Throughout 2020, MyHeritage developed new tools and added 1.5 billion historical records so you can enrich your family history research while at home. For a detailed recap of all MyHeritage activities in 2020, including the release of our groundbreaking photo features MyHeritage In Color™ and Photo Enhancer, see our 2020 year in review blog post.
Just a few days ago, we released Genetic Groups, increasing the depth and resolution of MyHeritage DNA ethnicity estimates by more than 2,100 geographic regions. We have a very exciting roadmap of new genealogy features lined up for 2021.
With the Complete plan, you’ll enjoy all of the following: Full access to all 12.7 billion historical records on MyHeritage, and all Record Matches — historical records that match your ancestors and relatives Unlimited colorization and enhancement of historical photos Unlimited family tree size and unlimited photo storageSmart Matches™ — finds connections between your family tree and other users’ trees to bring you new information Instant Discoveries™ — adds entire branches and photos to your tree Join now and save 66% This offer expires on January 7, 2020.
Vicki’s note: Here is a free on-line Roots Tech Conference from FamilySearch.org that you can sign up for. It might just be a good boost to improve our mood at the lack of being able to gather together in this season of Covid 19. They state that you should also have a (free) FamilySearch.org account set up first.:
DON’T FORGET TO CREATE YOUR FAMILYSEARCH ACCOUNT
In order to have the best experience at RootsTech Connect, you will need to have a FamilySearch account. A FamilySearch account will allow you to interact and chat with other attendees and even see how you’re related to others who are watching. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one for free here. February 25 is coming soon, and I have so much more to share with you over the next few weeks. As always, if you have any questions, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk soon, Jen Allen, event director P.S. Thanks for sharing this event with your friends and family who might be interested. Keep spreading the word!
Join the world’s largest family celebration for free to unlock your family’s history and learn how to preserve the stories of your life.
25 – 27 February, 2021
Introducing RootsTech Connect: A Free Online Conference Experience
For the first time ever, the world’s largest family celebration event will be entirely virtual and completely free. Get ready to celebrate shared connections with people from around the world. Connect with friends, your family, your past, and your heritage and homelands—all from the comfort of your home and in your browser. https://form.jotform.com/202096712550046
Former Mexican professional golfer; mother; entrepreneur
Founder of OurBlackAncestry.com; writer and genealogist
International motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling authorLearn More
Virtual Connections at Your Fingertips
RootsTech Connect is different than any other virtual event—no boring speakers or falling asleep at your computer screen. Rather, enjoy dozens of inspirational learning sessions, uplifting messages from celebrity keynote speakers, and hands-on activities to help you celebrate your heritage all year long.
Celebrity Keynote Speakers
Keynotes are a huge part of RootsTech events. They deliver messages of inspiration and hope. Stay tuned for the full lineup of keynote speakers to be announced soon.
Classes from Speakers around the Globe
Enjoy dozens of classes in multiple languages on topics such as discovering your family story, tracing your ancestors, and preserving your memories.
The virtual Marketplace will be the perfect place to see the latest innovations, interact with companies from around the world, and find answers and resources to aid you in your work. Plus, get real-time help via video or live chat!
Celebrate the world’s cultures with activities such as homeland cooking demonstrations, yoga, and music from around the world. These experiences will be available throughout the online event and on demand.
Connect with Family from Anywhere
Finding cousins and interacting with other attendees is an important part of the RootsTech model. Enjoy exclusive opportunities to chat with other attendees through various messaging boards, social media interactions, and video chats.
Regardless of age or experience, this virtual conference has something for everyone interested in discovering family and preserving stories.
Grab your parents, siblings, or spouse, and enjoy RootsTech together. From classes to interactive cultural activities on demand, there’s enough fun here for an entire household!
With dozens of classes available live and on demand and the opportunity to chat with experts, you’ll find customized help at every click.
Don’t miss the exciting things we’ve got planned for youth of all ages—including virtual cultural celebrations and other games and activities available on demand.
