Connect – Belong at RootsTech 2018

Connect - Belong at RootsTech 2018


Get Ready for RootsTech

Plans for the 2018 RootsTech Conference are in full swing, so mark your calendar and start making your travel arrangements! 

The conference will be held from February 28 to March 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hotels offering special pricing are listed here.

Early bird registration is open now. Discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes which are just $169 (a discount of $100). Single-day passes are available for $99, and a 4-day Getting Started pass is only $69. All passes include access to the Expo Hall and morning keynote sessions.

Oh, and stay tuned… I love to give stuff away here at MDA, and as an official RootsTech Ambassador, I’ll have a FREE 4-day pass to giveaway very soon. 😊

See the world's largest genealogy chart at RootsTech

Why You Should Attend

You can read about why the folks at RootsTech think you should attend in their blog post, “8 Reasons to Attend RootsTech 2018.”

But I’ll share with you a few of my reasons for attending:

  • The Tech. It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a tech nerd. And RootsTech is a tech nerd’s paradise. Software, gadgets, DNA kits, photography and preservation tools… whatever is trending in genealogy-related technology will be found at RootsTech. 
  • The Speakers. The 2018 keynote and general session speakers have not yet been announced, but I’m certain they will not disappoint. Past speakers include “Property Brothers” stars Jonathan and Drew Scott, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, and author and actor LeVar Burton. Hearing the stories of how they’ve been personally touched by family history is such a moving experience.
  • The Classes. With 300+ sessions from which to choose, there truly is something for everybody. From lecture-style classes to hands-on computer labs, you’re sure to find what you need to enhance your genealogy skills.
  • The Networking. Genealogists are a rare breed, and sometimes even the people who love us most can barely tolerate listening to one more family story. But at RootsTech, you’re sure to find your tribe. Genealogists, historians, writers, photographers, tech nerds… more than 26,000 of us from all over the world. The RootsTech theme for 2018 is “Connect. Belong.” Trust me, you will.
  • The News. Where do genealogy companies announce their biggest news? At Rootstech. And if you attend, you can hear it first.
  • The Deals. As if the Expo Hall wasn’t exciting enough, the bargains you can find there are truly spectacular. Seriously. This year, Ancestry was offering DNA kits for $49 each, which I think was the lowest price ever. And not to be outdone, Family Tree DNA matched the price on their Family Finder test. My husband called me so many times asking me to buy more kits that I finally had to cut him off! Who likes to save money? #THISGIRL 😍

  • The Library. Ok, the Family History Library is technically not part of the RootsTech Conference, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway as an incentive. The FHL is just a few (long) blocks from the Salt Palace Convention Center, and definitely worth a visit. Plan to come early or stay a few days after RootsTech ends for some quality research time in this amazing facility.

⭐ Still not sure if you should attend? Take a look at these archived sessions from RootsTech 2017.

⭐ And check out this post about my favorite “10 Things” from RootsTech 2016.

This is me with the Roots Finder Tree Guy.

What’s New for 2018

Several changes are coming to the conference in 2018, so be sure to check out the RootsTech blog for the full scoop on what’s new for 2018.

I’ll share a few of the highlights here because I can’t help myself:

  • Early Check-in. I hate long lines, and I’ll bet you do, too. Avoid them by checking in on Tuesday, February 27th, at noon. But shhh, don’t tell, or everyone else will show up and ruin it.
  • A Bonus Day. RootsTech 2018 will officially begin on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. That’s one day earlier than in previous years, so you get an extra day of fun! Classes will begin on Wednesday morning, followed at 4:40 p.m. by the General Session featuring Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International.
  • Expo Hall Preview Night. Head to the Expo Hall on Wednesday evening to check things out and do some shopping before the crowds descend. 


Lots of fun tech for kids at RootsTech

Innovation Showcase

My favorite development for 2018 is the brand-new Innovation Showcase, featuring “the best new technology in the industry that we can find from around the globe.” And what’s really exciting is that YOU can help select the best of the best, even if you can’t attend the conference in person!

