The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Memory Jogger Monday - February 29

Peacock Feather Card
What are some of your talents? How did you discover them? What have you done to cultivate and improve them? How have they affected your life?

Sewing - I started sewing as a young teen and over the years I found that I really enjoy it. When I was 16 I got my own sewing machine. I have made clothes for myself and others, blankets, pillows, bears, etc. I love that I can make something or fix something quickly.

Card Making - I love making greeting cards. I started making them as a young adult when my sister and I got free wallpaper sample books and we used the pages to make envelopes. I also made envelopes from an old map book, and old wall calendars. Then I started making cards to go in those envelopes. Now I love to use all kinds of papers and embellishments. I also love to "gift" cards to others. I just made 10 baby related thank you cards for a baby shower gift. It was so fun and I thought of my friend during the hours I made them.

Finding People - About 14 years ago I found out I had a gift/talent of finding people. Mostly I was finding distant cousins and tracking down their contact information. That turned to finding people that other people wanted found. A friend was looking for someone whom she hadn't seen in years. Using family history skills and some family history related documents, I made a few phones calls and within a few minutes found this lady's friend. The lady I found was in the process of moving at the time and I found her on one of her stops along the way. My friend was able to make contact within minutes. I've since helped other people find people they are looking for.

Family History - This goes along with "Finding People", but mostly dead people. I don't quit in my hunt for information about my family members. I have been doing family history for most of my life - started as a young teen - and have always been learning new techniques and processes. Making connections and learning about my ancestors and finding living cousins has been very rewarding.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Where Is The Spirit World?

“When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world…Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes they do…. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not…. Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies.”
– President Brigham Young, [Widtsoe, pp. 376-77]

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Family History Library Block Party - Save the Date - June 11

We LOVED this party last year and can't wait for it this year. Our kids ask about it every time we are in downtown Salt Lake City. 

Put this on your calendars and plan to attend. It is a FUN and FREE event.

You can read about our experience last year (part of the Global Family Reunion), here: 

Blogiversary - 1 year

On February 5th this blog turned 1 year old! I was crazy busy at RootsTech and celebrated by sharing Dove chocolates with fellow bloggers and RootsTech Ambassadors and staff.

I've learned so many new things in this past year and made new friendships. I am looking forward to more of the same in the coming year. Thanks for joining me on this ride!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Recap RootsTech 2016: Drinking From A Fire Hose

RootsTech 2016 was like drinking from a fire hose! Below are all the links to my posts about RootsTech 2016. Enjoy!

October 2015
RootsTech Announces the First Three Keynote Speakers for RootsTech 2016

November 2015
Doris Kearns Goodwin to Keynote Saturday February 6 for RootsTech 2016
Newly-Called Apostle and Wife to Open Free Family Discovery Day - RootsTech 2016
RootsTech 2016 Giveaway

December 2015
RootsTech 2016 Giveaway Winner - Cyler Preece
Love Taza Couple to Keynote Friday February 5 for RootsTech 2016

January 2016
Additional Keynote Speakers and Musical Guests for RootsTech 2016
RootsTech 2016 Innovator Showdown 12 Semi Finalists Founder Ken Krogue to Keynote RootsTech 2016 Innovator Summit
RootsTech 2016: Family History Enthusiasts Worldwide Gathering In Utah
RootsTech 2016: Family Discovery Day Full Speaker Lineup
12 Tips For Getting the Most Online From RootsTech 2016

