Finlay Family Genealogy

Finding Our Ancestors, and Sharing Their Stories

This ‘n That from RootsTech

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I have spent this week settling back into home routine with my children after a whirlwind couple of weeks prepping for and attending RootsTech.

Here are a few favorite moments of my RootsTech 2017 experience:


One big goal for me at RootsTech this year was to meet several of my “virtual” genealogy friends in person. Here are a few of my now real-life genealogy friends (the ones I remembered to take a photo of while we chatted).

NextGen Genealogy Network Lunch Meetup

Cheri Passey, Melissa Finlay

Rachel Niesen of Save Family Photos, Melissa Finlay

Devon Noel Lee, Melissa Finlay

Nicole Dyer, Emily Schroeder, and I were interviewed by Jana Greenhalgh on Friday afternoon. It was a great opportunity for us, as mommy-genealogist-bloggers to discuss our passion for sharing family history with children and teens.

Nicole Dyer, Jana Greenhalgh, Emily Schroeder, Melissa Finlay

A Photo Chat with Maureen:

I brought a mystery photo loaded on my iPad to ask Maureen Taylor, the photo detective, about. She told me this photo was taken in the early 1850s, depicts a woman of some wealth based on her clothing and jewelry, with blue eyes, possibly mid to late 20s, possibly a wedding portrait. Again, the size of the photo (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches) indicated that this was a woman of some means, as this is a very large photo print for the time period. We determined together that this could not be my grandmother’s grandmother (as my grandmother told me), but is perhaps the right age to be her grandmother’s mother. This chat was very valuable to me and gave me more clues to go on in hunting down this 2nd great-grandmother’s origin, and possibly her mother too. Either way, this is one of my treasured family photos and I am glad to know a little more about it.

Booth Fun:

Little Family Tree booth at RootsTech 2017

Our Little Family Tree and GenQuizitive booth stayed busy most of the conference. My husband, myself and our son took turns manning the booth, touring the rest of the expo hall, and attending classes. It was wonderful to have several customers stop by the booth to tell us how much their children love using Little Family Tree to learn about their heritage. That is why we do what we do! To help children feel that connection to generations past.

On Saturday our twin girls came to help with our booth as well as enjoy Family Discovery Day. They were quite determined to get a longer tag than mom. I concede! They did win, by a lot. They collected lots of swag for themselves and some to take back to younger siblings.

Quotes from an LDS Church perspective:

Elder Russell M. Nelson: “If our collections of stories and photos should ever become an end point in themselves, if we know who our ancestors are and know marvelous things about them, but we leave them stranded on the other side without their ordinances such diversion will not be of any help to our ancestors who remain confined in their spirit prison.”

Diane Loosle, AG, CG: “I had forgotten that this is first and foremost a spiritual work and I’d let my head lead and not my heart and not the Spirit.” (See also 2 Nephi 9: 28-29)


Nicole Dyer, Melissa Finlay, Emily Schroeder

Nicole, Emily and I presented during the very last session of RootsTech, and head-to-head with some other big name presenters. We were pleasantly surprised to have a good-sized group of attendees come to our class. To learn more about our class, please see Kid Genealogists: Inspiring the Next Generation at FamilyLocket.

I still have a list of recorded sessions to watch, and several syllabi to study. It was a great conference and I am already looking forward to next year.

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