RootsTech 2023 Theme is “Uniting” – Registration is Open – Free Pass Giveaway

The RootsTech theme for this year is “Uniting,” and RootsTech registration is now open. The dates this year are March 2-4 in Salt Lake City, but of course you could always arrive early or stay late and visit the Family History Library for some intensive genealogy therapy – ummm – I mean research.

That’s what I’m hoping to do.

FamilySearch has combined the super-successful virtual RootsTech format of 2021 and 2022 with the tried and true in-person conference loved by so many.

I don’t know about you, but I was extremely grateful for virtual RootsTech in 2021 and 2022, but I’m also VERY MUCH looking forward to gathering with my genea-friends and family again.

I’m glad to see this hybrid event because it makes RootsTech more widely available to a larger audience.

You can read about RootsTech 2023 in the press release here.


Classes and speakers will be announced shortly, but we know there are over 200 sessions that will be available for free, virtually. That means you could watch one a day, everyday, from the beginning of RootsTech through the middle of September. Sounds like genealogy-Heaven to me.

Classes will be announced soon, but let me give you a sneak-peek about my classes.

  • Big Y for the Win – When, where and how to use the BIG Y test to unravel or at least make sense of your genealogy.
  • DNA for Native American Genealogy – 10 Ways to Find Your Native American Ancestor (even if they don’t show up in your ethnicity.)
  • DNA Journey – Follow Your Ancestor’s Path – Let your ancestor’s DNA guide you home. Literally! Y-DNA, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA all play roles in this journey.

In addition, I’m finalizing multiple sessions in two different vendors’ booths. More about this as it firms up.

Book Signing

I’m also attempting to organize a book-signing for my book, DNA for Native American Genealogy.

More on this later too.


The in-person pass is $98 for three full days, but the Expo Hall is open and free for everyone during that time.

In addition to the virtual classes, there will be about 210 in-person classes as well. According to the RootsTech team, there will be 16 classes taking place simultaneously, with 2 or 3 being live-streamed.

There will be 5 blocks of session-time on Thursday and Friday, and 4 blocks on Saturday. Each of those blocks will have 16 class slots available, so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Of course, many of the vendors host mini-sessions in their booths too, so there’s a lot going on and educational opportunities everyplace you look.

You can view registration details, here.

Free Pass Giveaway

I’m giving one free three-day pass to a lucky blog reader. Of course, you’ll need to get yourself there and such, but a $98 value is nothing to sneeze at.

Already purchased your pass? Don’t despair. If you win and you’ve already purchased a pass, just let me know and RootsTech will reimburse you.

How Do You Enter?

Just make a comment on this article – something about an ancestor. Maybe the Uniting theme. To prevent dustups, please DO NOT make any type of political comment, nor include a link, nor reference a vendor.

On January 25th, I will literally pull a name out of some type of old-fashioned “hat” and notify the winner by email. The winner will need to provide their registration information to RootsTech.

How fun is this!

Ok, for those who would like to attend RootsTech in person: ready – set – go.

Tell me something interesting about one of your ancestors in the comments.


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47 thoughts on “RootsTech 2023 Theme is “Uniting” – Registration is Open – Free Pass Giveaway

  1. I was fortunate enough to meet you at the last RootsTech that I attended (right before COVID). I would love to meet you again and get my book signed. 🙂
    Attending in person might offer me an opportunity to unite with a distant cousin or the possibility of doing more research to ‘unite’ with ancestors beyond my brick walls.

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to to win a ticket to Rootstech. One of my ancestors Sophia Johnson reunited with her husband who can to America and then several years later she joined him with their family from Sweden.

  3. My grandson (Johnson) was adopted, I (Riddle) was adopted, my father (Cummins) was adopted, his father (Smith) started it all. To me it’s 4 trees with referrals. A real work in progress. Talk about rabbit holes…It’s a good thing I’m only 88.

