Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RootsTech - Three Things I learned in Each Session on Friday

On Friday at RootsTech, I attended three sessions. Here are three things I learned in each session.

Image courtesy of Photokanok /
Begging for Spit – Blaine Bettinger
Is this a great title for a presentation or what?

1.     You will approach people differently depending on your purpose, whether or not they are a relative (well a close relative-you know what I mean) and whether you even know the individual. Examples of purposes for collecting DNA include:
o   Surname study (Y-DNA)
o   Chromosome mapping
o   Testing a specific hypothesis
2.     Engage your “relative” to generate interest in your project on their part. You can approach this in two ways:
a.       Show how the test will benefit them. For example, explain the test will provide information about their ethnicity. This appeals to genealogists and non-genealogists. It’s important to explain the limitations however.
b.      Show how the test will benefit others. If you are doing a chromosome mapping project, you could explain their participation will help complete as much of the chromosome map as possible.
c.       Bottom line: There is no formula. You need to step back and figure out the best way to communicate to and engage whoever it is you want to contribute DNA.
3.     Keep it simple. People are busy. Keep your communications and explanations short and simple.

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young
/ freedigitalphotos.net
Will Your Family History Have Lasting Value? Tom Jones

1.     Make your top genealogical priority to do what future genealogists can’t by obtaining oral histories from living people, gathering and labeling family photographs, documents, artifacts, etc.
2.     Gather DNA. The only limit is how much you can afford to collect.
3.     Continually educate yourself to improve your research skills. Those starting their genealogical journey today have a huge advantage because there are so many educational opportunities available now.
Technology for Deciphering Foreign Language Records – Randy Whited
This is one of those sessions where I learned as much from the question and answer period as the presentation itself.
1.     Since most of the foreign language documents we are interested in are at least partially handwritten, it’s important get them into a machine readable program like Word. You may need a table with diacritic marks. Google “diacritic marks” or “character map.”
2.     Word can be set up to proof a document in the language you want to translate from.
3.     Then you can use Google Translate or another tool to perform a translation
Sounds easy eh? That’s only three things I learned.
Stay tuned for what I learned on Saturday.

URL for this post: http://turning-of-generations.blogspot.com/2014/02/rootstech-three-things-i-learned-in_11.html

© 2014, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. You attended some really interesting classes. Thanks for your comments. I wish I had been there.

  2. I wish you could have been there too Lisa!