Every genealogist knows about the legendary Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It’s genealogy Mecca.
You know, the place with the “key.”
What key, you ask? That key – the one that means this:
How to break a genealogist’s heart.
Create the Plan
Thankfully, my friend Jen told me how to make a research plan for the Family History Library (FHL) by using the Search Catalog feature.
By selecting the desired location, you can then view all of the library holdings. I divide my list into books and online work, because to view those films, you simply so and sign on to a computer in the FHL or an affiliate library near you. Unfortunately, I have no affiliate library near me.
I went prepared with a list of locations, book numbers and films.
Here’s the obligatory “arrival selfie.”
Bright Shiny Beads
I was behaving, truly I was when someone noticed me sitting at a table researching. After introductions, I discovered that the group of ill-behaved people clustered around a glass room was a bunch of bloggers.
Of course, I knew immediately I had found my peeps, so I immediately went over and introduced myself to the rest of the group.
My friend, Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage arrived about the same time and about this time, Mr. Myrt asked us if we’d like to be interviewed on Mondays with Myrt.
Of COURSE we would.
Except, I was wearing a grey t-shirt. Never fear though, because I had my ever-present DNA-bling.
Monday’s With Myrt was being produced inside the room with those mountains in the distance again, and the waiting room was effectively outside where excited bloggers had to be reminded more than once to hush. I don’t want to say the best part was waiting, but it was amazing to meet these wonderful people in person after seeing their online presence for, in some cases, years.
Sprinkled in were new bloggers too, so everyone was helping everyone else and it was kind of a blogger love-in.
I suddenly realized that this was the PERFECT opportunity to break out my new ribbons.
Last year, I had no idea about conference ribbons, but at RootsTech, and I understand at other conferences as well, attended collect ribbons on their badges. Ribbons are a hot item. When I discovered that I was presenting, I wanted to have something for the attendees.
I discovered that you can indeed order and receive ribbons in 7 days.
So…..drum roll….the unveiling of my new DNAexplain ribbons!
I proceeded to give a ribbon to everyone in close proximity that couldn’t escape, and Daniel Horowitz took a selfie to commemorate the event. Thanks so much Daniel for posting on Twitter and giving me permission to use!
Daniel Tweeted: Some of my #geneafriends @RobertaJEstes giving her first ribbons to @CarolPetranek @histfamilles @ancestorfinder1 #genealogy #Rootstech
That’s the amazing Mr. Myrt in the black hat.
Mondays With Myrt
A few minutes later, I was seated with Myrt.
Now, I have a confession to make, but don’t tell Myrt, OK?
I’m not a “conference person,” nor do I follow a lot of genealogy blogs. (It’s OK to hiss at me.)
I knew about Mondays with Myrt, and I knew the person online named Pat-Richley Erickson, but not well. I knew she was a genealogist and a quilter, but I did not know she was Myrt. Her name isn’t Myrt, or Myrtle, so I never connected the dots. I’m sure there’s a good story in here someplace, but Myrt, or Pat, will have to tell you herself. Actually, she tells you a bit about herself here on her YouTube Channel.
So, imagine my surprise when I looked inside the production booth to see Pat. Where was Myrt. I figured Pat must be being interviewed too.
Myrt livestreams her Monday interview sessions through her blog. You can view them here. She has an amazing following. One follower, Tierra Cotton-Kellow even managed to tune in on a plane on her way to Salt Lake.
If you can’t watch the entire video, I’m at 2:15 in Monday’s session. Here’s the session on YouTube.
When you receive a lunch invitation to join a group of bloggers, you quickly abandon your research plans and head out to eat at the LDS Office Building a couple blocks away.
The most direct path is through Temple Square, so I was excited to see the sights.
The blogger group ate at the cafeteria in the LDS business building.
Lunch with with Pat Richley-Erickson, Laura Wilkinson Hedgecock, Gordon Erickson, Graham A. Walter, Audrey Collins, John Boeren, Roberta Estes, Christine Woodcock,Jenny Hawen, Jan Brandt Roger Moffat and Lisa Moffat.
To include Cheryl, Roger took a picture of Cheryl taking a picture.
Note Cheryl’s GeneaBlogger beads given by Myrt. I’m now a proud bead-wearing member of the tribe too.
While sitting at lunch, Lisa Moffit (white sweater at right) and I discovered that she and I are actually cousins through our Acadian lines. How much fun is that!!!
I was so grateful to be included in the impromptu blogger lunch.
On the way back, I snagged a few more photos.
Not that the Mormon Church here is influential, but the road goes UNDER Temple square.
I did manage to go back to the library and research for most of the afternoon, but it was digging in a dry well.