“I am so excited for RootsTech Connect! Though I know I will miss seeing my friends in person, I am certain the content and virtual experiences will be fantastic! Goodbye hard conference seats, lines, sore feet, and wintry icy sidewalks. I am looking forward to basking in an amazing and comfortable RootsTech experience from my couch. With travel expenses eliminated, everyone worldwide can now enjoy the fabulous RootsTech experience.”Amy Archibald
RootsTech is going global this year with RootsTech Connect! Because of this special opportunity to focus on countries from all over the world, we wanted to create videos highlighting different cultures, food, traditions, and more, and who better to tell us about those countries than the people who live there and love it? Share your story here.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. It is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For FamilySearch, it’s all about family. FamilySearch is dedicated to connecting families across generations and believes that families bring joy and meaning to life.
To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is RootsTech Connect?
RootsTech Connect will be live during 25-27 February 2021 at rootstech.org. All of the content will then be available following the live event for at least 12 months. Why a virtual conference?
That’s a great question. A few reasons, really. First, the live events industry is changing and adapting currently, and that calls for innovation. Hosting this event online is the safest and most responsible action we can take for everyone involved.
Secondly, an online event means that we can truly turn this into a global celebration of family. Imagine how many people will now be able to participate in RootsTech without the barrier of travel or lodging. This is what gets me excited. We are focused on creating a true global event—meaning we’ll have content taught by presenters from all over the world, and many of the classes will be available in multiple languages. We’ll have an even greater number of companies to learn from in our virtual Expo Hall—from all over the world as well. Is this online event replacing RootsTech in Salt Lake City 2021?
Yes. This virtual conference will replace the planned in-person event that was scheduled for February 3–6, 2021, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Is this really a free event?
Yes! This event is 100 percent free. We won’t ask for a credit card number. In a few months we will have a simple registration form that you can fill out, and we might ask for your mailing address so we can send you some RootsTech swag, but the event will be freely available online. We’d ask that you share this with your friends, family, or colleagues so that we can really expand the reach of the event. Will classes be available in different languages?
Absolutely. One of our goals for this event is to have more content in more languages. We’re working on developing classes and content taught by people from around the world in a number of languages. More information will be available on the classes and speakers as the event approaches. Will recordings be available on demand after the live event?
Yes. This event will have a combination of both livestream content and content that will be available on demand. So if you have to step away from the computer for a bit, no worries. All of the content will be available to you to enjoy on your own time. Aside from classes and the virtual marketplace, what other things can I look forward to?
RootsTech is more than just classes and the virtual marketplace. It’s about celebrating culture and heritage. Throughout the event, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a number of other activities, such as a homeland cooking demonstration, a yoga session to get the blood flowing, and so much more! I’m interested in teaching a class or sharing a family history cultural activity. What should I do?
If you’ve got an idea for a class session for RootsTech Connect, we’d love to talk with you. We’re currently gathering ideas and concepts for both classes and cultural experiences and demonstrations. We’re particularly interested in sessions taught in different languages. Dream big, and share with us your fun ideas. We’re looking for sessions based on the following topics:
Food and cultural demonstrations
Mind-break activities such as exercise, meditation, or yoga
Travel and world heritage
RootsTech Blog—Get the latest updates, tips, and tools
Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), which is characterized by decorative sugar skulls, is often misinterpreted as a continuation of Halloween or something spooky. It’s actually much more: a holiday steeped in tradition and symbolism and focused on the family.Recording Helps
Note from Vicki: Short notice on an interesting Rock County Genealogical Society free Zoom genealogy program that I just got an email on. I plan on “watching” it.:
Free RCGS Online Zoom Family History Program – Helping Make Connections
Rock County Genealogical Society – Finding Families, A Story of Helping Others Make Connections. A FREE Online Program-Tuesday, December 8, 7:00 p.m., CST
Note – there are no handouts for this program.