  4. Love all of Roberta’s posts! Especially the one about Edward Mercer the Drunken Quaker, an ancestor of my husband’s, and another on Y-DNA which included my dad’s results. So yes, both my husband and I are related to her! Roberta’s guidance about preserving Ancestry matches below 8 cM prior to “the purge” was crucial to my proving a postulated family connection for the 1700’s. Thanks for all that you do for us amateur genealogists!

  5. My maternal great grandfather, Lewis Frederick White, would not tell his family where he came from or who his parents were. I haven’t found him yet, but I sure hope we will eventually break down this brickwall. Thank you for all you do to educate others.

  6. We had a photo and a last name. I found an obituary that might have been my grandpa’s mom. Two days later a guy contacted me because I had the same last name as a DNA match he didn’t recognize. It was my sister. He had a copy of the same photo. They didn’t know about my grandpa. The next year we had another match we didn’t know. Turns out we were each from a sibling of four children. We all united and met for the first time in Sept. Uniting is really a great theme. People all over the world unite each and everyday with family they didn’t know about. My cousin who is 82 never thought he would know his parents name before he dies. He knew both names within six months of his DNA test. He also got to meet so much family when we met in Sept.

  7. My dead-end is one Thomas Miller born circa 1809 in Tennessee (maybe). He couldn’t have hidden more successfully if he planned it.

  8. I have a “Brickwall ancestor” in Hugh Patterson 1800-1880, born “near Pittsburgh” in Allegheny County, per his obituary.

    YDNA, and the Patterson Project at FTDNA, will help me and my fellow Patterson researchers (friends made through YDNA testing at FTDNA) to eventually sort out how our Patterson family lines connect to our MRCA born around 1600, haplogroup R-BY206557.

    We will continue seeking out, and funding, Patterson Big Y-700 testers until, some year, we will find our answers.

    I am of the opinion that every single genealogist (who can afford it) should get YDNA Big 700 for themselves (if male), or for a male family member (if female). JUST MY OPINION!!

  9. My 3rd great-grandparents have been a brickwall for decades. I just found that she had a sister, Almira; and the names are fitting for sisters – Amarilla and Almira – using several AncestryDNA invites, I ran 110 names and noted who match which of the 5 Almira descendants who tested as well – I have established this part of the puzzle is just about complete!! One of them shares 100 cm/5 seg with my 3C1R so will be using their shared matches to see who their mother is. I’m still working on finding out the father’s first name but for sure it’s Moore.

  10. This is such a nice idea, but I don’t want to win… yet.
    As a 3rd grade teacher, this isn’t during our Buffalo vacation, so I wouldn’t leave my kiddos. But, I’m retiring in June, so I’m looking forward to live conferences again! I love that the free workshops are available for a longer period of time.

  11. I’m so looking forward to my first Rootstech event! I have much to learn and one ancestor in particular I’m having difficulty researching, so I have lots of questions. I look forward to learning new ways to think about genealogical research when obvious pathways aren’t successful. Thank you!

  12. Thanks for the chance to be entered into your drawing. My husband and I are looking for the identity of his unknown Swedish great-great-grandfather. His son (DH’s great-grandfather) was born in Sweden to a single woman and the father’s name is not given in the birth record. We have an atDNA test from a grandchild of the great-grandfather. (BYW, the great-grandfather does not have any direct-line male descendants, so Y DNA testing is out.) I think we’ll eventually get lucky and have close enough matches to identify this elusive man.

  13. My great grandfather was Lars Henriksson from Sweden…his occupation was noted as “skipper “ I have yet to find out what he was a skipper of.

  14. Particularly looking forward to your classes regarding Y-DNA as my roots are said to be Native American – I’m the Q-BZ1234. Being across the pond I will be unable to take advantage of your book signing.

  15. My GGG grandmother, Catherine Parsell Murdock Perkins, was the longest-serving woman lighthouse in the United States, having served 50 years in the Rondout Lighthouse on the Hudson River in New York.