“It’s a great opportunity for us to give a number of companies; from small startups to large organizations; the opportunity to present their ideas on stage for a chance to be heralded as one of the ‘Best Family History Innovations in 2018’ as awarded by RootsTech.”

🚩 Visit THIS LINK to nominate your favorite genealogy-related app, tool, feature, or product for the 2018 Innovation Showcase. It’s easy and will only take a few minutes of your time.

In fact, go do it right now. I’ll watch this soothing video of the RootsTech waterfall (with finger-tracing courtesy of my descendant) while I wait.

Welcome back! Hopefully, your nominated tech will win.

And I hope to see you at RootsTech 2018! 😊


Connect - Belong at RootsTech 2018

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.




Enter the “What’s Lost is Found with Evidentia” Giveaway!

Enter the "What's Lost is Found with Evidentia" Giveaway


Now, where did I put that ancestor…

At this month’s Genealogy Blog Party, we’ve been sharing stories of family heirlooms that have been lost and/or found: photos, cabinet cards, journals, family Bibles… even a long, lost WWII jacket! 😮

One thing we’ve all lost – and hopefully found – is our ancestors. After all, that’s why we’re looking for them, right?

Found and Organized

We also know that genealogical sources and information can get lost, too.

I’ve had quite a bit of success at finding lost information by using Evidentia Software {affiliate link}.

Evidentia makes it easy to collect information, analyze evidence, highlight missed connections and feel confident with your conclusions. Evidentia does not replace your current genealogy software, but instead is meant to supplement and complement your research.

Truth be told, I used to work for Evidentia, but only because I believe(d) in the product. In fact, you can read about how I became an Evidentia user over at the Evidentia blog. To put it simply, I missed an important clue in a source, which cost me about 10 years of research time. Had I run that source through Evidentia, I would most likely have saved myself a ton of frustration, not to mention time!

Here’s what you can do with Evidentia Software:

  • Attach each claim (information) to as many people and events as needed
  • Classify your sources (original, derivative…) and information (primary, secondary…)
  • Easily extract multiple claims from one source
  • Copy similar sources for fast entry
  • Analyze evidence based on reliability in relation to other evidence
  • Resolve conflicts and even reveal possible new directions for your research
  • Easily generate coherent proof reports to show how you reached your conclusion
  • Over 150 built-in citation templates based on Evidence Explained
  • Create additional custom citation templates for quick entry
  • Supports the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)

If you’ve never heard of or tried Evidentia Software, be sure to visit their website to learn about the product and download a trial version. It will change the way you think about genealogy research.


This Month’s Giveaway

This month, I am giving away an Evidentia Software Complete Bundle (a $49.00 value)! 🎁

One (1) winner will receive:

  • A copy of Evidentia Software v.3 (available for Windows, Mac, and Linux)
  • Ed Thompson’s book The Evidentia Companion
  • The Evidentia Quickstart Guide to help you get up and running

🚩 Be sure to check for updates when you install the software so you can take advantage of the latest features!

There are tons of free training videos and other resources for support, so be sure you check them out if you are not familiar with the product.

How to Enter

Please use the official entry form below to enter the contest.

NOTE: Adding a post to the September Genealogy Blog Party is worth 5 points this month. If you are unsure of what this is or how to do it, please visit this page for details.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


“What’s Lost is Found with Evidentia” Official Rules (abridged):

  • No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
  • The My Descendant’s Ancestors “What’s Lost is Found with Evidentia” Giveaway begins on 19 September 2017 at 12:00 p.m. PDT, and ends on 30 September 2017 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. No exceptions.
  • This giveaway is open to United States residents who are at least 18 years of age.
  • Enter online by using the official entry form (above).
  • Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified.
  • One (1) winner will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period.
  • The winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the entry Information within 3 days following the random drawing. Winner must respond within 7 days of notification.
Click here for the complete list of Terms & Conditions.


