Friday, February 3, 2012

The Journey to RootsTech 2012

Day 2 - 2February 2012

The day started off with an excellent breakfast at eh Radisson. The other good news was that I didn't have to change rooms. I headed over to hear the RootsTech keynote speaker for the morning, Jay Verkler, the past head of Family Search. I was very impressed and excited with what he told us. There are great collaboration plans in the near future. He also talked about developing the community framework timeline. That opens up some excellent research possibilities. Another momentous announcement was that they now estimate that it will only take ten years to digitize the current microfilm holdings for the Family History Library. I can can hardly wait! And it's wonderful to hear there are 4,200 genealogists here. That rocks. Google had an intriguing announcement about Google Chrome. Using Historical-Data.org, Schema.org, and an extension they will now be able to deeper search sites that were ignored in earlier Google searches. Family Search, Ancestry, and others will be included. BrightSolid is evidently going to become part of the American genealogist's vocabulary. They are a UK company that is well-known there that is coming across the pond. That could open up some interesting competition.

After the keynote thousands of genealogists headed to the Exhibitors Hall. I was aiming to get a free tee shirt by getting my card stamped from various vendors. I succeeded and am now the proud owner of a RootsTech tee. It was rather crowded to actually visit with vendors, but I decided to do more in-depth chats with them later.

My first session was Steve Morse. He has some great free helps that I would call widgets but probably aren't. They help you find things like the birth date from a gravestone that gives the death date and the age in year, month, and day. He also has some great aides for the 1940 census! He's at SteveMorse.org, not com. More to come.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Journey to RootsTech 2012

1 February 2012

Planning paid off! I made a list of everything I needed to pack days before I was to leave. It would be too easy to forget a charger or some other vital tech piece. Last night I checked that list twice just like Santa-- I don't think I forgot anything.

I deliberately took the mid-day flight and am really glad I did. It was an easy morning getting out of the house. My flight wasn't until 12:45, but I wanted to get tot he airport an hour and a half early just in case there were any problems. It was an easy drive to Omaha and the easiest airport check-in I have had. There was no one waiting to check baggage, the security check was barely busy, and I was to my gate by 11:15-- wow.

One of the things besides the kitchen sink I didn't bring was a lunch or snack. I brought a small package of Lay's potato chips and a cup of coffee. I could refill it and take it on the plane. That worked well, but next time I will take along a sandwich or something. It was great having the new Delta card, as it got me zone 2 seating which is pretty sweet. The flight was on time leaving and arriving at Salt Lake. The last time I was st the SLC airport I was stranded with my daughter for a day. This time it went well. Their shuttle system takes getting used to but was only $8.00.

My hotel reservation was in two parts. They couldn't guarantee I would have the same room the second night. They did upgrade my room though. I hurriedly set up in my room and then headed towards the Family History Library. On the way I realized I was very hungry and stopped at the J B's across from the Salt Palace. It was great getting that 55+ lunch price. I had looked before I got toe SLC to figure out how to get to the FHL. Of course I got the distance off a bit and had to call Mike to get better directions. The FHL ended up being just a hundred feet away.

My friend Marcia and I had planned to meet for dinner tonight, and I knew she was going to the FHL when she got to SLC. I looked around the FHL a bit and found her checking out the US book shelves. I had forgotten just how impressive the FHL is. I was mesmerized walking down any bookshelf-- it was incredible what they have. I checked out a few books I had printed out the records for before I left.

Marcia and I headed over to the Salt Palace to get our registrations. The Salt Palace is huge. The registration process went well. From there we went to a very nice Japanese restaurant across from the Palace. We ate light,but each added a glass of wine. After dinner we headed back to the FHL. This time I decided to work on the Saratoga land records. I had ordered the grantee index earlier in Lincoln and had the volumes and page numbers I needed. It was tedious, but I am starting to put a picture together of that family. Thank you to the person who suggested bringing magnets to mark the microfilm cabinets. After a couple of hours or more we headed back to our hotels. After relaxing for a bit and checking out the conference schedule again I decided to go down to the bar to write up my notes while enjoying an excellent glass of Cabernet!