This year, I had the awesome opportunity to be an ambassador at RootsTech, a family history conference in Salt Lake City. The event is hosted by FamilySearch. People from all 50 states and 35 countries had registered for 100+ workshops! There were many exhibitor booths along with seminars and awesome keynote speakers. You wouldn’t believe the entertainment! At the conference, I met many amazing people and heard many incredible speakers, like Laura Bush, AJ Jacobs and Donny Osmond. I was so inspired to get into family history!
I was walking around at the different exhibitor booths, I found one selling beautiful, color fan charts. A fan chart is a visual representation of family history, showing all the names that have been researched. I really wanted a fan chart t0 hang up in our home. They are so pretty and so meaningful! You can check out what your family fan chart looks like before you print it. Boy was I was shocked when I saw mine on the computer! One side was full and beautiful and the other side was barely limping along – so many names were missing! I looked at my great-grandfather and felt inspired. I realized I need to find more information on my great-grandfather and great-grandmother – I hardly know anything about them. I went home from the conference feeling so inspired! I spent a lot of time researching last Sunday and got a lot of work done. I’m so excited about family history!
RootsTech is an amazing conference that is growing rapidly- around 50-125,000 people viewed it online. Each class had hundreds of people in attendance. Some of the speeches were even recorded and translated into 10 languages.
As I was walking around the booths, I met Paul Larsen, a family historian. He has a wonderful family history program that is so helpful and really works. I have loved using these resources as I have gotten into family history! Check out Paul’s awesome books, ebooks, and much more at his website, Easy Family History. This book has been very helpful in my work. So far, I love it! It’s great because it has helpful links, and you can use the e-books to work digitally if that’s what you prefer.
The book is called Crash Course in Family History with an interactive e-book called Family History Power Tools.
I also got to hear Donny Osmond sing and speak! He sang Puppy Love, a fun throwback to his early career, and Moon River, one of his mom’s favorites. It was so sweet and he sounded great (even first thing in the morning!) He is such a wonderful entertainer and gave an inspiring speech. Here are some of my favorite Donny quotes:
- Every part of my life has been documented and recorded- most of it- the question is, has yours? and if not – why not? You may not have been on TV, but your life and the legacy you leave behind is every bit significant as anyone else’s – including mine. Don’t you think that your children and your grandchildren and their children’s children come in this world deserve to know who you are and what you are like?
- “It’s our responsibility to record our kids’ lives. whether they be funny or profound, the things they say as they grow up. if we don’t record them, we’ll forget them forever.
- I keep a file on my smart phone “family sayings”- unique things their kids say. My grandkids love to hear what their parents said when they were their age. It’s not just little sayings – it’s personal things as well. Record your love story, how you met your spouse, and other important events.
I also got to hear Laura Bush speak! What a classy woman, and an incredible speaker. This photo above is of Laura Bush, her daughter Jenna Bush Hager, Elder L. Tom Perry, and his wife Barbara Perry. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the former First Lady:
- Family motto: Family comes first.
- All we know we have is now make your life what you want to be.
- Walk on the beach as much as you can.
- Make life long readers by reading to your children.
After Laura spoke for a little bit, her daughter, Jenna Bush Hager came out and they sat together and interviewed each other. They talked about special family memories. Here are a few of my favorite, sweet stories:
- One time, when George was president, he spoke at an event. After the event, they were driving home and he asked Laura how he did with his speech, right as he was pulling into the garage. Laura said his speech was not very good. George was so surprised, he drove right into the garage wall!
- When President George H. W. Bush was vice- president, he was babysitting his twin 6 year-old granddaughters the night before a presidential debate. On the night before this very important day, he spent quite a bit of time (along with the Secret Service) looking all over for Spikey, the stuffed cat! Because one of his grandaughters couldn’t sleep without Spikey! George H. W. Bush nickname by his grandchildren was “Gampy”.
Here are some of the amazing women I was able to meet! This photo was taken right after a couch chat with the inspiring Al (Fox) Caraway. She has such a sweet story and spoke on the Discovery Day at RootsTech.
(From left to right) Crystal Beutler – Crystal B. Blog, Carissa Rasmussen – Carissa Miss, Kristen Wright – Kid Chatter00, Allison Kimball – Simple Inspiration, Rhonna Farrer- Rhonna Designs, Al (Fox) Carraway – The Ways of the Carraways, and me!
This was such a wonderful, inspiring weekend for me! I’m so excited to continue on my family history journey that all started by wanting to find my great-grandparents. I have so much more to tell, there will be a part 2 post coming soon!