RootsTech Is Over. Now What?

Introduction: In this article, Gena Philibert-Ortega explains what to do now that RootsTech 2019 is over, and provides links to genealogy websites and resources. Gena is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.”

It’s over. The biggest genealogy conference of 2019 is packed up. But there are still small mentions found online about the event that draws thousands of genealogists to Salt Lake City every year. If you follow social media, you can still read new posts documenting the RootsTech experience from those who attended. It’s been over for a month now – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from this year’s conference. You might be wondering, “It’s over, I missed it, now what?”

Photo: RootsTech logo
Credit: RootsTech; FamilySearch

Continue Learning

Did you download the RootsTech app? No? Go to your mobile device’s app store and download it. Then look through the speaker list and download presentation handouts that might assist you with your research. Take some time to read and study those handouts. Note new-to-you websites. Jot down action items for your research. If you haven’t already done so, search for GenealogyBank’s Scott Spencer, who presented on “What Next? Telling the Story with Newspapers and Obituaries” for helpful tips on newspaper research.

The conference syllabi can also be found on the RootsTech website – but note that this might not be on the website for too much longer, so take some time to download what you need today.

While you’re on the website, check out the Video Archive that includes videos from this year’s RootsTech as well as the 2015-2018 conferences. Take advantage of these free genealogy presentations that will help you become a better researcher.

“Those in the Know” Blogs

There’s a lot of buzz about what it was like to be at RootsTech. If you go through the #RootsTech hashtag on Twitter you’ll find posts from presenters and attendees documenting what they learned.

Genealogy blogger Randy Seaver compiled a list of blog posts about RootsTech: RootsTech 2019 SLC Blog Compendium-Updated. This single blog post lists 49 blogs and their corresponding RootsTech posts. This is a great way to learn more about RootsTech and possible genealogy resources.

Don’t forget that RootsTech has a website and a blog, and you might want to check out a few of their posts including a recent one on genetic genealogy. RootsTech’s sponsor, FamilySearch, also has a blog and it’s an important place to bookmark to keep on top of new record collections – which will especially be important for your trip to the next RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah, next year.

Plan for Next Time

Now’s the time to make a decision. Will you be attending a future RootsTech? Maybe RootsTech London in 24-26 October 2019 or RootsTech 2020 in Salt Lake City? Even if RootsTech isn’t in your future for 2019, it’s not too early to start planning for 2020 or beyond.

One way to start the planning process is to take a look at the RootsTech 2019 Survival Guide for ideas about what you should be aware of or keep in mind. There are some great tips here, including what to wear and how to get there, as well as the importance of the RootsTech app.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to London in October, now’s the time to make plans for what you will do while there. If England is your ancestral home, then start planning research trips to repositories while you’re there and plan a few days before or after the conference for research. I highly suggest that if you have never been to England, you may want to conduct your research after the conference so that you can utilize all the information about nearby resources and English research that you learn while at the conference.

If a trip to RootsTech Salt Lake City is in your future, take some time to learn more about what is available at the Family History Library for your personal family history research. Start planning for a research trip to coincide with the conference now.

It’s Not Over

Too often the hype around an event doesn’t last past the concluding speaker. But in the case of RootsTech there is still information to be learned long after it’s over. Take some time today to see how all of the information that came out of the conference (handouts, social media posts, etc.) can benefit your research.

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