The Rock County Genealogical Society will host a free online family history Zoom program by Brian Richards at 7:00 PM on Tuesday December 8. Presenter: Brian Richards is a native of Oregon, WI and a retired elevator mechanic who researched his own family and developed more interests and skills en-route. Brian was interviewed on Channel 27 on July 2, 2020.
Program Description: He will share his experiences tracing lost lines & the joy of helping others without the resources unite with lost family members for the first time. Brian will focus on his use of DNA, and the connections it can reveal.
Tuesday December 8th, 2020 – 7:00 PM HOW TO PARTICIPATE:This free live online program is offered to the public. Participants may watch and ask questions from their home using one of two devices: An Internet enabled home PC, or A personal cell phone
Simply click the Zoom teleconferencing link at the scheduled time and enter the conference ID code.
HOW TO JOIN:The Zoom web link, Zoom conference ID code and a link to handouts is found at the RCGS website’s “Speakers and Programs Page.” Click here for instructions, links and handouts: https://www.rcgswi.org/events–speakers.html
Subject: WBCGS Meeting Program – Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
“The Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol”
by Mary Rose
WBCGS – Regular Meeting Program
Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.
The Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol was the first organization in the U.S. to form a women’s ambulance training program; making this a Rockford First, Rockford Original. On April 3, 1940, nineteen months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, eight women of Rockford formed W.A.S.P. Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol. This volunteer group was the brainchild of Dr. Albert S. Roseborough, who was chairman of the Rockford Red Cross. The women of Rockford wanted to be ready. Their motto explained their mission: “Safety in time of Peace, Security in time of Disaster”. W.A.S.P. became a volunteer homeland force of over 300 women. This idea spread coast-to-coast in 17 communities in 15 states. This is an ongoing research project which began in September 2018.
Could you be related to one of these remarkable women? Perhaps you knew one of these ladies and could add insight to the research. Come see the hour-long PowerPoint presentation. The scrapbook that revealed this amazing lost piece of history is now in the archives of Midway Village & Museum. If you have any information to share, please contact Mary Rose at: email@example.com
Vicki’s Note – A chance to use this new photograph enhancer while you are staying home safe from Covid 19 Virus. Goodbye blurry photos? You have to register first. Free for anyone to use from August 11 through September 10, 2020. Read article below Posted by Geoff Rasmussen in MyHeritage
Here at MyHeritage, we want to do our part to help the genealogy community keep busy and have some fun during these challenging times. That’s why we’re now giving all users free and unlimited access to MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™, our new features that enhance and colorize photos, for an entire month. Ordinarily only 10 photos can be enhanced or colorized by users who do not have a Complete plan, but now, you can enhance and colorize as many photos as you’d like for free!
The examples below showcase the great results that you can achieve with your own photos:
Photo Enhancer: Before and After
MyHeritage In Color™ + Photo Enhancer: Before and After
Enhancing and colorizing photos is a fun activity that will give you an even greater appreciation for your historical family photos. It will give you the chance to reminisce and gain a deeper connection to your family history. These features complement each other, and can be used on their own or together (in any order) to bring your photos to life and produce truly exceptional results. We invite you to pull out your family photo albums today and join in the fun.
Your original photos will not be modified, and new versions will be created just for you, that you can easily share on social media to delight your family and friends.
These features are based on artificial intelligence. They have taken the Internet by storm and have already been used 16 million times in the past few months. Now’s your chance to experience them too. Enjoy MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™ for FREE until September 10, 2020.
GeneaQuest 2020: Frontiers in Genealogy. 12 Sep 2020, Web conference
Vicki’s note – another great opportunity for on-line learning sponsored by (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois. Helpful in this time of Covid 19 sheltering. (By the way – my red “sideways 8” symbol is how I visually separate words/writing that are/is mine vs what I am sharing/quoting from other sources/quotes.) is the symbol for infinity which is what family history and the hobby of researching genealogy are! Endless. :
“Register today for GeneaQuest 2020: Frontiers in Genealogy. 12 Sep 2020, Web conference
Friday, Sept 11, DNA Primer (must be registered for Saturday event): additional $15
Featuring international, national and area speakers!
