Lisa Louise Cooke & the Genealogy Gems Team is Coming to Utah!

There is an incredibly unique genealogy event coming to Utah this fall! Lisa Louise Cooke, Diahan Southard and Sunny Morton will share a stage on October 4-5, 2018 at the SeniorExpo in Sandy, Utah. (Psst: You don’t have to be a senior to attend!) Here’s the scoop—and an early-bird registration discount!

You’ve heard them on the Genealogy Gems Podcast. Now you can bond with our talented team at a very special live genealogy event in Utah this fall!

How this event is different

If you’ve been to a genealogy conference, then you’ve experienced how fragmented things can get. Every hour you:

  • Switch classrooms
  • Switch instructors
  • Switch seatmates

A live genealogy event is special because you’re there in person. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know your instructors more in depth, and develop friendships with the enthusiastic genealogists around you? Here’s your chance:

Who: Lisa Louise Cooke, Diahan Southard and Sunny Morton will take one stage
What: Genealogy Roots Conference at SeniorExpo
Where: South Towne Expo Center, 9081 S. State St., Sandy, Utah
When: Saturday, October 4-5, 2018, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Early-bird discount: 50% off the $69 registration with promo code SPRINGEARLYBIRD by May 31, 2018 (Save $34!)
Registration: Click here for more information and to register

While the overall SeniorExpo is geared toward caring for senior adults, with free health screenings, activities, information stations and giveaways, the Genealogy Roots Conference pass is great for everyone. There are no age limits for learning your family history!

Your 2-day event pass includes a full lineup of expert genealogy presentations. Before the event starts, you’ll get an email reminder and a booklet with all the presentation handouts. Lisa, Diahan, and Sunny will share a stage so you don’t have to switch classes (or miss any of them). You’ll have a unique interactive experience with them (including special prize giveaways!) that you won’t find at a typical genealogy conference. Better yet, you’ll learn research strategies you can put to work right away, whether you’re new to family history or a more experienced genealogist.

Schedule:

Day 1: (Thursday, October 4, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

  • Keynote: Family to the 7th Generation – John M.R. Covey
  • The Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology – Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Comparing the Genealogy Giants: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com –Sunny Morton
  • Genetic Genealogy Foundations – Diahan Southard
  • Create a FREE Historic Map Collection with Google Earth – Lisa Louise Cooke
  • 3 Key Strategies to Make Sense of Your DNA Testing – Diahan Southard

Day 2: (Friday, October 5, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

  • Keynote: Lisa Louise Cooke
  • DNA and Family Health History – Diahan Southard
  • Bust Your Brick Walls with Your Inner Private Eye – Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Share Your Life Stories More Meaningfully –Sunny Morton
  • 7 Apps for Sharing Family History – Lisa Louise Cooke
  • How to Reconstruct Your Ancestors’ Amazing Stories – Sunny Morton

Seating is limited

The fabulous hosts of the SeniorExpo tell me we’re already filling up fast. So secure your seat with that early-bird discount by May 31, 2018—and then don’t worry if your plans suddenly change. Tickets are fully refundable until August 31, 2018. Click here to learn more about the SeniorExpo, see the detailed Genealogy Roots Conference Schedule, and to register online.

Who do you want to bring with you? Please share this post with them today!

About the Author: Lacey Cooke

About the Author: Lacey Cooke

Customer Happiness Manager

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. You can find her at the Genealogy Gems booth at many conferences and seminars, and contributing behind the scenes with product development and content creation. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. 

Canadian Genealogy Conference in British Columbia

This Canadian genealogy conference is one of western Canada’s largest. Coming this fall to British Columbia, it features 3 days of learning from 11 acclaimed speakers and a Marketplace to explore new genealogy products.

Canadian genealogy conference coming up

The Kelowna & District Genealogical Society in British Columbia, Canada, is pleased to announce its Harvest Your Family Tree Genealogical Conference and Marketplace, to be held September 28-30, 2018. The conference website describes this event as “one of Western Canada’s largest conferences, featuring three days of learning & discovery, opportunities for one-on-one networking and much more.”

