The RootsTech 2022 Genealogy Conference has wrapped up. Frankly, there was just too much going on and I was as overwhelmed as last year. I had a bunch of technical difficulties accessing the conference on my tablet on the last day. The live and pre-recorded sessions all went to a page that suggested they were live and no longer available. So, I played around in the Expo Hall, then, spent the afternoon in my weekly family zoom chat (to see my 6 month old great niece), and gave it another go in the evening.
Here’s my summary of day 3.
The DNA Painter Family Tree Demo
I’ve been a DNA Painter user for some time. Although I know how to paint my chromosomes, I don’t feel I’m using the website to it’s fullest potential. They had several demonstrations to choose from. I wanted to check out what their family tree utility does. You can view the presentation below.
If you upload your GEDCOM filed to DNA Painter, you can get some new ways of looking at your family tree. These tools focus on tree completeness. You can see statistics, a fan chart, and colored coded pedigree charts.
I have not upload my GEDCOM yet. I’m looking forward to doing so and seeing if this gives me some new perspectives on my DNA and my family tree.
Using Vivid-Pix to Clean Up A Document
One of the biggest problems I have working in old records is that many times the pages are damaged in some way and it seems to affect only the part of the page with things like names and dates.
Vivid-Pix claims its software can take an unreadable document, clean up the dark areas, and leave you with the print. Check out the demo below as it shows you just how well this works.
In the village of Porto Formoso, there is a section the the church record books where the pages are blackened just where it says “in facie…” and tells you who the groom is. I’m wondering if Vivid-Pix can work on these. Since the free trial gives you 10 free fixes and saves, I might give it a try.
Hope to see more of this type of document clean up in the future. Most photo editing tools can lighten a page, but they lighten the text along with it which isn’t helpful.
Checking Out TheGenealogist For British Research
I spent a little time learning about TheGenealogist, a website I’d never heard of. Its databases focus on the United Kingdom. It seems like they have quite a bit to offer under their subscription services.
After watching the introduction video, I took a spin around the website with their free membership. It was easy to pull up some entries on my great grandfather, Ernest Jobson, though I couldn’t access the record without paying.
You can learn more about TheGenealogist website in the Expo Hall.
Innovators Finding New Ways To Share Your History
After fooling around there, I watched the Innovators video. There are so many new apps and utilities out there! Things have sure come a long way since I started out on CompuServe.
These utilities focused on two things: storytelling and reimagining your family tree. I was impressed with an app that could create all sorts of family tree visuals including one in virtual reality. Unfortunately, there’s no android version.
There was also a way to add stories and labels to your photos. And, one app allowed you to tell your own story in video form.
I think we’ll be seeing these innovations and more in the future as genealogist want new ways to show and tell their family history.
Farmers Are Not Boring!
I didn’t get to see any of the live sessions while they were happening because of the technical difficulties I was experiencing, but I was able to watch a couple of the videos that were uploaded.
I watched Michael J. Neill’s “Boring Farmers No More” which was really interesting! I don’t necessarily have farmers in my American tree, but I’m working on my great niece’s ancestry and she does on her father’s side.
I learned that there are a lot of records available to learn about farmers and their families. Some are obvious and some not so obvious. I hope to employ some of these research methods so my great niece will have a good idea of who her farmer ancestors were. That is once she learns how to read.
In this vein, I think it is important to study the work that our ancestors did. We learn a lot about them when we learn about their occupations, how their work was done, what businesses they were employed by. It adds another dimension to their story.
Roberta Estes’ Live Sessions on Genetic Genealogy
I have sat in on Roberta’s webinars before and one of these days this DNA stuff is going to sink in! Seriously, I do pick up good tips every time I’ve listened to her teach.
She’s got a series of webinars at RootsTech. I watched “Associating Autosomal DNA Segments With Ancestors“. Although I’ve worked with some of these tools before, it was a good review. This is a good place to start for beginners or for folks who are venturing away from AncestryDNA to MyHeritage, FTDNA, GEDMatch, and DNA Painter.
She really got me excited about going back to DNA Painter. I think that a visit to the website is in my future.
The Poor In Ireland Session Is Heartbreaking
Although I know quite a bit about my Azorean ancestors, I’m still very much in the starting gates with the Irish. My ancestors came here around 1848 and I suspect they were just two of the many fleeing Ireland during the potato famine.
Cathie Sherwood’s session takes us on a walk through the poorhouses of Ireland. We learn about their history, what it was like for those living there, and how we might find records of ancestors who lived in one.
It’s really a heartbreaking bit of history. I can see why migrating to another country with not much more than the clothes on their backs seemed like a better fate. This may be my favorite session so far. So much information packed in a 25 minute video!
You can view Cathie’s session and read the handout that goes along with it.
Well, that is my wrap up of the last day at RootsTech. I had a lot of fun, learned quite a bit, and was very much impressed and intrigued.
I found I had 779 cousins attending RootsTech all cousins of Ernest Jobson, my newly uncovered great grandfather from England. The descendants live in the US, Canada, UK, Thailand, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia. 579 of them descend from my Honeysett (Honiset) ancestor, while only one from the Jobson.
I still have several sessions on my playlist to watch. I didn’t even get around to any of the live Q&A session which was a bummer. They plan to add the videos to the website, so if you’re like me and couldn’t get there at the right time, check back for the uploads.
If you attended RootsTech, tell us what you liked the most in the comments.