Z is for Gen-Z and Genealogy

Many genealogists are worried about who is going to do the genealogy in the next generations. They try to come up with ways to get the younger generation excited about genealogy. 

Session Title
Gen-Z and Genealogy

Session Description
"This class will explore GenZ's take on genealogy and how it shapes our lives. It will explore how older generations can help support us and how GenZ can become more involved in the genealogy world."

Presenter: Sarah Day

Y is for Y-DNA

Y DNA is another test but only males can take the test. The results are from son to father to father to father.... way back. The results can be helpful with a Surname Study. 

Session Title
Y is for Y-DNA: What is Genetic Distance?

Session Description
"A brief overview of genetic distance as it relates to Y-DNA testing and determining the time to a most recent common ancestor for you and your patrilineal DNA matches."

Present by  FamilyTree DNA


X is for X-DNA

X-DNA  Setting up an Ancestral Tree and Fan Chart and Exploring Tree Completeness

Session Description
Visualizing your direct line at DNA Painter can help clarify where the most significant gaps are. In this demo, Jonny shows how you can import a GEDCOM file and overlay DNA inheritance paths, which can help you to narrow down possible common ancestors with DNA matches, particularly those with whom you share DNA on the X-chromosome (XDNA)."

Presenter:  DNA Painter  Jonny Perl


W is for Wales

A little country with lots of history and their records are often tied and included with England records. But their surnames are unique. 

Session Title
Wales Patronymics: The Cause of Common Surnames in Wales

Session Description
"In this video session, learn to recognize patronymic names in Wales. Research strategies that will help you discover more about your Welsh family history will be provided."

Presented by Darris G. Williams

Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/patronymics-the-cause-of-common-surnames-in-wales

V is for Vendors

I have to admit I wasn't sure what I was going to use as V and then all of a sudden I realized that V was a great way to introduce all the wonderful Vendors that help make RootsTech possible. 

RootsTech, like most conferences have vendors. Genealogy companies who want you to get to know them and what services they provide. RootsTech had 91 !! 

How do you find them? 

  1. Go to RootsTech.org
  2. Scroll down the main page until you see a section called Expo Hall.
    It looks like the following. 

  3. Click Visit
    Then see all the wonderful vendor listed by categories. 
  4. Click on one you want to learn more about. 
  5. Come back often and check out others. 
Another way to see a Sponsor or Exhibitor is from the left menu. 
  1. Go to the RootsTech page.
  2. Click Sessions from the top menu on the right. 
  3. Click Sponsor or Exhibitor from the left menu. 
    This opens up that menu and shows you the first sponsor and exhibitors in alphabetical order. 
  4. Click on See All (91) at the bottom of this list. 
    The second window below appears with all 91 in alphabetical order ready for you to check out. 

Presented by All the wonderful Vendors! 

Link: RootsTech.org

U is for Ulster Foundation

Hundreds of thousands around the world have Irish heritage. Many of those are from Ulster background. This foundation may help. There is a syllabus for this session. 

Session Title
How the Ulster Historical Foundation can help you find your Irish ancestors

Session Description
"Ulster Historical Foundation has been helping people find their Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors for over 65 years. We offer archival research for all nine counties of Ulster and help for all those searching for ancestors on the island of Ireland through consultations, assessments, conferences, courses and lectures."

Presented by Gillian Hunt


T is for Two Ways to Find the Lost in a Census

If you can't find someone in a census but you know they should be there, this session will give you two ways that might help you find them using personal research examples.

Session Title
Two Ways to Find the Lost in a Census

Session Description
1. Use other family members.
2. Use a rhyming website to find names that sound similar to the surname to find possible misspellings.

Presented by Lianne Kruger


S is for Stories in the Facts

One of my favourite sessions to present is on creating videos to tell and record family history. This session looked very interesting and might help with subject ideas and how to create videos. 

Session Title
How to Find Your Story in the Facts

Session Description "In this workshop, filmmaker and writer Mark Pedri will walk you through the steps you can take to turn the facts from records and family archives into a story that will preserve the information and intrigue audiences for generations to come. In this class, you will learn the ins and outs of story structure using his latest documentary DEAR SIRS as a case study to illustrate how you can transform your records into a compelling narrative. As an added bonus, participants will be given exclusive access to stream his latest unreleased documentary at dearsirsfilm.com/watch."

Presented by Mark Pedri


R is for Robin Hood

I will admit I am a Robin Hood fan, so when I saw the name of this session I had to watch. Enjoy!

Session Title
Robin Hood: Truth or fiction

Session Description
"The tales of Robin Hood and his exploits in medieval England is a great story and known the world over. He means a great deal to the people of Nottinghamshire. What is the history behind the stories and where in Nottinghamshire can you find him?"

