Note: My pictures from RootsTech2016 are available at:

RootsTech 2016 continued on Friday and Saturday about as expected: very busy. Day #3 also was “Family Discovery Day” in which several thousand teenagers and pre-teens joined the crowds of attendees. In all, more than 26,000 people attended one or more days at RootsTech2016. Attendees included people from all 50 states. I am not sure how many foreign countries were represented although I know it was more than 25. That number even included attendees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Friday’s keynote session’s first featured speakers were Josh and Naomi Davis, two very successful bloggers who write often on their “Love Taza” blog at about family life with small children. The blog has millions of readers from around the world. Josh and Naomi encouraged everyone to write about their personal experiences and to share them with family members and especially with future generations. The format isn’t important; a blog or a diary or journal or any other method that can be preserved for years will help future generations understand your life and will thereby help them deal with the issues and challenges they face.

DavidIsay_1The second featured presentation for Friday’s keynote was made by David Isay, recipient of four Peabody Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. David described his work tapping into the heart and soul of the human experience as the founder of StoryCorps at StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. StoryCorps started in 2003 with the opening of a StoryBooth in Grand Central Terminal in New York. It has since expanded into many more locations as well as a mobile app for cell phones and tablets that places a StoryCorps “studio” into any home or other location. All recordings are shared with those who created the recordings as well as copies placed in the American Folklore Center at the Library of Congress. Millions of people also experience selected stories on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

MikeLeavittSaturday’s keynote session first featured former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt. He also served as a Cabinet member in the George W. Bush administration. He described a number of personal experiences, several of them dealing with families. He was followed by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a world renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She is the author of six New York Times best-selling books about U.S. Presidents and their families. Goodwin worked with Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks Studio to create the movie Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Both early-morning keynote sessions were followed by long days filled with presentations and other events. More than 250 presentations were made by many of today’s leading genealogists, software developers, DNA experts, and others. Details of the presentations may be found at

All in all, RootsTech2016 was a huge success. I know it is going to take a week or more for me to recuperate! I took a red-eye flight home on Saturday evening and then slept for almost 16 hours straight.

If you would like to experience one of the leading genealogy events of the year, I suggest you mark February 8 through 11, 2017, on your calendar now. RootsTech2017 will probably be bigger and better (although I am not sure how they can make it better) than ever. It will once again be held in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.

For three days, I spent many hours in the Expo Hall to identify new products and services that I hope to write about in the coming weeks. I also snapped hundreds of photographs, many of which are shown at Click on any image to view a larger version.