Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips And Tidbits

A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Lots to DISCOVER at RootsTech

Traditionally, the Saturday of RootsTech has been Family Discovery Day. This day allows free admission to introduce families to the world of Family History. It is also the day where hundreds of LDS families descend on the Salt Palace Convention Centre to learn as much as they can about researching their family history, one of the tenets of their faith.

The Expo Hall is a buzz of activity. The classes are full of people, full of energy and full of excitement. Many of the classes on Saturday are geared specifically for the LDS families. Line ups are long. Crowds are heavy and yet the air is full of energy, fun and excited anticipation.

New this year to RootsTech is the opportunity for families - well anyone really - to enjoy the new DISCOVERY Centre at the Family History Library. The new display is on the main floor of the library. As an Ambassador, I will get to enjoy a VIP tour prior to the official opening. From the RootsTech website:

"With touch screen monitors and computers, individuals and families can learn about their unique identity, create their personal story, and explore family roots in exciting, interactive ways."

This really does bring Roots and Tech together in an innovative and engaging way.

If you are planning to attend RootsTech next month, be sure to schedule some time to research in the Family History Library and to take in the new Discovery Centre on the main floor.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Going to RootsTech? Lace Up Those Boots!

In just over two weeks, the largest Family History Conference, RootsTech, will be taking place. And let me tell you, it will be a whirlwind!

If you are planning to go to RootsTech, Lace up those boots, get ready to hit the Salt Palace at full tilt and enjoy everything that the conference has to offer. It is an amazing time of learning, buying, researching, buying, networking, buying, researching, sharing and enjoying 4 days immersed in all things genealogy.

Pack you chargers, pack your bank card and most importantly, pack your stamina. Here's the line up of what the week will look like:


The Conference begins with the Innovator Showdown. Ten semi-finalists are competing for top prize. These ten innovators who have worked hard to support, foster and inspire the family history industry will be introduced to the media and to the ambassadors at the Media dinner on Tuesday night. The winners will be announced before a live audience on Friday at 10:30.

If you are going to RootsTech, make sure to wander along Innovation Alley to visit all of the semi-finalists and learn about their offerings to make your family history research easier and more productive.


Wednesday morning is dedicated to current innovators and to future innovators. Classes and labs are on offer including one on the current and future trends in Family History. Genealogy sessions and labs are offered starting on Wednesday afternoon, including my session on Underused Databases for Scottish Research.

But RootsTech doesn't end when the Salt Palace closes at the end of the day! On Wednesday evening, there is the 80s themed Welcome Party to come attend at the Marriott. These evening activities allow for fun and friendship with others who are attending the conference.


Things really start to pick up on Thursday. FamilySearch CEO, Steve Rockwood, will start off the day, followed by Keynote Speakers Drew and Jonathan Scott of the Property Brothers. After the opening General Session, the Expo Hall opens. This is where the need to strap your laces comes in. The Salt Palace is HUGE. HUGE. There will be a lot of walking and the need for time management in order for attendees to get from the classes to the Expo Hall then back to classes and back to the Expo Hall. In addition to vendors and exhibitors, the Expo Hall is a place to catch some free wifi, grab some nourishment,  see what is new or improved at the Demo Stage, seek help or advice at either the Coaches Corner or at the Heirloom Show and Tell. Come see what's new along Innovator Alley and watch history come to life at the Discovery Zone.

Genealogist Tami Osmer Mize has once again put together an incredibly useful map of the Expo Hall to allow you a visual of who you want to see and where you can find them.


Friday is a replica of Thursday with a change of players for the morning's General Session. Here we will get to hear from genealogist and tv personality Kenyatta Berry (Genealogy Road Show) followed by LeVar Burton.


The conference culminates on Saturday with Family Discovery Day. This morning's General Session speakers are CeCe Moore and none other than Buddy Valastro. The Expo Hall gets a whole lot busier when LDS families and youth descend to learn as much as they can about family history.

The entire week will fly by. The memories, however, will last forever. You will come away inspired, energized, feeling more connected and more determined to work on your family history. The exhaustion will subside in a few days. The connections will be enduring.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The TECH in RootsTech - Kindex

Kindex is an archival app. Kindex allows you to gather records into a single digital archive, transcribe and tag records. It is also allows you to search and share their archive. Kindex rescues your family history stored in boxes and allows family members of all ages to index them.  

Kindex is a semi-finalist in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2017. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The TECH in RootsTech - JoyFLIPS

JoyFLIPS is an app that allows you to scan, curate and share the thousands of photos. It also allows you to share the stories of the photos through speech or text so that the story behind the photos can be passed down to future generations. Speech is converted to text which is fully searchable. The app also automatically adds documents from FamilySearch and old newspapers to add genealogy to the photos and stories. 

 JoyFLIPS is a semi-finalist in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2017

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The TECH in RootsTech - Emberall

Emberall is an app that allows you to capture video interviews of stories given by family members. These videos then get stored on the cloud, freeing up valuable space on your phone for you to conduct further interviews. 

Video allows you to hear the person, see them, feel their emotion and really experience depth to their stories. 

Emberall is a semi-finalist in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2017. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

The TECH in RootsTech - CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing

CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing takes crowd sourcing to a new level by making indexing a more seamless for genealogy societies and special interest groups. CSI basically automates the role of Project Manager for any crowd sourced indexing project. It sets up the project, the fields that need to be transcribed and tracks what has been done and what is yet to get done. The actual Project Manager can see the progress being made and deal with any problems as they arise. 

CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing is a semi-finalist in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2017 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The TECH in RootsTech - Cuzins

Cuzins is an app much like Ancestry's "We're Related" app. The good news for Cuzins, though, is that you don't need a subscription to Ancestry in order to play along. Cuzins uses names and trees submitted through FamilySearch for it's database and matching filters. Let Cuzins show you who you might be related to. 

Cuzins is a semi-finalist in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2017