” or not, are enjoying this great opportunity to access these webinars and connections to help with future genealogy research! #RootsTech #RootsTech2021 #RootsTechConnect

Published by Reem Awad-Rashmawi

Photographs & Memories by Reem

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