Blogging RootsTech

Last Sunday they made an announcement about how local ward members could attend RootsTech either in person or via live streaming that would be broadcast right to our church building. Later in that same meeting the question was asked how many were making plans to attend. Mine was the only hand that went up.

That really surprised me.

I live in a dynamic ward, one where I find myself in awe of the knowledge of the men and women around me. There is such strength here. I’m new to this ward but, like my last ward, I’m certain there are those here who are “in” to family history. But I was shocked that in that moment there really wasn’t anyone planning to attend RootsTech or even those who knew what it was. I was asked to explain it.

Couple that Sunday experience with the struggles I continue to have getting some of my own family members and children engaged in our family history and I find myself wanting to write about it all.

RootsTech last year was a great event for me. It’s easy to call it a convention because it has that feel but it is unlike any kind of convention I’ve ever attended. The central focus of RootsTech is family. There is a spirit of celebration and even sacred connection that comes from doing family history and this is the common thread among the thousands who attend this event.

The event is designed to put family history enthusiasts in contact with new resources and new ideas in connecting family dots. There are classes. There are speeches. There are, gathered in one place, vendors and experts who work with family historians of all skill levels. There is more stuff associated with family history to explore at RootsTech than there is time to explore it all. That’s why I’m going back.

And that’s why I’m going to write about it this week.

I have ideas of what I want to accomplish at RootsTech. They are tied to the goals we have for this site this year. I bet I find a lot of help with those things.

But more importantly I want to share anything I can find that will help others of my family engage in this work. I know for me the biggest stumbling block to getting started in family history was myself and my excuses. For nearly 50 years I gave only cursory efforts with family history before I realized how important it really is and how much I needed it in my life. I am hoping something I find at RootsTech might help others “wake up”.

So the next several posts you see here will be more about the mechanics of doing family history than actual family history itself. i don’t want to bore any one but part of the blessing of doing this work comes from the thrill of discovery. You simply cannot know what it adds to your life until your absorb yourself in the detail of your family past.

Maybe this video from Family Search says that better than I can:

Jeff Westover
Jeff Westover

Husband, father, Latter-day Saint, 11th generation American, and web geek currently residing in Smithfield, Utah. Please visit my website at

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