The biggest news in genealogy this week is the announcement that RootsTech 2021 will be held totally online and FREE.
Hosted by FamilySearch, RootsTech is the world's biggest genealogy conference and is held every year in February in the mecca for family history, Salt Lake City. This initiative is great news, particularly for those who can't get there easily - or for whom travelling to Salt Lake City in February when the average daily temperature is only 7 degrees celcius, holds little attraction.
Why is RootsTech being so generous in 2021 do you ask? Well, it won't come as a surprise to learn that like so many recent firsts, it is due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The conference dates have been pushed back by a couple of weeks and are now scheduled for 25-27 February 2021. I had the opportunity to attend RootsTech London in October last year. It was the first time it had been held outside Salt Lake City and it was an amazing experience. I was in genealogy heaven being able to totally immerse myself in the topic for 3 days.
In 2021, some of the conference classes and speakers will be live-streamed, while others will be pre-recorded and available for viewing on demand. The latter is ideal for international participants given the difference in time zones.
Above : Donny Osmond, keynote speaker at RootsTech, London, October 2019
Another new initiative will be the ability for attendees to interact with presenters, exhibitors and other attendees through live chat and Q&A sessions.
According to their press release, RootsTech organisers hope participants will be able to gather in-person again in the future. Nevertheless they anticipate the RootsTech Connect virtual opportunity will become a regular addition to the conference.
I highly recommend attending RootsTech (either in person or virtually). The speakers' quality, particularly those from FamilySearch, is usually excellent. So before you forget, click here and get on over to the Roots Tech website to register for the 2021 virtual conference. You will also be able to view the free video archive to watch sessions from previous RootsTech conferences.
As an aside, while you're there, I recommend watching two of the keynote presentations which I thoroughly enjoyed at London Roots Tech in October last year - Donny Osmond and British historian, Dan Snow. They were first class. Donny Osmond of course is still a first class entertainer and both of these gentlemen are committed family historians.
In the meantime, between now and RootsTech 2021, happy researching.
Your Family Genealogist
Pictures : From the author's own collection and RootsTech
Gif: From Wix