Acclaimed speakers from Australia, USA and Canada will present on 31 topics for beginners to seasoned researchers:

  • DNA with world-renowned genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger and Lesley Anderson of Ancestry DNA;
  • Hands-on learning about Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and internet searching for family historians;
  • Connecting with relatives and records through social networking;
  • Organizing your computer & your research;
  • Getting the most out of Ancestry, the Canadian Census, Library & Archives Canada databases and learning about more great places and techniques to find records;
  • Inspiring ideas for writing your family history, wringing out every clue from documents, and putting those family photos to work;
  • Expert advice for finding your ancestors in Eastern Europe, England, Ireland, Canada and Australia.

According to the site, “Our Marketplace will be bursting with information and the products you need to take your genealogical pursuits to the next level, including Ancestry. Add to this, the KDGS Family & Local History Research Centre’s Open House, Meet the Speakers Reception, Guided Historic Cemetery Walking Tour and bushels of fabulous Door Prizes and Raffles all set in Kelowna during Apple & Grape Harvest Season… making THIS an event not to be missed!”

Click here to learn more about this Canadian genealogy conference and to find registration information.

More genealogy events

​Internationally-acclaimed genealogy speaker Lisa Louise Cooke has spoken at this conference in the past. Click here to see a list of her upcoming events and locations.

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Party at the Genealogy Gems Booth: RootsTech 2018

We are rolling out the red carpet all week at the Genealogy Gems booth at RootsTech 2018! Don’t miss exclusive free classes, prizes worth over $2000, a Saturday prize wheel for Family Discovery Day, and more.

It’s time for genealogy’s biggest party of the year: RootsTech!

Tens of thousands of people from around the globe will descend on the world’s family history capital, Salt Lake City, Utah, for a week of learning and fun from February 28 – March 3, 2018.

Attendees can choose from hundreds of classes, attend star-studded keynote addresses and lively, family-friendly evening entertainment. All while rubbing shoulders with others who share their passion for discovering their roots.

The Genealogy Gems Booth at RootsTech 2018

We believe that RootsTech attendees are the real stars of this event, so we’re rolling out the red carpet all week long for YOU at the Genealogy Gems booth at RootsTech 2018.

We’ll open early this year in the Exhibitor Hall with a special preview night: Wednesday, February 28, 6:00-8:00 pm. Don’t miss our “Beginning DNA” presentation by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard at 6:30 pm. If you haven’t done DNA yet, it’s time! Learn what you need to know before jumping on one of the many DNA test RootsTech specials. Better yet, be at her class in the first five minutes to win a chance at a FREE DNA TEST.

Stay at the booth for a double-feature: Lisa Louise Cooke will follow at 7:00 with her essential “Google for Genealogy Methodology” class. She has literally helped thousands learn to maximize the power of Google to find ancestral answers. Come learn Google search strategies you may be missing and enjoy a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

The rest of the week, the red carpet will be out for you to learn from Lisa Louise Cooke, her Genealogy Gems team and her friends from Family Tree Magazine. Ask our experts your burning questions, get a book signed, or take a selfie with one of the Gems team. And LEARN from them! Here’s their schedule of classes at the Genealogy Gems booth in the Exhibitor Hall (sign up at the booth for a free e-book with all the class handouts):

Throughout the week, at the beginning of each class, we’ll be giving away prizes with a total value over $2000, donated by our generous sponsors and friends. Among the prizes are four Kindle Fire tablets, 8 DNA testing kits, best-selling books, Premium Memberships, subscriptions to MyHeritage, Animoto, and Backblaze, and more! Attendees should arrive early to grab VIP seating in the Genealogy Gems booth and receive their free drawing ticket (no purchase necessary) as we’ll be handing them out in the first 5 minutes only. Visit the booth for official rules.

Be sure to stop by the booth on Family Discovery Day, Saturday, March 3. We will have a fun prize wheel that day. Spin the wheel, answer trivia questions about your family, and win prizes! It’s free to participate and totally fun for kids.

Not going to RootsTech 2018?

If you won’t be at RootsTech this year, sign up for our free weekly newsletter. Genealogy Gems keeps you up-to-date with the best new “gems” that come out of RootsTech every year! Over the coming weeks, we will share the best RootsTech news, presentations and exclusive interviews in the Genealogy Gems Podcast, on our blog and on our YouTube channel–and we’ll point you to them in the newsletter. From the Genealogy Gems homepage, click GET MY FREE NEWSLETTER & EBOOK.

