Sunday, May 23, 2021

Try and Try and Try Again

Recently, I had the opportunity to work for several hours on one project, seeking specific information. I searched through collection after collection, and all over the internet, only to be let down. It was frustrating, and I kept believing I would find what I was looking for in the next set of records.

Each day, on my phone, I get a 'quote of the day.' Just the other day, the quote was this one attributed to Thomas Edison. It read, 

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

 It occurred to me how fully this applies to genealogical research. We search and search and search and search, sometimes with what feels like no success. But, if we look at it the way Thomas Edison apparently viewed his work, we would see that we have been successful; successful in eliminating resources, giving us the ability to move forward with what we don't know toward what we can know. No wonder we jump for joy (or cry out!) when we finally hit the jackpot with even one piece of new information for our ancestor!

I very much appreciate being reminded of this. Now, to carry on...

Saturday, March 20, 2021

RootsTech Rewind

Well, we didn't get the usual experience for RootsTech, this year. Missing was the hustle and bustle of the crowds, meeting up with old friends, perusing the seemingly endless rows of exhibitors, and the in-person learning from our favorite speakers. It was still an event worth virtually attending, and may even have some advantages. With over 1500 presentations, or sessions, in at least 11 languages, there was definitely something for everyone. Because there were over a million registered attendees from at least 242 countries, the Relatives at RootsTech feature took on a whole new meaning; and the keynote addresses, the sessions, even the Expo Hall, remain available to us for FREE the rest of the year, perhaps beyond!

On Friday, March 19th, I had the privilege of presenting a "RootsTech Rewind" to my friends at the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS), over Zoom, of course. Deciding how to take my own very positive experience with RootsTech Connect and present it in a way that would encourage others to partake of the vast amount of information and inspiration was tricky. In the end, I thought about the interests of the members of BIGS and tailored the presentation toward those interests. It was fun!

For those who have not yet clicked into the RootsTech Connect world, I say 'do it!' Just go to the home page HERE. The site can be overwhelming because of how much is there, and because you decide what you want to do. It's not like logging into a virtual conference and watching a prescribed number of classes in a prescribed order. It's more like a Choose Your Own Adventure experience. Bonus: you don't have to make a big time commitment. Most of the sessions are 20 minutes or less.

I recommend starting with the 'Guide Me' link. The wonderful RootsTech people created some themed collections of sessions. Once you get going, you'll begin to think about some of your own research interests and goals. Then, delve into the 'Sessions' where you can search by topic, location, even presenter names; or just scroll down the page. You will be blown away by the education you can receive through this one web site. Did I mention it is FREE and available all year?

You will find a variety of inspirational presentations in the 'Keynotes' collection. And, don't forget to visit the Expo Hall where you will find much more that advertising. Many of the exhibitors also created educational videos that are not found through the sessions search. Getting the idea? There is a LOT to see here.

I hope many of you will make the leap and give RootsTech Connect a chance. The ability to make a playlist is also built into the site. You  sign in with your FamilySearch account and add sessions you want to view later to your playlist. You can tailor-make a family history course for yourself. It's a win-win! Oh. And it's FREE :) See you when you come up for air!

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