I flew into Salt Lake City a couple of days early, so that I would have some time to research a bit in the Family History Library. I spent many hours in on the International Floor, pouring over microfilms of Polish and German records. I've already shown my kids this 1747 German marriage record for Gerd Herman Zumbusch (a name that later became Tumbusch) and Anna Maria Mersmans, their 6th great-grandparents. So exciting!
Overall, I was generally pleased by the quality of the classes I attended. I listened to Janet Hovorka speak twice - She presented with her sister, Amy Slade, about the family history narrative as it relates to adoptees, and also with her father, Don Carpenter, about what to do with your family history treasure trove to ensure than it lasts for generations. Although I have no African blood myself, I enjoyed two African-American research talks by Nicka Smith and Shannon Christmas. African-American genealogy is something I know little about, so I wanted to branch out and learn a little bit more about this aspect of genealogy.
On Friday, I, along with my fellow presenters Melissa Finlay (finlayfamily.org) and Nicole Dyer (familylocket.com), had the opportunity to chat in the Media Hub with Jana Greenhalgh, creator of The Genealogy Kids website and blog. It was so motivating and enlightening to talk with women who are drawn to the same mission in life as mothers and family historians - to develop practical ways in which to help kids learn about the lives of their ancestors and feel pride in their family history.
Saturday was Family Discovery Day, and it was wonderful seeing so many families with children in the halls, classrooms, and expo hall. That afternoon, Melissa, Nicole, and I presented our class, 'Kid Genealogists: Inspiring the Next Generation.' It went so well, and we were pleased to see so many people interested in getting kids involved in genealogy. We hope that the success of the class will encourage both RootsTech and other genealogy conference/seminar organizers to include even more classes that focus on how to bring family history alive to children in meaningful and enjoyable ways.
If you were unable to attend our class, you can download the syllabus and get links to lots of other helpful blog posts and websites by visiting this link at The Family Locket blog:
@2017 Emily Kowalski Schroeder