Presented by Carol Bannister of Register of Qualified Genealogists

Link https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/robin-hood-truth-or-fiction

Q is for Q & A sessions

RootsTech has several sessions that are just Q&A sessions. 

To find these sessions type in Q&A in the session search bar. Even though they were answering questions and you can't ask your question now, someone else may have asked what you want to know or something similar. 

Topics include FamilySearch GEDCOM, Japanese, Matt Paxton, accreditation in Denmark and Scandinavian research, and German professional genealogist.

One of the current genealogy hot topics is the 1950 Census. I do not have any family in the US at that time and I also have the information I need from that time period but there are many who do. 

Session Title
The 1950 US Census Effort - A Q&A with the FamilySearch Team 

Session Description
"Join the cause—help make the 1950 US Census index searchable and available to everyone! Today's technology is amazing; computers will index in just a couple weeks what would otherwise take us millions of hours to index by hand. At the same time, the computers can't read the handwriting as well as you can, so we need you! You are invited to help review and improve the index—to make sure that every parent, grandparent, sibling, and friend will be able to be found. Learn more about this effort from the FamilySearch team who is creating the experience for you to review the census.

Looking for a little more detail? Review this session on the system we will use to review the census: Get Involved and Reviewing the 1950 Census."

Presented by the FamilySearch Team


P is for Professional Genealogist

Do you want to know how to become a professional genealogist or do you want to know what a professional genealogist is before you hire someone to research your family tree. 

Session Title
How to Become a Professional Genealogist

"Learn how to become a professional genealogist and get paid for doing what you love! This presentation will discuss how to become a certified genealogist in the USA, the costs involved, and the benefits of doing so. Most of the discussion will be about becoming a CG, but some will include details on becoming an AG. 

Board for Certification of Genealogists website: http://www.bcgcertification.org

International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists Website:


Association of Professional Genealogists Website: http://www.apgen.org "

Presenter by Dana Elder

Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/how-to-become-a-professional-genealogist

O is for OnGenealogy

OnGenealogy is a website that has a list of sites with resources in all topics, that may help you with your genealogical research. I have registered mitoYDNA.org to this group. Try it out. Add your society! 

Session Title
OnGenealogy Tips and Tricks: Finding Resources Anywhere in the World

Session Description
"This is a short video demonstrating how tot search for Genealogy and family history resources anywhere in the world with the OnGenealogy directory and mapping technology. The OnGenealogy directory is free to search, free to join and it's also free to add resources. Libraries, societies, genealogists, and genealogy companies can add their businesses to the directory to give great visibility to researches. 

The OnGenealogy directory is searchable by:

  • record types, such as birth records, marriage records, and death records
  • locale, using a Google map
  • locale, using a quick country, state, or municipality search
  • keywords, such as a surname, ethnic group, or other words

Please visit the OnGenealogy directory and help us add collections to the map!"

Presented by Alynson Mansfield

Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/ongenealogy-tips-and-tricks-finding-resources-anywhere-in-the-world

N is for Netherlands

Family History Guide website has pages for many locations. This link is information about the Netherlands to introduce this site. 

Session Title
Researching Records in the Netherlands

Session Description
"The Family History Guide Association sponsors The Family History Guide website. Its mission is to greatly increase the number of people actively involved in family history worldwide, making their journey easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable. Visitors from over 150 countries come to this free website."

This session is done by the Family History Guide. They have their own page with a list of other sessions done by them. Check them out at Family History Guide Association

Presented by Family History Guide

M is for Mothers

Give your mother a nice Mother's Day present by learning more about her ancestry!

Revealing Your Mother's Ancestors and Where They Came From

Session Description
"DNA can help you identify and confirm your mother's ancestry - even when you don't have surnames. Join us for pointers about how to use mitochondrial DNA, autosomal DNA, and both, together to break down those brick walls!"

Presented by Roberta Estes

Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/revealing-your-mothers-ancestors-and-where-they-came-from

L is for Lianne

I couldn't find anything that started with L so I decided to share another one of my sessions from this year. I teach computer software as my full time job and love it. 

This session does not discuss proofs but what is the layout of these reports and how to you format them in Google Docs. 

Session Title
Create Genealogical Research and Narrative Reports in Google Docs

Session Description
This session will illustrate how to format a research and narrative report using Google Docs. The formatting includes:

  • Font formatting
  • Headings
  • Lines
  • Alignment
  • Bullets and numbering
  • Special Characters
  • Insert images
  • Footnotes
  • Headers and Footers
  • Tables
  • Numbers in narrative reports
  • Templates
  • Share the report file with others

Presented by Lianne Kruger 


K is for Kruger

My husband and his father were born in the Netherlands but in South Africa the name Kruger is very well known. Some of the well known names are the KrugerRand - a coin of South Africa, a town called Krugersdorp, and there is the Kruger National Park. 