RootsTech questions: Tips for attending world’s biggest genealogy event

Your RootsTech questions answered here! Attending RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah for the largest genealogy conference in the world can be a bit overwhelming. First-time attendees have questions and we have answers. Learn what to expect, where to go, and other must-know details to make the most of this extraordinary family history event.

RootsTech questions from a first-time attendee

I recently received some RootsTech questions via Facebook from a Genealogy Gems listener in Melbourne, Australia. Lesley-Anne has decided to make the overseas trip to attend RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. How exciting–and a little daunting! She says:

Morning Lisa, As a result of the many years of listening [to your podcast], my husband and I have decided to attend the Rootstech conference this year. I am wondering if you can advise this first time-attendee on any tips on how to get the most out of this conference? I have been trying to find a list of keynote and breakout sessions available but haven’t had much luck. I know there are huge numbers that attend the Rootstech conference so would prefer not to be queuing on the day for sessions. I’m hoping there will be pre-booking for the sessions?? Keep up your great work. I don’t know how you do all the work that you do plus be a Nanna, mother and wife and also research your own tree. Kind regards, Lesley-Anne

I’m sure Lesley-Anne and her husband won’t be the only newbies at RootsTech 2018. And they’ll all have similar questions on their minds. Here we answer FAQs for her and other first-time RootsTech attendees.

RootsTech 2018 Answers from Lisa Louise Cooke

What’s happening this year at RootsTech?

RootsTech 2018 offers four jam-packed days of fun and learning: Wednesday, February 28 to Saturday, March 3, 2018. Don’t miss the first day! Wednesday is all about technology. There will be classes for all audiences, whether you’re a tech expert or newbie or (like most people) somewhere in-between. At 4:30 pm, FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwoodl will give a keynote, followed by a new event called Innovation Showcase. Prepare for a high-tech “show and tell” of what’s new–and what’s coming–in genealogy technology.

As soon as that’s over, the Expo Hall opens (6:00 – 8:00 pm) for a special Preview, and then remains open all week. At the Expo Hall, meet the biggest names in the genealogy industry and hundreds of other vendors, societies, and services. It’s a stunning, not-to-miss experience, whether you love the energy of the crowd, the glamorous displays, or the chance to talk one-on-one with people from your favorite genealogy companies and services.

The Genealogy Gems booth is known for hosting the ultimate Expo Hall experience! We have our own free class lineup all week long from your favorite presenters. We host great giveaways with valuable prizes you can put right to work for your family history. Click here for the latest updates on our classes, book signings and giveaways. And come by our booth to take advantage of RootsTech specials on our most popular products, including the Genealogy Gems Premium membership (our on-demand Premium video lineup is like having a year’s access to your very own private RootsTech event!).

Throughout the rest of the week, you can expect:

  • World-class keynote speakers: Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton; famed scholar and PBS family history documentary host Henry Louis Gates, Jr; “Humans of New York” writer Brandon Stanton and Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Natalia Lafourcade. (Click here to watch a 2017 keynote by LaVar Burton.)
  • Over 300 RootsTech classes: Classes at all skill levels are offered on traditional family history research skills, DNA, tech tools for genealogy, photos, stories, organizing and more. (Click here to view a fantastic class you missed from 2017: Genealogy Gems Contributing Editor Sunny Morton’s “Genealogy Giants” class comparing Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.
  • Free things to do at night, from dazzling entertainment sponsored by RootsTech to late-night research sessions at the Family History Library—the world’s biggest genealogy library is just down the street. (On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during RootsTech, the library will stay open until 9:00 pm.)

What are the RootsTech 2018 registration details?

You have lots of registration options–from a free Family Discovery Day experience on Saturday to a budget-friendly “Getting Started” four-day pass ($69 promotional price) to the full RootsTech Pass ($199). Click here for a description of all your options.

How do I get the most out of my RootsTech experience?

Best tip from a conference veteran: plan ahead! If you haven’t made your hotel reservation yet, do it right away. The official RootsTech hotels have all sold out, so you’ll need to look a little further afield. Salt Lake City offers excellent public transportation to the downtown RootsTech location at the Salt Palace.

The Salt Palace does have a concession area with several affordable meal options. There are also a few small vendors with sandwiches, coffee, and candy, just outside the hall. You might also like to know that there are several nice restaurants just across the street or within minimal walking distance. The lines are a bit long at times; consider eating a little early or late, so you’re not caught in a “rush hour” for your meal.

