RootsTech and Royalty


This is the next instalment of my Special Moments, Magic Memories series for the 2022 A to Z Blog Challenge

ROOTSTECH

“What is RootsTech?” I hear the non-genealogists among us ask? For the genea-junkies among us it’s a familiar term evoking excitement and envy at the opportunity to meet fellow enthusiasts and learn more about our hobby/obsession. Of course, that was (like so many other things), in pre-Covid times. Since then the organisers have segued to a virtual conference which has numbered attendees near the millions, not thousands. Like many of us I wonder whether it will ever return to an in-person event. It is now free with sessions recorded and available to view for one to two years. Anyone, anywhere can learn from the presentations, and enables people from around the globe to participate. A team of bloggers is participating in the 2022 A to Z challenge and highlighting particular talks. It’s a great way for anyone to see what appeals to them.

Off to the library 2015.

Inspired by the enthusiasm of my Sydney mate GeniAus, the pioneer of Aussies at RootsTech, I ventured forth to Salt Lake City and the Salt Palace back in 2015 to suss it out for myself. It truly was a WOW experience. Not only were there huge learning opportunities, there was the temptation of researching in that mecca of genealogy, the LDS Family History Library…very much a WOW. The icing on the cake was meeting people I’d only known virtually from blogging – it was like meeting familiar friends even though we came from distant places. That year they combined RootsTech with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference so it was bigger than Ben Hur. The bloggers were given early access to the Expo Hall and invitations to meet the Keynotes, so I was thrilled to meet Vietnamese Aussie Tan Le, one of the keynotes who got a standing ovation. With up to 20,000 attendees a day you can well imagine how much your brain boggled, let alone how many steps you covered. You can read my reviews here and here. The end of conference social at one of the blogger’s homes was a highlight and gave us all a chance to chat informally. Certainly a WOW.

The Expo Hall 2015 was amazing.

I had a second taste of RootsTech in 2017, adding it on to our Canadian holiday. Mr Cassmob was the newbie that year but he coped well with the scale of the event. It was exciting to introduce him to research in the Family History Library and to connect with friends I/we had met. It was funny being asked to “say something” so people could listen to our Aussie accents. While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience once again, I decided I would not be prioritising another in-person RootsTech, until….

The Aussie invasion at RootsTech 2017.

Along came RootsTech 2019 London. There was another level of appeal with the London conference. It was smaller, less razzamataz, good speakers and I was able to meet with research mates I’d met through study or an Irish Conference. On top of which I added some days in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh and a visit to the ancestral home at Bothkennar. In fact with tons of British ancestry, most of the Aussies combined an ancestral research visit and research with the conference. Winner! Here is my review of the 2019 Conference.

Just some of the Aussies at RootsTech London 2019. Lots of UK roots for our lot.
RootsTech badges, ribbons and necklaces were part of the fun from the Salt Lake RootsTechs.

ROYALTY

With the recent visit of Princess Anne to Papua New Guinea, Queen Elizabeth’s visit to PNG in 1974 has been heavily discussed on the Facebook page “I used to live in PNG”. We were living in Goroka in 1974 and the WOW was seeing Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Anne and Capt Mark Philips and Lord Mountbatten in person but also with minimal security and from a small distance.

The lack of security and proximity is staggering compared with the situation today.

Are you a genealogist/family historian? Have you been to the Family History Library in Salt Lake or would you like to?

Have you been part of the crowd during a royal visit or event?


20 thoughts on “RootsTech and Royalty

  1. Visiting Salt Lake City at least once is certainly a must – I couldn’t wait to get amongst the books – at that time not digitised.

    I can’t say I have deliberately ever gone out to see Royalty on their visits – I do remember Charles and Dianna because I had to go as my children’s school were lining the footpath at Mooloolaba. I have always thought they must feel like goldfish in a fishbowl and felt so sorry for them – the introvert in me I guess. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The library is a wonderland 😉 I can see your point about the royals being in a fishbowl. It’s not a job I’d fancy despite the benefits as for poor QEII having to do it at her age!!

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  2. Thanks for the shoutout. I miss our in-person genealogy events. I especially loved Rootstech in London – the last I attended in person.
    My dream is another London Rootstech. Will you be joining me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t plan to go to SLC even it’s in person, but I’d consider Landon mainly because of the additional research opportunities on the ground. It was such fun to hang out together.

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  3. I recall as a primary school child drawing Australian flags and standing by the side of the road waving at the queen as she drove relatively briskly past in a large black car. I considered it then a waste of time and have not lined up since. My mother was a school girl in 1954 and lined up twice to see the Queen, once in her summer uniform and on the other occasion in the winter uniform. Not sure the Queen would have noticed the change in clothes. Greg, my husband, recalls standing on an oval for hours waiting to see Princess Alexandra. She came and whizzed around in a landrover.this was also a school occasion and he remains unimpressed to this day. I agree I think it an awkward job being looked at like goldfish.

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    1. I have an idea I saw Princess Alexandra as a youngster. Yes, a lot of it is fuss and bother but I guess PNG was more varied. Who would want their jobs, especially as they age.

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  4. I remember sitting on my Daddy’s shoulders in Sydney and waving to the Queen when she drove by. I was only three so it must be my earliest memory. I also took my children to see Charles and Diana in Wollongong when they opened the Performing Arts Centre. We later ran up to Mount Ousley Road from our house to watch them leave in a motorcade. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a member of the royal family.

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  5. I understand geneology is quite an embraced process here in blogging world. Specially in @atoz I saw many finding out their geneology and ancestry. I never tried it. Roots talk seems happy and happening! Great pics, specially the pics of queen from 1974 – wow

    Dropping by from a to z “The Pensive”

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    1. Genealogy is big business these days. It’s a great hobby and keeps you learning and the mind active. Seeing QEII was fun even though I’m not a royalist.

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  6. I’ve never attended a RootsTech conference… way too many people for me, and had no one to go with. I’m sure it must have been an awesome and enjoyable trip. Today the Queen turned 96, she is still looking good! Nice to look back at when you first saw her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought the crowds would be too much for this Aussie, but in the end they mostly didn’t bother me. I was lucky to have mates along with me. The Queen is doing very well but I don’t envy her having to work at 96.

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  7. I’m an American but my dad was stationed in Bermuda during the Korean War and had to line up as Queen Elizabeth inspected the troops. He was quite thrilled about that. I’ve never been to Rootstech but have been to the FHL library in SLC once in 1983. I’m going again next month and am very excited!

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  8. Sounds like a lot of people are interested in genealogy. I personally don’t get the appeal: I’m certain my ancestors were horse thieves, highwaymen and servants (just looking at where the people migrated from and where they went and where I am). LOL.

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: R

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    1. Horses for courses isn’t it a. I love that my ancestors were ordinary people because I don’t think anyone is ordinary, and migration is one of my obsessions. Thanks for visiting.

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