My mother-in-law's ancestry goes back to the 1600s in South Africa which means she is a Boer, but she also has a line back to the1820 Settlers which are English. She had family on both sides of the Boer War and that is why this session was interesting to me. 

Session Title
South African Boer War Prisoners: The Pretorius family, a Case Study

Session Description
"Come take a journey through South African Boer War records using a typical South African family, the Pretorius family as a case study. We'll look at where to find the records, how to interpret the incredibly rich information contained in them, and how to use social history to add to the story of your ancestors. We'll look at camp death registers, maps, hospital admission registers and probate records as we tell the story of the Pretorius family."

J is for Jewish

I have Jewish Ashkenazi ancestry through my French Canadian line which goes back to France so this was very interesting to me. 

Session Title
Jewish Ashkenazic Surnames & Patronymics

Session Description
"Many Ashkenazic Jewish people in central and eastern Europe did not adopt fixed surnames until governments decreed them mandatory. Tax records, Familianten books, census records, vital records, burial records, and other civil and religious documents may tell the story of the transition from patronymics and nicknames to hereditary surnames."

Presented by International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies

I is for Ireland

Ireland. Many people throughout the world have ancestry in Ireland but not a lot of records. This is one of the good places!

Session Title
Researching your ancestors using the resources & records of Public record Office of Northern Ireland

Session Description
"In this session we will cover the records held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), both their online resources and those held in the archive; as well as examine how these can help find out more about ancestors from Ireland."

Presenter by Gilian Hunt

H is for Haplotree

What is a Haplotree and how can a huge tree help you? 

Session Title
View the World's Largest Y Haplotree

Session Description
"Discover the countries of origin and surnames for each branch of the world's largest Y-DNA Haplotree."

Presented by FamilyTreeDNA

Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/view-the-worlds-largest-y-haplotree

Another Haplotree session

Session Title
Y-DNA: How SNPs Get Added to The Y Haplotree at FamilyTreeDNA? 

Session Description
"A look at how Y-DNA SNPs are evaluated for inclusion on FamilyTreeDNA's Y haplotree. 

Also presented by FamilyTreeDNA 

G is for German Records

If you have German ancestry you will want to watch this session. You will also want to go to Katherine's website to learn more. 

Session Title
Schmidt, Schmitt, or Schmit: German Surname Variations

Session Description
"German surnames were often spelled a multitude of ways. learn the top tricks for recognizing the different variations of your ancestor's last name throughout the ages."

Presented by Katherine Schober


Another German related session is All Things German Russian  presented by Shirley Wilcoxon
"Honouring our past - embracing the future. See how we are keeping our Germans from Russia Heritage alive."

Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/all-things-german-russian

F is for France

I have many French ancestors. They are mostly from the 1600s but it is still important to understand records from France.

The following are three sessions provided by French Federation of Genealogy. Below is the title and their session description.

French Records on Your French Ancestors
How to search through the French archives in order to find your ancestors from this country and neighbouring French-speaking areas. 
Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/french-records-on-your-french-ancestors

Your French Ancestors Via French Private Societies
Discover your French Ancestors via private commercial organizations and numerous genealogical societies. 
Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/your-french-ancestors-via-french-private-societies

French Genealogy Through Genealogical Societies
In this presentation, you will be introduced to how French genealogical societies are organized through a federation to help you find your ancestors and enrich your knowledge of their lives. The French genealogical environment has no secrets for the expert members of these societies. You can become one of them.  
Link: https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/session/french-genealogy-through-genealogical-societies

Presented by the French Federation of Genealogy

Link: https://www.france-genealogie.org

E is for Ethnical

Many people are afraid of DNA for ethical reasons. If you have heard about DNA or done some DNA you may have heard of some problems or have some questions about ethics. This session will help you to understand the standards and how the Genetic Genealogy community to trying to ensure that ethics is maintained. 

Session Title
Ethnical Considerations Using DNA Results

Session Description
"Ethical actions help maintain access to using DNA results as a genealogical source. This session provides a brief history of the development of genetic genealogy’s ethical standards, questions to ask in light of personal circumstances, and provides resources for further consideration. For the class syllabus, contact me at https://thesingleleaf.com/contact "

Presented by Lynn Broderick


D is for DNA

We hear DNA a lot but not always how to apply it to our genealogical research. This session will explain one idea. After watching this video I am decided I want to become a part of a DNA group and maybe even create one for my Surname Study I am doing. I am deciding which group do I create one or do I create one in all of them?! :)
Session Title Using DNA Group Projects In Your Family History Research

Session Description "Working DNA and family history can be overwhelming. One of the ways to make things easier is to work with DNA Group Projects. I cover the reasons why to join one, the different types, and where to find them."

Presented by Mags Gaulden