What is RootsTech Genealogy Conference 2013

Since putting up the post about the hotel discount for RootsTech Genealogy Conference 2013 I have been asked “What is RootsTech?”

RootsTech – What?

RootsTech is a relatively new genealogy conference, butRootsTech 2013 Genealogy is unique as it brings together the developers and users of genealogical technology together in one place. Computer technology and family history are made for each other and this conference gives genealogists a glimpse into what the techies have in store for them. It also allows the technology developers and the big data providers to meet the people who they are targeting. Both parties can ask questions of each other and exchange ideas on what family historians want and what technology can deliver

The conference runs over 3 days and there are lectures, workshops, Exhibition Hall, demonstrations and speaker lunches. The programme for 2013 isn’t yet published as the call for presentations only closed on 30 June, but it is bound to be good.

RootsTech – When?

The dates for RootsTech 2013 are 21 – 23 March, so 3 full days packed with plenty for all levels of family history expertise.

RootsTech – Where?

RootsTech is held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. The Convention Center is just around the corner from the Family History Library and only a hop and a skip away from the beautiful gardens of Temple Square. The center itself is a modern facility and is ideal for such large events as RootsTech 2013.

RootsTech – Is It For You?

Is RootTech for you will be a question that will be on the minds of many genealogists. To give you a taste of what is on offer the organisers have put online a number of the 2012 presentations. I would suggest you start with the keynote lecture which started off the conference,” Inventing the Future, As a Community” by Jay Verkler and then dip into which ever subject appeals. There are also a series of presentations given by FamilySearch at RootsTech 2012. I am sure once you have had a taster you will be booking your flights and hotel room.

As more information becomes available I will be posting it online so watch this space as they say ……


RootsTech Genealogy Conference 2013 Hotel Discount

Rootstech 2013 GenealogyIt is never too early to book yourself into a genealogy conference, so even though the tickets for the RootsTech 2013 conference aren’t on sale until the autumn I have booked my hotel room.

At large conferences accommodation is always at a premium and to get somewhere to lay your head close to the conference venue is important as no one wants to spend precious time waiting for taxis, trams or buses. So I’ve just called the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel and spoke to a very helpful lady who has booked me into a room at special conference rates.

Have a look at the conference website and decide if this is going to be the place for you to be in March and if so I suggest you get your hotel room booked now.

RootsTech 2013 Useful Links



Devon Record Office closed 10–17 Sept

Devon Record Office GenealogyJust had an email announcing that Devon Record Office will be closed from 10 – 17 September 2012 due to refurbishment of the search room in readiness for the transfer of the West Country Studies library stock to the Record Office.

This is stage one of the new Devon Heritage Service which will be officially opened in October of this year.



More Plymouth & West Devon Records online


West Devon Parish Registers Family History



FindMyPast has added to their Devon Collection with the following records …

Brentor, St Simon and Buckland Monachorum Baptisms 1900 – 1999
Looe Street, Venners,Vintry, Shewell Congregational Church Burials 1626 – 1927

The Plymouth and West Devon collection is growing nicely and it is good to see some non-conformist records added as research into those who attended non C of E chapels and churches can be a little more difficult.

The original records are held by the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office.



Forces-War-Records Genealogy Family HistoryI have just been taking a look at http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/ . This website is a niche site which confines itself to military records, this is no bad thing as what is on offer are quality records with plenty of background information so that you understand the why, where and when of the documents.

The time span covered by this site’s records are from Medieval records dating from 1350 through the Crimean, Boer and 1st & 2nd World Wars. The documents are cross matched with information about regiments, bases and ships.

The search form is a breeze to use, enter first name, surname and record type and press the  “Search Now” button. It is not necessary to enter details in all of these slots, for example I simply entered the surname POTTINGER and the results came up with 104 results.

POTTINGER 104 results
Napoleonic 1793 – 1815 4 records
Early 19th century 1 record
Victorian Conflicts 1857 – 1899 8 records
Boer War 1899 – 1902 5 records
WW1 1914 – 1920 51 records
WW2 1939 – 1945 21 records
Post WW2 1946 – present 1 record
Forces Reunited Living Veterans 13 records

Quite an impressive result for a relatively unusual name.

A growing number of family historians are specialising in researching their military ancestors only and this site will be an essential subscription for them. Options are monthly or yearly subscriptions.

I’ll be writing in-depth posts about the individual record sets later and also be adding some lessons using the data on the MadAboutGenealogy sister site www.teachyourselffamilyhistory.com.