February 2016
RootsTech 2016 Innovator Semi Finalists
RootsTech 2016 Speaker and Ambassador
RootsTech 2016: Innovator Finalists
RootsTech 2016: Kenneth Green GoFundMe
RootsTech 2016: Cloning Technology Needed
RootsTech 2016: Innovator Summit: Steve Rockwood
RootsTech 2016: Innovator Summit: Ken Krogue
RootsTech 2016: Innovator Summit: DIY Small-Business Guerrilla Marketing Strategies
RootsTech 2016: Innovator Summit: Get Your Startup Taken Seriously
RootsTech 2016: Innovator Summit: Entrepreneurship: Validation Precedes the Money
RootsTech 2016: Micro Tasking Family History
RootsTech 2016: Steve Rockwood - You Are The Heart Doctors For Your Family
RootsTech 2016: Stan Ellsworth
RootsTech 2016: Paula Williams Madison
RootsTech 2016: Bruce Feiler
RootsTech 2016: Resources for Priesthood Leaders and Ward Councils
RootsTech 2016: Love Taza
RootsTech 2016: David Isay
RootsTech 2016: TapGenes Wins First Place Innovator Showdown
RootsTech 2016: Michael Leavitt
RootsTech 2016: Doris Kearns Goodwin
RootsTech 2016: Wendy Nelson and Sheri Dew
RootsTech 2016: Using Facebook for Family History
RootsTech 2016: VIP Tour of Church History Library

I've created a page on my blog for RootsTech related posts. You can catch up on all my RootsTech posts over the years here: RootsTech


RootsTech 2016: VIP Tour of Church History Library

LDS Church History Library
I had an awesome opportunity as a RootsTech Ambassador to go on a VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Church History Library.

This is a great video about the purpose of the Church History Library and discusses some of the work that takes place in the library.

Below is a photo of the entrance lobby.

After entering the lobby we went to the reference room. Above the entrance to the room is this scripture:
"Behold, there shall be a record kept among you"
Doctrines and Covenants 21:1

There are lockers in this room for the storing of personal items; including our phones and cameras. We were asked not to take any photos "behind-the-scenes". The Church History Library provided all the photos that you see here in this blog.

The Foundations of Faith exhibit is also housed in this room - this area is available to the public.

There is an online component to this exhibit. It can be accessed here: Foundations of Faith

There are also some videos about this exhibit:

Because this was a VIP tour we were given special badges and the Director, Keith A. Erekson, took us "behind-the-scenes" to areas the general public will never see.

We went underground and through a tunnel that went under the road. We were able to see where items from the Church first enter the building and the security that is taken to protect these items. Items are stored in temperature and moisture controlled vaults that have moving shelves as seen in the photo below. The shelves move and collapse closed for the best efficient use of the space. Items are cataloged electronically. Two boxes entering the system together may be stored in different areas in the vault; based on available shelf space at the time.

We visited with an audio/visual team who showed us a presentation about how audio and video are preserved and digitally enhanced. The library preserves the material according to preservation standards for that specific product. Using equipment from the time frame of the original material, a digital copy is made. Any enhancement is made to a copy of the digital copy. All copies are also preserved. For example:
  • A magnetic tape audio reel would be preserved in archival housing material.
  • The equipment to access the audio reel would be preserved and maintained.
  • A digital copy would be made and preserved. 
  • A copy of the digital copy would be enhanced and cleaned up and it would be preserved. 

In the future as new technologies emerge they can be applied to any part of this process.

A similar methodology applies to papers and books. 
  • An archival housing is created if one doesn't already exist.
  • Items are cleaned with water.
  • Materials used to preserve are archival.
  • Materials used to repair are archival and methodologies are completely reversible. 
  • Digital copies are made of the item.

As new technologies and techniques emerge, an employee would be able to undo the previous fix and use the new method to repair.

I need to do a better job in preserving the documents, movies, and photographs that are important to my family. The Church History Library provides brief instructional videos on the processes to preserve such items.

In future blog posts I will show how to use the online databases available at the Church History Library.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

RootsTech 2016: Using Facebook for Family History

I taught a class at RootsTech 2016 on Using Facebook for Family History. This was the objective of the class:

Discover how to create and manage family Facebook groups for ongoing virtual reunions. Uncover genealogy related organizations, societies, groups, conferences, companies, and experts. Learn about Facebook apps that help you build your tree and find out how simple it is to connect with distant cousins.

Questions answered in this class:

  1. How do I create and manage a family Facebook group and how do I determine the privacy level for the group?
  2. How can I find genealogy related organizations or people on Facebook?
  3. What are some search techniques on Facebook to help me find and connect with distant living cousins?
  4. What resources are available on Facebook to help me break through my “brick walls”?
  5. How can my Facebook connections help me build my family tree?