Once your basic needs are met, plan your genealogy learning and fun! An online master schedule makes it easy to browse all the official RootsTech sessions and plan the ones you most want to attend. Classes are typically one hour, with a 30-minute break in-between. Don’t forget to include the Genealogy Gems Expo Hall classes in your lineup. An important tip for newbies: at some point, your brain will need a little rest from all the learning. Give yourself breaks to walk around the Expo Hall and visit with new friends you meet.

What about pre-registering for classes?

Lesley-Anne asked about pre-registering for specific classes to avoid long lines and disappointment for filled-up sessions. You must pre-register for any labs you want to take when you register for RootsTech. These are smaller, hands-on classes. If this is your first year, I think you will be more than busy (and happy) with all the sessions included in the regular registration and the exhibit hall. Personally, I would save the extra cost of labs for a return visit. One exception: I definitely recommend Diahan Southard’s lab: “From Click to DNA Connection” (Fri 1:30 pm, taught with Angie Bush).

Unfortunately, you can’t pre-register for the general sessions (keynotes) or regular classes. Seating is first-come, first-served. Classes that are expected to have high demand generally have hundreds of seats available. But if there’s a class or presenter you must see, get to the classroom as early as possible, go right to a seat and stay in it. Since some classes will fill up, have a back-up plan for each hour.

Another helpful tip when deciding what to do: you will receive a digital syllabus with your RootsTech registration. It has all the handouts for the classes that are part of your registration package. So even if the class you want is full—or you’re ready to take a break and tour the Expo Hall—you can still learn from RootsTech presenters. You may wish to print your desired class handouts before coming so that you can take notes on them. Come by the Genealogy Gems booth (#1203) to get the handouts for all our lectures, too!

As Lesley-Anne mentioned, the RootsTech venue is huge. It’s easy to get lost. They do post tons of signs. As the event draws nearer, we will post a map of the Expo Hall to help you navigate to your favorite vendors and societies. Additionally, you will have a map provided to you when you pick up your things at registration.

We hope this has given Lesley-Anne (and you) a better picture of what it will be like to attend RootsTech 2018. It really is an amazing experience! For even more information about RootsTech, view their website and our Genealogy Gems RootsTech page. While you wait, here’s a link to several video interviews I have done over the years at RootsTech. See you there, friends!

About the Author

About the Author

Lisa Louise Cooke is the Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show and app. She is the author of the books The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Mobile Genealogy, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and the Google Earth for Genealogy video series, an international keynote speaker, and producer of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast.

RootsTech 2018 Pass Giveaway (and More Exciting RootsTech News)

Our RootsTech 2018 pass giveaway is underway! Enter by November 15, 2017 to win a chance to attend the world’s biggest genealogy event for FREE. Meanwhile, there’s more RootsTech news: the class schedule is posted and two keynote speakers have been announced. We think you’ll want to go! The real question is, will you get in for free?

Rootstech 2018 pass Giveaway

It’s time to give away a RootsTech 2018 pass to one lucky Genealogy Gems fan! This is a great prize: all-access admission to the world’s biggest genealogy event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT, February 28 – March 3, 2018. It’s a $279 value! Keep reading to see how to enter. But first, a quick update on RootsTech 2018.

The Latest RootsTech 2018 News

RootsTech is:

  • A conference. Choose from more than 300 classes on traditional research skills, DNA, tech tools, photos, stories, and organizing.
  • A convention. The biggest names in the genealogy industry share a huge Expo Hall with hundreds of other vendors, societies, and services. All want to answer your questions and show you the latest and greatest tools and resources to help your research.
  • A party. There’s no denying the fun, festive atmosphere of RootsTech. There are world-class keynote speakers (Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton and “Humans of New York” Brandon Stanton) and dazzling evening entertainment (love the 1940s extravaganza this year!).

This short highlights video captures it all. Check it out:

RootsTech 2018 passThe RootsTech class schedule has been published. I’m super excited about classes being taught this year by the  Genealogy Gems team. Just one example: Google Earth guru Lisa Louise Cooke and Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard are teaming up to deliver a powerhouse talk about putting your DNA matches on the map. Click here to see the full Genealogy Gems lineup.

