RootsTech 2021 - what do we know so far?

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07 January 2021
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Explore your family history for free at RootsTech as the family history conference goes online for 2021. Helen Tovey takes a look at what we can expect from this unique event.

What is RootsTech 2021?

Over the past ten years, RootsTech has brought exciting elements of the genealogy and technology worlds together, transforming the genealogy show-going scene, and celebrating new IT based developments that we, the end users, benefit from when doing our family histories at home, online. 

Since 2001 RootsTech has been held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; November 2019 saw the first-ever UK-based RootsTech, and now, in the light of the implications of Covid-19 the RootsTech team have decided to take their event global – providing the whole show online as a free and virtual event for people anywhere on Earth (with an internet connection!) to enjoy.

Trace your family tree for free

With a strong emphasis on putting ‘family’ into family history, the RootsTech vibe is very much to provide tools and experiences that will help people of all ages and research abilities to enjoy their family history pursuit – from young children upwards. That said, another facet of RootsTech is to provide a forum to celebrate innovations and technological developments in the genealogy world. From indexing tools, to advances in DNA, the latest software and apps, the power of the digital sphere is harnessed and showcased at RootsTech.

Typically the key strands to the RootsTech experience are:

  • The Expo Hall – your chance to visit the exhibitor booths (and this time they will be virtual of course)
  • The Entertainment – as well as being hugely informative, RootsTech is also really enjoyable, and this year there’s going to be a strong and rich emphasis on family and cultural history from the many countries of the world
  • The Education – the RootsTech programme of lectures and workshops will be jam-packed with tempting talks for you to tune in to

RootsTech exhibitors

In addition to the digital options alluded to above, many of the RootsTech exhibitors will be providing all sorts of real world genealogy products – family history charts, accessories, filing systems, books and more. And of course the expo hall is a great place to research a new purchase.

If you’re in need of a new family history programme, come and talk to the experts and developers and view demonstrations and ask questions, to help you find the program that suits you best. The Family Tree Maker booth, so popular at real world family history shows, will be at RootsTech with a detailed programme of demos to help you learn (or discover more) about the software. Likewise Family Historian – now in its 7th edition, brand new out – will be on hand to explain the many unique tools of this much-loved family history program.

If you have boxes of old photos looking the worse for wear, come and speak to the photo restoration services which can help you. Vivid-Pix, for instance, not only helps you to digitally restore your precious old family photos, correcting the colour, cropping and fixing, it also ensures that you can do so in double-quick time. By making the process so swift, and so intuitive that you don’t need to have any photo-editing experience in order to accomplish it, Vivid-Pix is just one, very good, example of how technology can be such a boon on your quest to creating an impressive family history.

These are just a few of the many, many genealogy products, services and so much more that will be exhibiting at RootsTech.

Planning your learning

There will be a great number of talks and presentations to enjoy, so it’s well worth checking the RootsTech website in advance of the launch of the show, to make sure you don’t miss a gem, and do make the most of your RootsTech days.

Connecting with kin

Part of the fun of the real-world RootsTech experience is connecting with distant family members via the FamilySearch online tree. Simply install the RootsTech app on your device, add your family tree to FamilySearch.org, and the app searches for other people attending RootsTech and flags up your distant relations. You then have the choice to message one another. Who knows – they may even be the proud owner of a Family Bible that you never even knew existed…?

RootsTech Connect 2021 will be held at RootsTech.org on 25 to 27 February

Head over to RootsTech to find out more, and in the March issue of Family Tree (on sale 12 February) we will be providing an indepth guide to RootsTech too.