Family history fans and organizations, including FamilySearch, are revving up for the annual RootsTech 2020 Conference, carrying the theme “The Story of You.”
RootsTech is celebrating its 10th year as the world’s largest family history conference. Speakers will include Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, Leigh Anne Tuohy of The Blind Side and Pulitzer Prize winner and White House photographer, David Hume Kennerly, entertainment for the event will be provided by comedian Ryan Hamilton.
RootsTech will be held on Feb. 26-29, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, will be the featured speakers at Family Discovery Day 2020 on Feb. 29. Those wishing to watch can attend the event in Salt Lake City or can watch the live stream.
RootsTech Family Discovery Day is a one-day free event at the RootsTech family history conference in Salt Lake City, designed to help Latter-day Saint individuals and families discover and celebrate their family heritage — past, present, and future.
“With 300 plus breakout sessions and classes and 200 exhibitor booths in the 200,000 square foot Expo Hall, there’s something for everyone,” according to Nauta. “Select classes will be broadcast live. RootsTech also offers a virtual pass, which provides access to additional online recorded sessions from the conference.”
New this year is a Power Hour featuring smaller classes split into three 15-minute segments, Lunch and Learn that features a speaker and a boxed lunch, and two new learning forums.
“The conference offers classes for all ability levels — from newbies to serious researchers—to help individuals make personal and family discoveries and connections,” Nauta said. “Classes include subjects such as DNA, helpful tools for organization and discovery, best practices for protecting and preserving photos and the latest technology for collecting and sharing family stories.”
The opening session at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday will celebrate 10 years of the RootsTech conference and the great strides made within the industry, Nauta said. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, is the featured speaker. He will highlight the great innovations and developments in the industry, and the exciting future of family discovery anticipated in the next decade.
RootsTech one day passes are $99, and four-day passes are just $189. RootsTech can be followed on social media for upcoming announcements. Find the on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
FamilySearch, the family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced Monday it has added several million records to its library of 8 billion searchable names and images as a precursor to the RootsTech event.
Paul Nauta, spokesman for FamilySearch said in a press release that, “more than 3.9 million records from North Carolina marriages, deaths and burials (1759-1994), 1 million Massachusetts marriage records, (1695-1910) and 1.9 million New Jersey birth, marriage and naturalization records were added.”
More records were also added from American Samoa, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, England, Guatemala, Iceland, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the U.S. according to Nauta.
FamilySearch may be accessed online at FamilySearch.org or patrons may visit one of the 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including 22 locations in Utah County and at the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City.