My class was written about on the FamilySearch Blog. You can read about it here: Facebook and Family History—What a Match!

I'm going to answer those above questions and more here on my blog, in the coming weeks and months, as I share the content from my class and from my continual learning about Facebook.


RootsTech 2016: Wendy Nelson and Sheri Dew

RootsTech 2016, Wendy Nelson and Sheri Dew
Here are some of my takeaways from this Family Discovery Day session:
  • Temple is a life line.
  • Sealing power is very bold doctrine. - D&C 128:9
  • Set up a family history room
    • Spiritual environment
    • Work in silence
    • Clean and uncluttered
  • When you hit a brickwall (block) it may be that those relatives may not have yet been taught in the spirit world.
  • Pray before you work - "Please lead me to those who are ready to make covenants with Thee and receive their ordinances."
  • "Those on the other side of the veil are very much alive." 
  • "Those on the other side are desperate for their ordinances, and many know when and where their ordinances will take place."
  • Extended family can provide protection.
  • Easier to motivate someone to do something difficult than it is to motivate them to do something easy.
  • The temple changes you.
  • Temple experiences are much more meaningful.
  • You can learn how the spirit speaks to you.
  • "When the Lord know you're serious about family history research, other people show up to help."
  • "Family history research is fun."
  • Those who have gone before LIVE on the other side of the veil.
  • Have miracles ceased? Have angels ceased? Nay - Moroni 7:29, 31
  • There is an urgency that accompanies this work.
  • The Nelsons within 24 hours had visited with children from all 12 tribes.
  • Sheri: You emerge from the temple with power. Go regularly. Go see what the Lord will teach you. I testify the work of salvation is the only work that will matter.

You can watch their keynote here:

I had the opportunity to participate in a Media Hub Sofa Chat with Sheri and Wendy.

Here are some of my takeaways from the chat:

  • Sheri - I am who I am. I'm very comfortable sharing what I believe, because I know what I believe. Doubting not, doesn't mean understanding everything.
  • Wendy - It's the covenants and ordinances that count. I think about who is watching (Heavenly Father and Christ) and I think about those on the other side of the veil.
  • Sheri - There is nothing I care more about than building the kingdom. There are many ways to do that. Build our own testimony and help others find their own. Link arms with those who care about things like we do (family, marriage, children).
  • Wendy - Our work is to help those on the other side of the veil. 
  • Sheri - I'll have to change something or give up something to do this work. I'll have to ask for help from Heaven and make it a priority.
  • Wendy - If you want help from Heaven, you need to help Heaven. God is a great compensator. I never miss the time I give to family history work. The Lord compensates me.
  • Wendy - A group of young families at BYU with lots of stress and problems - what to tell them in 20 minutes - invited the sisters to spend 3 weeks increasing their time in family history and temple work. The results were unbelievable. More power in their lives, depression and stress left, time to make changes. It works because they made covenants with God and they did the work and God poured His power into them.


Monday, February 22, 2016

RootsTech 2016: Doris Kearns Goodwin

RootsTech 2016 Doris Kearns Goodwin with Ambassadors
Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • We can learn from others' struggles.
  • Stories take you places you could never go.
  • She loved listening to stories of LBJ.
  • Getting to know the inner person behind the public persona.
  • Fascination with the US Presidency ... in her DNA
    • She found out that 15 US Presidents are her distant cousins
  • Importance of writing letters
  • Roosevelt and Churchill in the White House
  • Journals/diaries allow us to see the moments in our ancestor's lives
  • FDR gave hope to the people.
  • One is not dead ... just gone before.
  • Check out the movie: Lincoln
  • We live on in the memory of others.
  • "He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock…" - Leo Tolstoy of Abraham Lincoln
Michael Leavitt and Doris Kearns Goodwin, RootsTech 2016
Due to contractual rights, the keynote for Doris was not recorded. However, there is a short interview you can watch here:


RootsTech 2016: Michael Leavitt

RootsTech 2016 Michael Leavitt with Ambassadors
Former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt utilized live texting technology as he let the audience choose the order of topics and he then shared stories from the topics.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • Personal histories have great meaning.
  • Project of 1,000 stories.
  • Everyone's hearts beat together (waiting on the Olympic bid)
  • When they were homeless themselves (Governor's Mansion Fire) they went and served those who were really homeless.
  • "I'll be ready" -Olene Walker stated when he told her that she would soon be the 1st Woman Governor of Utah.
  • No corners to hide in ... the Oval office.
  • Olympic Flame is lit by the perpetual light of the Sun.
    • Those who need a need a lift.
    • No one sits alone.
    • Symbol of what we aspire to be.
  • Olympic Flame = Fire on the Stick = all about family!

You can watch his comments here:

I had the opportunity to participate in a Media Hub Sofa Chat with Mike.

Backstage (before the sofa chat), I had a few moments to visit with Mike. He is my husband's 4th Cousin and the Leavitt family has a huge family organization. Also, we briefly talked about my father. Both Mike and I are from Cedar City, Utah and he knew my father really well; though was unaware that he had recently passed away.

Here are some of my takeaways from the chat:

  • Project of 1,000 stories - some of them are just short little moments of his life that as he remembered he wrote them down.
  • Wrote own personal history for the benefit of his children and family.
  • Love of stories is a genetic trait passed on from his mother. She is a mentor.
  • When he got to Washington, northeast Leavitt families reached out to him and said they may be related. Mike knew how they were related and he invited them to come from the northeast to join the Western Leavitt family reunion one year.
  • During the Olympics, the entire world became interested in knowing if we were honest.
  • We put on the best Olympics - when things get hard, you do your best.
  • Olympic story is not over yet. Friendships are still happening.
  • He wants his children to think the best of him.
  • Wants to be remembered = left things better than he found them, planted seeds for the next generation, and that he gave it all he had.


Memory Jogger Monday - February 22

What advice would you pass on about raising children that you learned by raising your own children?

I'm still raising young children. Some of the things I'm learning and we are working on in our home are: 
More Patience
More Listening
More Playing
More Working and Doing Together

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Powerful Force For Good

Photo from LDS Media Library
“The Spirit of Elijah can be a powerful force for good in the conversion, retention, and activation of individuals.” 
– Elder Russell M. Nelson, A New Harvest Time, April 1998, General Conference, footnote 8.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

RootsTech 2016: TapGenes Wins First Place Innovator Showdown

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Today (5 February 2016) at RootsTech, the world’s largest Family History technology conference, TapGenes, won the Innovator Showdown and walked away with $45,000 in cash and prizes.  The Chicago, Illinois-based, firm helps families identify and benefit from key health traits that exist between generations.

In front of a crowd of close to 10,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $100,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry.  TapGenes was awarded $20,000 in cash and $25,000 in-kind prizes.

TapGenes provides the tools to identify the genetic thread that ties a family together.  Founder, Heather Holmes, got the idea for TapGenes after her father became very ill and the family struggled with multiple roadblocks to share his family medical history that impacted his treatment, care, and recovery.  Heather made it her mission, if her father got well, to make sure this kind of frightening and desperate episode would not be faced by other families.

Holmes has a background in healthcare marketing. In fact, her entire team comes from various fields of the healthcare profession, including computational genetics.

TapGenes uses the idea of “crowdsourcing” to help families create a more complete and accurate family medical history, online, together. The TapGenes platform identifies medical conditions that may run in their family and helps family members understand what steps they can take to live healthier together.

The six finalists were whittled down from 46 applicants from around the world. They had two minutes to win over the panel of five judges and the audience that their product was the most worthy of support from sponsors.

After each moving presentation, there was a four-minute question and answer period between each contestant and the judges.  After all six presentations, the judges selected the top three winners, and the viewing audience selected the People’s Choice Award winner.

With $50,000 in cash and another $50K+ of in-kind prizes and services from sponsors at stake, the pressure, tension, and energy of this event was tremendous.

