RootsTech Connect 2021 round-up


01 March 2021
Family Tree's round-up of news and new releases from the virtual genealogy show RootsTech Connect, 24-27 February 2021.

RootsTech Connect stats

  • As of 27 February, an amazing 1 million+ people had attended the conference, from 237 countries. 
  • 89% of those people had never attended RootsTech before
  • The sessions were offered in 11 different languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Chinese and Korean.

1,500 sessions were offered across nine categories, which can still be enjoyed after the conference:

  • By language
  • Keynotes
  • Connecting with family
  • Finding ancestors
  • DNA
  • Places, records & research
  • Stories, photos & videos
  • Traditions & heritage
  • Websites, tools & apps
  • Latter-day Saints

New product launches

Vivid-Pix launched a new free video series with information on how to record stories in bite-size videos, tutored by storyteller and genealogist Laura Hedgecock, watch here.

MyHeritage announced their Deep Nostalgia product which shows how a person from an old photo could have moved and looked if they captured on video. All you have to do is upload a normal black & white photo and it’s transformed as you press ‘animate’ and the person blinks, moves their head and smiles. Try it out here.

New online records

Ancestry criminal and prison records

Ancestry announced that during the month of February they published 2.2 million new prison and criminal records in four new collections that, between them, span two centuries of British history.

These records detail alleged crimes, verdict, sentence, and even the occupation of the criminals in question, with photos included on some of the records. Explore at Ancestry.

Massachusetts Catholic Cemetery Records now available online

A new partnership between American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Archive Department of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB), and The Catholic Cemetery Association of the Archdiocese of Boston, Inc. (CCA) is working on a searchable database of Catholic cemetery records in eastern Massachusetts to include one million names by the end of 2021. 

The database - which spans the years 1833 to 1940 - contains records of burials from 20 cemeteries throughout eastern Massachusetts. Family members of the deceased, family historians and researchers can now easily locate and view detailed information about lot sales and interments, including burial dates and locations, and names of lot owners. 

The Catholic Cemetery Association database currently features information from nine cemeteries: Holy Cross (Malden), Calvary (Waltham), Sacred Heart (Andover), St. George (Framingham), St. James (Haverhill), St. Joseph (Haverhill), St. Jean Baptiste (Lynn), St. Mary (Beverly), and St. Mary (Malden). Records for eleven more cemeteries will be added throughout 2021.

Search the database at American Ancestors.

*Note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only.

Enjoy RootsTech Connect for a whole year!

The organisers have announced that all the sessions and the Expo Hall will be available to enjoy for a whole year, meaning that people can come back to the videos, presentations and talks, creating playlists, searching for new topics and catching up on content they didn't have time to enjoy during the show, right through until early 2022.

Speaking at a news conference before RootsTech, Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, said: 'This is not just a genealogy conference. This is not designed for those that are interested in genealogy, although, [to] those that are going, this is their Disneyland. What this is really designed for: people that want to connect. This transcends political borders, it transcends oceans, it transcends race.

'Now the magic of RootsTech goes beyond the three days of live and can be expanded to 365 days of on demand.'

The Family Tree team will be sharing our favourite sessions and themed playlists over the coming weeks as we delve into the content, so do let us know your own must-watch recommendations. And you can visit our booth here.