No matter where I looked, no ancestors. I know a whole lot of records that they aren’t in, and I suppose that’s negative evidence. However, I know the Lentz family, and probably the Reuhl (Ruhle) family were in the Shippenberg area of Cumberland County, PA which borders on Franklin County. I perused all records for both counties today, in the hopes of discovering who they were indentured to, or anything about their missing 14 years or so.
I’m presuming that the by-then-elderly Ruhle couple, Fredericka Ruhle Lentz’s parents died either in route or in Pennsylvania. There is no sign of them in Ohio in the 1830s. Unfortunately, there’s also no sign of them in Pennsylvania either.
Frustrated with them, I moved to another brick wall line with no luck there either.
Fortunately, I had made dinner arrangements with another genetic genealogist and his wife and enjoyed spending the evening with them immensely.
Tuesday Has to Be Better
Tuesday was a great people day, but an awful research day.
I had a difficult time getting motivated to research on Tuesday, so instead I decided to walk over to the conference center and pick up my badge.
Early badge pickup is available today and now the Salt Shaker says RootsTech.
Conference Coming to Life
The conference theme, just guessing now, is “Connect Belong.”
This interesting display greeted me.
Another genealogist, Carol Whitaker from Oregon, also picking up a badge was stringing yard between the pegs, so of course I had to ask her what she was doing.
Attendees will be connected their traits and locations and of course, belonging. What a great idea. I’ll take another photo or two of the board later in the week.
Of course, you know that I immediately noticed all of the genetic traits.
Does anyone know what’s on the dress I’m wearing?
I was very pleased to meet Danielle too. Those with the Ultimate Passes are assigned to a hostess who has already proven to be a Godsend.
Danielle is amazing, but I don’t know what she did to deserve being saddled with me😊
The RootsTech halls are empty now, but they won’t be for long.
She took me to see the room where I’m speaking and let’s just say it’s cavernous! I hope I have enough ribbons!
This amazing piece of art made from carpet scraps adorns the conference center just inside the door. Looks like a quilt to me, of course.
By this time, I had managed to usurp most of the morning, and ran into someone who invited me for lunch again. You’re going to think the only thing I did was eat!
That’s not at all true – I also drank coffee at Starbucks and admired the beautiful art that graces many open spaces in Salt Lake City.
Yes, DNA is everyplace, including free standing art that is reminiscent of a room divider.
Slices of petrified wood.
Good thing these aren’t for sale.
Seagull statue outside of Nordstroms.
The Chocolate Factory. What, you think the Chocolate Factory isn’t art?
Pshaw. You obviously haven’t gone inside yet!
When it became evident that I absolutely could NOT kill anymore time, I went back to the FHL with the intention of reviewing at least most of the images records that I can’t access without being in the library.
However, I immediately say Tierra Cotton-Kellow who writes at Pressing My Way and is also a professional photographer. Why knew? The great news – she’s my photographer for this event and still has some slots open for a few fortunate others.
Right after I found Tierra, Nathan Murphy found me.
Nathan did me a huge, huge favor some years ago and discovered one of my ancestors in England. Bless his heart, Nathan shared! I could never have found this record otherwise, because Nathan stumbled across it.
Never mind that he was a convict being deported😊
No, no, not Nathan, my ancestor!
I did eventually return to research, but apparently this is not the trip for me to make any headway whatsoever. It’s a good thing that I enjoyed meeting new friends and reuniting with old, because the research was entirely nonproductive.
There’s so much to look forward to for the rest of the week, starting tomorrow.
Wednesday is the DNAexplain Blog Meetup
I’m excited to greet everyone in the FamilyTreeDNA booth for the DNAexplain meetup tomorrow after the opening keynote. The vendor expo hall opens at 6 PM and stays open until 8. The first free mini-session begins in the booth at 6:15.
- Wednesday, February 27 – 6:15 – Family Tree DNA booth #1107 – Family Finder Search Tips – Quick tips for how to perform surname and ancestral searches successfully!
- Wednesday, February 27 – 6:45 – Family Tree DNA giveaway drawing
- Wednesday, February 27 – 6:45 – DNAexplain Blog meetup in the Family Tree DNA booth presentation center
- Wednesday, February 27 – 7:15 – Family Tree DNA booth – Family Finder Bucketing – Connecting your matches to your tree so that Family Tree DNA can assign your matches to your maternal or paternal side – even without having your parents tested!
- Wednesday, February 27 – 7:45 – Family Tree DNA giveaway drawing
Come see me, say hello, get a brand spanking new DNAexplain ribbon and enjoy the free sessions! Gotta run! See you there!