2016 RootsTech Showdown Winners
  • First Place Judges Choice ($20,000 cash, $25,000 in-kind), Heather Holmes of TapGenes.
  • Second Place Judges Choice ($14,000 cash, $15,000 in-kind), Studio (by Legacy Republic), Technology hardware and software for digitizing hard copy photo albums.
  • Third Place Judges Choice Award ($6,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind), Twile, a web app that populates a visual family timeline with data and media.
  • People’s Choice ($10,000 cash), Twile

This is TapGenes’ second year as an Innovator Showdown contestant.  Holmes credits the great exposure from its RootsTech 2015 booth which focused on FamilySearch data sharing integration, and listening to user feedback as key differentiates in advancing from semi-finalist in 2015 to first place in 2016. Holmes said they plan to use the prize winnings to expand TapGenes worldwide to save lives by making family medical history more available internationally.

“It’s surreal,” said Holmes.  “When you have a vision of something and you don’t know if it’s going to really happen and it does, it’s like a dream. You hope people are going to love it as much as you do. It’s great to get that confirmation that it resonates with them.”

Holmes says they will use the award money and support to help create TapGenes’ mobile app and to expand locally through additional languages.


The other finalists included Ancestor Cloud, an online marketplace where those with family history needs connect with those who can fill those needs; JRNL, a journaling app for recording memories as they happen; and The History Project , a fun app forcreating mixed media digital time capsules of a life.

The judges for the final round included Amy Rees Anderson, Managing Partner, REES Capital; David Bradford, Chairman of the Board of FluentWorlds; Dennis Brimhall, former CEO, FamilySearch International; Judy G. Russell, JD , certified genealogist, The Legal Genealogist, and D. Joshua Taylor, accredited genealogist and host of the Genealogy Roadshow (PBS).

The major sponsors of the Innovator Showdown this year include Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Lenovo,, Grow Utah, Utah Technology Council, David Bradford, Woodbury Corporation, Hero Club, and others.

The Innovator Showdown, only in its second year, was designed to foster innovation in the family history industry.

I am 2016 RootsTech Ambassador and am sharing these press releases on my blog for RootsTech 2016.

I was so excited for TapGenes to win this year's Innovator Showdown as I have helped Beta test this software for the past year. It was also great to meet Heather in person (instead of email). Here is a group of us visiting with her after the Showdown.

You can watch the Innovator Showdown here:


RootsTech 2016: David Isay

RootsTech 2016 David Isay with Ambassadors
This keynote speaker was David Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, the largest single collection of human voices.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • If I had 40 minutes left on earth, what would I share with you about my life?
  • Lyle Link: "Live with courage"
  • Stories turn hearts to fathers and children
  • Giving the chance to connect
  • Knowing you will never be forgotten
  • "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." - Mother Teresa
  • The Great Thanksgiving Listen (record a grandparent)
    • 50,000+ interviews came in on the Sunday night after Thanksgiving
  • Download the StoryCorps App

You can watch his comments here:


RootsTech 2016: Love Taza

RootsTech 2016 Josh and Naomi Davis with Ambassadors
This speakers for this keynote were Josh and Naomi Davis - the creators of Love Taza, a popular lifestyle blog.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • Don't be afraid to share stories.
  • Learn from mothers all over the world.
  • Love of family and motherhood.
  • Connect and relate.
  • Share the joy!
  • You have a story - share it - it can help others.
  • How to share?
    • Be comfortable
    • Be authentic
  • You can lift others when you share
  • Learn techniques
    • Photography
    • Editing
    • Thought Process
    • Planning
    • Be consistent
  • Big stories can come through small moments.
  • Focus on the upside and the opportunity for good when telling stories.