RootsTech 2018 Pass Giveaway

We have a RootsTech Full Registration Pass to give to one lucky winner! This pass includes* access to over 300 classes, keynote/general sessions, the Innovation Showcase, Expo Hall and evening events. (Click here for more info about RootsTech 2018.) All you have to do to enter is take our 5-question survey by midnight (CT) on November 15, 2017.

Can’t attend Rootstech? Enter anyway for a chance to win a 1-Year Genealogy Gems Premium Membership!** Everyone who completes the survey below will be automatically entered to win.

We want your input: We know many people are not able to attend RootsTech in person, and that’s why we hope to make several of our booth classes available on video. Tell us which topics you want to see, and help us continue to make Genealogy Gems the best it can be.

Rules: Must complete survey by 12:00 am CT on November 15, 2017 to be eligible. No purchase necessary. Winners announced and notified on November 16, 2017. *RootsTech 4-Day Pass only covers registration (does not include airfare, hotel, or other expenses). If the winner has already registered for RootsTech 2018, the original registration fee will be refunded. **Premium Membership prize eligible for both new members and renewals. Non-transferable and no cash refund.

Solving Family History Mysteries in Roswell, NM: Genealogy Seminar with Lisa Louise Cooke

You’re invited to join Lisa Louise Cooke for a Roswell, NM genealogy seminar. “Solving Family History Mysteries with Lisa Louise Cooke” will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 as the Wilson-Cobb History and Genealogy Library Annual Workshop. Please come! 

roswell NM genealogy Seminar

Roswell, NM Genealogy Seminar with Lisa Louise Cooke

The Wilson-Cobb Library in Roswell, New Mexico is hosting Lisa Louise Cooke for an exciting, informative all-day workshop that will help you solve your family history mysteries! Here’s what’s happening:

What: Solving Family History Mysteries with Lisa Louise Cooke
Where: Roswell Civic and Convention Center, 912 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201
When: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (On-site registration opens at 8:30 am)
Hosted by: Wilson-Cobb History and Genealogy Library
Registration: Click here for more information and to register
Bonus: Snacks, beverages and a catered lunch will be served. (Donations gratefully accepted for lunch.)

If you haven’t registered ahead of time, plan to be there at 8:30 am for onsite registration. At 9:00, Lisa will start teaching the day’s class lineup:

Google Tools & Procedures for Solving Family History Mysteries. In this session, we will walk through the process, provide you with the tools, and wow your socks off with real-life examples of Googling success. You will leave this class inspired to revisit using Google for your online searches, and armed with the latest strategies to do so successfully. Not everything is online by any stretch, but even offline sources are more efficiently discovered and accessed when you start online. And the fastest and most effective way to locate online data, whether it resides on a university website or the blog of a distant cousin you’ve never met, is Google!

Update: Google! Everything New That You Need to Know for Genealogy. Google continues to evolve and change every day. In this session, Google Guru Lisa Louise Cooke will give you an update on the most recent Google changes. Then she will unleash advanced search strategies for genealogy that you probably aren’t using, but are ‘must-haves’ in order to get the best results possible. Here are tips and tricks you can put into practice right away.

How to Reopen and Work a Genealogical Cold Case. Become a genealogical detective in this vital session. You’ll learn to track ancestors like a criminal cold case detective, sniffing out holes in your research and getting missing information on the record with cutting edge technology.

Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames. Discover tips and tricks to find your ancestors with common surnames and surnames that double as common words in the English language with Google.  Learn how to weed out irrelevant search results to save time and get to what you want faster.  Then save and automate your searches to run for you! You’ll not only improve your searches, but also improve the chances that the information you post online will be found by other genealogists facilitating collaboration!

Don’t miss Lisa’s Google tips!

Solve more family history mysteries with Lisa Louise Cooke’s top-selling book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox (2nd edition). This “Google bible” for the genealogist tells you everything you need to know to master Google’s many powerful tools. Step-by-step instructions, clear illustrations and inspiring examples will teach you how to get the most out of Google searching (even for common surnames), Google Earth, Google Books, Google Scholar, Google Alerts, Google Translate and even YouTube.

Read these Google genealogy success stories:

An ancestor’s pen name identified–and 69 of his articles found–with Google Books

Two ancestors’ homes found on the National Historic Register with Google Searching

The Colored Farmers Alliance: Social history revealed with Google and Google Books

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