Good luck to all! 🙂

Enter the "What's Lost is Found with Evidentia" Giveaway



The September Genealogy Blog Party: Lost & Found

Image for the September Genealogy Blog Party: Lost & Found


Lost and Found

Have you ever found an old photo album or family Bible in an antique store and thought, “Gosh, I’ll bet somebody would like to have that.”

Or has your family lost a precious heirloom over the years, and you would love to get it back?

This month, let’s pay it forward and generate a bit of “genealogical Karma.”

Share what you’ve found and maybe someone who wants it will find it. And hopefully, what you’ve lost will come back to you. 😊


Q: Tell us what you’ve found ~ OR ~ tell us what you’ve lost.


Examples include:

  • photo albums, scrapbooks, or loose pictures
  • school yearbooks
  • letters and diaries
  • family Bibles
  • certificates, awards, or medals
  • manuscripts and other writings
  • video and audio recordings
  • cookbooks or recipe collections
  • kitchen items and cookware
  • jewelry
  • clothing
  • books
  • musical instruments

Basically, any sort of memorabilia or family heirloom that could be lost or found would apply!


📌 Each post must include at least one image.

📌 Previously published posts are acceptable. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to participate.

📌 Not a blogger? Send your story to me, and I will share it as a guest post. You must clearly indicate that you want your story shared and that you are giving me permission to do so. An image or two would also be nice.

📌 When you are ready to join the party, click the blue “Add Link” button below to add your post.  🔽

Have you lost or found an heirloom? Join the #Genealogy Blog Party before 9/30! Click To Tweet


Party Etiquette:

  • Bring a Friend – Tell your friends and followers about the Genealogy Blog Party by using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or whatever type(s) of social media you use. Social media sharing buttons are located at the bottom of this post.
  • Visit and comment on at least 3 other links in the party (more is better). Parties are meant to be social events, and we can’t be social without talking to each other!
  • Follow me on social media. Links are at the top of the sidebar and in the footer below.
  • Subscribe to the NewsletterNewsletter subscribers receive advance notice of Genealogy Blog Party themes and other information. 

Image of my signaturePinnable Image for the September Genealogy Blog Party: Lost & Found

More Information:

What is The Genealogy Blog Party?
Read past Genealogy Blog Parties
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Grab a Badge!

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Guest Post: I Found My Brother on

A Reader Guest Post: I Found My Brother on

The following is a guest post from reader Deb Martin.


I Found My Brother on

I’m not a blogger, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share my story.

I was one of the fortunate who found a brother that I had never met before on

This past spring, I noticed an old picture of my father on the tree of one of my new DNA matches. After corresponding by email we were able to make the connection that she was my niece and her father was the brother I had never met.

Image of William and Carton

Pictured L to R: Carton and William, the brother found on
Photo was taken at their Spring 2017 at their reunion in Savannah.

I come from a family of 8 siblings. We all made the trip to Savannah, Georgia, to meet and welcome our new-found brother into our family.


Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Deb and her family! I hope many happy moments and memories are ahead for all of you all! 😊



Guest Post: How I Baked my Grandmother’s Christmas Pork Cake

How I Successfully Baked my Grandmother's Pork Cake


The following is a guest post from reader Carol Kuse.

How I successfully baked my Grandmother Hjorth’s Christmas Pork Cake

All of the women in my family had asked for her recipe, but none of the cakes turned out. The shortening was 3/4 lb ground pork fat. But the big problem was that it was too runny.

Grandmother Hjorth used 2 cups of flour, and all the spices were by the tablespoon. The cake baked at 375 degrees in an angel food cake pan for 2 1/2 hours.

Finally, after asking some questions and digging around, Mother and I found out that Grandma was using an old mug and serving tablespoons that just happened to be the right ratio to each other.

After measuring her cup and tablespoons (just double the size of normal ones), I baked her cake with no trouble at all. It set up perfectly.

I have since inherited Her cup and spoons. 


Editor’s Note: I had never heard of Pork Cake before, so I did a little Googling and found this article about a woman’s first attempt at making it. All I can say is, she was brave. 😊



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