RootsTech 2016: Resources for Priesthood Leaders and Ward Councils

The presenter for this session was Merrill White from Family Search.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • 3 Nephi 16: 5 And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel.
  • “Looking back prepares us to go forward" - Elder Bradley D. Foster
  • Go back like Lehi asked his sons to get the plates
  • Priesthood leaders need to have this opportunity (working in the Family Tree) themselves.
  • Use the quarterly report (lines 9 and 25)
  • Watch One, Do One, Teach One (Gilbert, Arizona Stake)
    • In one year went from 4.7% to 42% (Apr 2014-Apr 2015)
    • Goal of 60% by end of 2016
    • Leader led - Stake President
    • Descendancy Research
    • Quick Successes
  • Lyon France Stake
    • Helping with Self-reliance
    • Personal conviction of the work
    • Part of stake goals/plans
      • Ask everyone - what are you doing specifically?
    • Leverage Resources
    • Part of message or every talk.
    • Personal invites to members regularly.
      • Everyone who comes to temple recommend interview invited to bring a family name
    • Invite every future missionary
      • Share My Family Booklet
    • Youth temple challenge.
    • What can we do around Stake Conference twice a year?
    • Invite all High Council and all High Priest Group Leaders to participate.
    • Local Mission
      • Recent converts having a temple experience within 3 months.
  • Involve all ward leaders.
  • Call more consultants
  • Needs to penetrate every member.
  • Lisbon Portugal Stake
    • Desire to have a temple.
    • Ward leadership first, then members.
    • Monthly family history activity.
    • Increased Sacrament attendance
    • More harmony in wards
  • New website to come:
  • Priesthood leaders should help keep the beat.
  • Laguna Niguel, California Stake
    • Family history committee with HPGLs
    • Share best practices
    • Taught people, not lessons
    • Family history and temple work is counterbalancing evil.
  • New materials: Strengthening Eternal Family Bonds through Temple Service (booklets)
Read this article for more information:


RootsTech 2016: Bruce Feiler

Bruce Feiler is the author of The Secrets of Happy Families.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • RootsTech is the Super Bowl of Storytelling
  • Tell all the family moments, even the difficult.
  • Stories should contain the emotion, the passion, and the pain.
  • You don't need the whole picture to tell the story.
  • What holds families together?
    • They talk a lot about what it means to be part of a family.
    • Create a family mission statement.
      • What values are most important to you?
      • What does your best possible self look like?
    • Storytelling-games in your family
      • Use photos
    • Tell your family history
      • #1 predictor of child's happiness
      • Good with adjustments and school success
      • Oscillating stories
  • Everybody dies, but not everyone lives. I want you to LIVE!

You can watch his comments here:


Monday, February 15, 2016

Memory Jogger Monday - February 15

What is your philosophy on money?

I wish I had more money! I wish I only earned interest and never paid it to anyone. I wish I had more money in savings. Do you see the common thread ... "I wish..."? Yep, I need to move past wishes to actual planning.

I really like this quote I found a few years ago:
"Financial stress is not caused by a lack of pay, but by not having a system that causes us to make wise decisions about the way we spend money."
So, that is what I'm going to be working on. Creating a plan and a system that works for me and my family.

What is your philosophy on money? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

RootsTech 2016: Paula Williams Madison

With the help of an indexed ship manifest found on FamilySearch, Paula and her brothers searched for their long lost grandfather. Their journey took them from Harlem, to Toronto, to Jamaica, and finally to China where they were finally reunited with hundreds of Chinese relatives they didn't even know they had. She is Hakka Chinese.
Paula wrote a book called, "Finding Samuel Lowe" and also produced a documentary. I had the opportunity to screen the shortened version of the documentary the evening before her keynote. It was emotionally touching. You can find out more about the documentary and book here: Finding Samuel Lowe.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:
  • You (those who index) have changed my life.
  • If you ever wondered who benefits from this (indexing) - listen to my story.
  • We had grown up with "no family" and within weeks we had hundreds of cousins.
  • You solved the mystery of "where do I come from"?
  • Family is family.
  • Race doesn't matter.
  • We came in ranges of color, but we are all family.

You can watch her keynote here:

I had the opportunity to participate in a Media Hub Sofa Chat with Paula.

Here are some of my takeaways from the chat:

  • Family accepts family.
  • Aunt wanted to know exactly when they would come to China - they went at exactly the right time.
  • You need to have family reunions.
  • Record your elders. You need to know what they say.