  16. I LOVE the “Uniting” theme, following on the heels of such a chaotic few years where things have felt very divided–this give me HOPE!! And thus I’ll add I HOPE to go to RootsTech in March too! <3

  17. I have been researching and using DNA to work towards solving a brick wall that has stymied our family for generations. My 4th great grandmother Rebecca DeWitt was born in 1806, supposedly in Cayuga County NY, then moved to Ohio and Wisconsin. Our family DNA tests enabled me to find descendants of her long lost mystery brother known only in old family notes as “Biger” which turned out to be a nickname for Abijah DeWitt. Hopefully, through learning more tools and techniques I can figure out who their parents were. Thank you for all the wonderful info on your blog, it has been a valuable and helpful resource!

  18. This would be totally great for me! Tbh, I have a lot of interesting stories.
    Most of all I love how all of my great-grandma’s were strong-arm type of women – mill fore(wo)men, military-level decoders, debt collectors and more jobs. All were some opinionated, no-no sense big city types who only kept a man around for the house and kids.

  19. I hope FamilySearch will announce at RootsTech earlier adoption of GEDCOM-X. A new definition of relationships (biological or not) that constitute a “family” group will be enabled with this standard’s adoption. Among others, African American family research will benefit.

  20. The death of my father in 1998 in Pennsylvania, turned my love of history into a mystery search for my genealogical connections. My first “union” was getting the email six years after I took the new 67-marker DNA test that FamilyTreeDNA had found a match in Australia. We confirmed our Y-DNA connection to Hereford, England. This year the new research tools and enhancements at FTDNA has proven the unity of the Irish wives of all those English Brooks men over 5 generations. With the “black hole” of Irish records barely getting a light shown on centuries of genealogy, DNA has proven connections even to specific families and locations that never have and possibly never will be proven with primary records. RootsTech will give me the chance to refine those research techniques to reach my ultimate goal. Every ancestor emigrant location of origin. That will be a Uniting, for all my family and future descendants, worthy of the trip.

  21. I have found that the more I find out about my ancestors, the more I learn about them and understand them, the more united I feel to them.

  22. My grandmother’s mother died when she was a about a month old. She was then raised by her uncle and aunt. I found a connection to another of her brother’s families through FamilySearch and received a picture of my grandmother at the age of 12. None of her children had that picture from her youth. That was a great uniting experience.

  23. I am so looking forward to in-person RootsTech! My present “brick-wall” ancestor is Catharine Eliza Young, my 3rd great grandmother born about 1800. She keeps calling to me. It was like she dropped from a spaceship—with no birth, baptism, marriage or death records!

  24. Kudos to RootsTech for their hard work the last 2 years! And you are correct – even though the virtual platform kept us all connected – it will be wonderful to be there in person!!! 🙂

  25. Thanks so much for this grand opportunity. I’m all set for the trip except for RootsTech admission. I’m no DNA expert, but have been able to use it to unite my adopted aunt — who was raised as an only child — with her half-brothers. I’ve also identified a friend’s half brothers, but she is still deciding whether to unite. Looking forward to meeting you at RootsTech, win or lose.

  26. I am looking forward to RootsTech to research my mother father’s side of the family. My Mom is 92 {will be 93 in March} and she doesn’t know a lot about her family. I’d like to brring back some information that may help her connect and unite with any living family. I pray I can find more info about him and his background and my great-grandmother as well. She was an only child. Anyone she thinks could know anythng about her people are dead. I am looking forward to discovering more about my family and to bring it back to her. Thank you for offering this chance to go for free. I have my hotel, airline already booked.

  27. My great grandmother from Denmark told the story that she had a ticket for the Titanic but missed it because she was five minutes late! I think it goes about half and half on those that believe her and those that don’t even though she told the story herself! She later came over in to Canada and then ended up being hired to be a nanny for a family in Utah, the mother had just passed away. She ended up marrying that man and they had several more children, one of which was my grandma! Oh and thank you for the opportunity to win a pass! RootsTech is the best!

    • I’ll be posting a short article with the picture of the drawing in the next day or two, but congratulations – you’re the RootsTech pass winner! Be sure to come and say hello! Congratulations!!! You’re going to love it.

      I just sent you an email with information about how to receive your pass.

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