Internationally known and acclaimed speakers, from left, Kitty Cooper, Maurice Gleeson, Gail Lukasik, Jane Haldeman, Dan Hubbard and Michelle Wilson.
Lectures include: Frontiers in Genealogy, Managing Surname Projects, My Ancestor was a Farmer, From the Source’s Mouth, DNA Cousin Matching, DNA 3rd Party Tools, “I” is for Identity, White Like Her, When Life Becomes Myth, and Collaborative Trees.
Vicki’s note – CAGGNI Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois is continuing their genealogy “meetings” via webinars. Here is one of their latest programs that you can “attend”. The lead mines in Galena, Illinois and in Wisconsin were very important to the mid 1800s economy. This webinar would be interesting even If some of your ancestors were not from there or other mining states:
(Notice that the miner is in the cart behind the horse, and both have to duck their heads to go through the mine. )
“A pit pony, otherwise known as a mining horse, was a class of pony commonly used underground in mines from the mid-18th until the mid-20th century. The term refers to the work done by the animal, and has sometimes been applied to any equines working underground, regardless of breed.”
Though gone for several decades, the coal industry had a huge impact on northern Illinois. Our speaker will focus on the history of the coal industry in northern Illinois from the work force, to the mine types to the social life in the coal towns, labor struggles and major mine disasters.
Speaker: Richard Joyce is a descendant of coal miners on both sides of his family and grew up on a farm near South Wilmington. A resident of Coal City, he is a retired teacher and serves on the Grundy County board.
Vicki’s note – I have watched the first 2 episodes of this new ABC TV series which started May 26 on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Central Time. It hits the right notes for television true crime procedurals and learning more about DNA genealogy detective techniques. I don’t personally care for “procedural” detective mysteries – in television shows, movies or books, but watching Cece in action solving the often long cold cases is fascinating.
Based on an interview at the start of the series – Cece Moore “created” her self-designated “genetic genealogy” label when genetics first became viable to be used in conjunction with genealogy research. She reinvented herself from a model and educated herself to become a highly sought after genetic detective. Henry Louis Gates JR refers genetic issues of his “Finding Your Roots” television show guests to her.
Cece specialized in finding the birth families of adopted people. When police departments first asked her to apply her skills to finding murdering criminals, Cece had the same moral/ethical dilemma that many of us genealogists might empathize with – using the DNA test results of unaware relatives to find DNA family connections. She applies that to finding relatives of a criminal to narrow down who the criminal is. She resolved her uncertainty once she knew that individuals voluntarily submit DNA test results to GEDCOM which lists them for easy access of all .
Cece knows that she is doing a good thing to solve these crimes, and sometimes stop further (mass) murderers, even though she knows that some of the cases “no one can feel good about.” The victims families also appreciate having the long ago crimes be resolved. The show is worth a watch.
Genealogy is the fascinating study of our families – those individuals that shine, and those that did not. This is just one more aspect.
Cece uses DNA test results, vital records, and other genealogical documents to create the family trees of people related to the DNA tested criminal. She is able to pinpoint the (most probable) previously unnamed individual and identify who they are by DNA results.
The percent of shared DNA shows the exact relationships even when the family history hides the true connections – i.e. the older sister is really the mother of a child, the father was not the husband, etc. The amazing thing is that Cece researches and concludes the results in just a few hours – something we all would like to achieve!
You may also want to click to read further information on the television show, and DNA testing uses and issues here:
In honor of Memorial Day in the U.S., we’re offering free access to all military collections on MyHeritage, which include over 57 million records, between May 20 and May 26, 2020. Discover fascinating information about your ancestors and relatives who served in the military.