Wendy Jyang and Paula Williams Madison (Hakka Cousins)

Great interview:


RootsTech 2016: Stan Ellsworth

He rode his Harley onto the stage!

Here are some of my takeaways from this remarks:

  • Being American is a way of thinking and being.
  • Every family has it's unique heritage and story.
  • Every American family has stories to tell, their own heroes, and they want their stories celebrated.
  • Freedom is the birthright of every American.

You can watch his comments here:

I had the opportunity to visit with him briefly in the Media Hub. Here is a picture of us.

His show airs on BYU TV.  You can get more info here: American Ride and you can watch past episodes online.

 American Ride - BYU TV


RootsTech 2016: Steve Rockwood - You Are The Heart Doctors For Your Family

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:

  • Everyone lives on in stories, pictures, and lessons.
  • Focus on the person (not the search)
  • Reach their hearts in 60 seconds
  • What have you felt?
  • Feelings are core and profound
  • Feel belonging and love
  • You are inspired and can be inspiring
  • Make family history relevant to your immediate family

5 experience areas

Reach out to people's hearts - you are heart doctors for your family - this is a gathering of heart specialists. 
What are the "funny ties" that will build family ties?

Weave family history into everyday life.

You can watch his comments here:

I had the opportunity to participate in a Media Hub Sofa Chat with Steve.

Here are some of my takeaways from the chat:

  • How do we bring all members of the family into family history?
  • Going global to soften the soil for new markets.
  • Fine tuning each of the 5 experiences over time.
  • Teenagers and millennials want to give back right now.
  • Mobile will be first in new technologies.
  • Focusing on "searchable" records.
  • Every family has members to fulfill all the different roles.
  • We've created the tree, now we need to embellish it with ornaments (photos, stories).


RootsTech 2016: Micro Tasking Family History

This class is called: Micro Tasking Family History and the speaker was Tim Cross from FamilySearch.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:

When we teach someone to fish we don't pull out the Utah Fishing Guidebook and read to them the rules and regulations. We give them a fishing pole and take them to our favorite fishing hole. We show them how to cast and let them try it for themselves. Or we find a mentor who is expert at fishing and have them teach how to fish. Soon the new person is catching fish. Over time if they are continually interested in fishing, they will learn all the required rules and regulations.

The same is true for family history. We should not overwhelm someone who is new to family history with all the rules and regulations. We should provide them the proper tools and take them to a "fishing hole" within the Family Tree where we know they will have success.

FamilySearch is attempting to help identify "fishing holes" for us. They have created and are creating more marketing campaigns to lead us to places in Family Tree where we can find success.

Some of the past campaigns:

Here is an example of an email from FamilySearch that was sent to one of my distant cousins:
These are all "fishing holes"; opportunities to have someone spend time in the Family Tree.

Micro-tasks are things that can be done in 15-30 minutes. Here are some ideas:

  • Adding one ancestor a day until 4 generations are complete
  • Attaching a source
  • Adding photos of headstones to BillionGraves
  • Indexing
  • Adding a photo or story to a relative

Do you have the personalized home page when you log in to FamilySearch? It looks like this:

If you don't have it or you did have it, but you closed the "test" and would like it again, follow this link:

The personalized home page contains "Recommended Tasks" or micro-tasks for you to do. Here is an example from my husband's page:
This is what the Recommended Tasks looks like on my page:
I used to have some tasks available, but they are currently already completed. Great job for my sister and all her hard work! Though, there are still things to do in Family Tree.

The tasks section here works like this. It goes back 4 generations and down one generation: Parents (and children), Grandparents (and children), Great Grandparents (and children), and 2nd Great Grandparents (and children). Though some of those greats have 4-5 generations of descendants in the tree and they have source hints that need to be attached still.

So though we "haven't broken it", our section will stay this way until new indexed records are loaded into Family Tree or until other persons are added to these generations. Though as we find and add these people, we are attaching every available source we can find at the time. So, it may be awhile until we have any recommended tasks again.

FamilySearch is trying to identify for us the best "fishing holes". What is needed are really good "fishing guides" - family history consultants.

"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."