Highlighting my Mulholland ancestors from County Antrim, Ireland and those that immigrated to Los Angeles and Long Beach California, United States; and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

RootsTech 2016 - Photos

Some photos from RootsTech 2016 -

Amy Johnson Crowe

Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist

Christine Woodcock, Roger Moffat, Kirsty Gray, Jill Ball

Christine Woodcock, Roger Moffat, Kirsty Gray, Jill Ball

Doris Kearns Goodwin - Saturday Keynote

Pat Richley Erickson aka DearMyrtle

Pat Richley-Erickson aka Henrietta (one of DearMyrtle's distant cousins) and Cousin Russ Worthington

D Joshua Taylor
Drew Smith - Evernote Lab

Expo Hall

Expo Hall

Media Hub - Expo Hall

Media Hub - Expo Hall,  with Thomas MacEntee, Jan Gow, Pat Richley Erickson aka DearMyrtle

World's Largest Genealogy Chart

Media Hub - Expo Hall

FamilySearch - Expo Hall

Find My Past - Expo Hall

Find My Past - Expo Hall

My Heritage - Expo Hall

Ancestry - Expo Hall

Expo Hall

Expo Hall

My Heritage - Expo Hall

Media Hub - Expo Hall, with Jill Ball & Kirsty Gray

Check In for Family Discovery Day

Wednesday Schedule

Thursday Schedule

Friday Schedule

Saturday Schedule

© Geoff Mulholland 2013-2016

Thursday, 4 February 2016

RootsTech 2016 Day 1 Wednesday 3 February and Day 2 Thursday 4 February

Yesterday was my first time at a RootsTech conference. I had been warned about the crowds and registration, so I decided to wake up early and get down to the registration area in the Salt Palace around 7 am. Everything went well for me as there were not too many people around at that time and I was registered within a few minutes. I was advised as this was my first time attending RootsTech, to familiarise myself with the layout of the Salt Palace and work out where I should be to attend my chosen sessions, which I did while it was reasonably quiet.

As I was not registered for the Innovators Summit, I spent the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon at the Family History Library and continued my research.

During the afternoon I attended Tom Jones session - 'Documentation: The What, Why, Where and How'. Tom described the session as a 59 minute summary of chapter 4 of his book Mastering Genealogical Proof. 

There was a 30 minute break before the next sessions started, and I then went to see Amy Johnson Crow present "Best Websites and Apps for Finding Local History', in which Amy stressed that as Genealogists we have to understand where our Ancestors lived. Amy highlighted and demonstrated various websites including Historypin.com, WhatWasThere.com, theclio.com, Field Trip (fieldtripper.com) and she suggested that we follow libraries, archives, historical societies and Museums on Instagram.

Following Amy's session I went back to the Family History Library for more research.

This morning I went to the General Session, the highlight of this session for me was listening to Paula Williams Madison talk about her search for her maternal grandfather Samuel Lowe and the reconnection of her family with 300 of Samuel Lowe's descendants in China.

After the keynote I went and explored the Expo Hall, which is absolutely massive, and of course I will need to go back many times during the next few days of the conference between sessions to visit all the vendor booths. I was pleased to meet a couple of people for the first time such as Crista Cowan, Ancestry's Barefoot Genealogist, and DearMyrtle's Cousin Russ Worthington.

Next I went to listen to Michelle Goodrum present the Non-Scientist's Intro to Genetic Genealogy & DNA. As I had not yet ventured into DNA testing and had just purchased an AncestryDNA test kit, 
thought this session would be of great benefit to me. Following this session I had a quick lunch and explored the Expo Hall again.

In the afternoon I attended a further two sessions 'The Mysterious Life of a Record' presented by the FamilySearch Panel (I have written a separate post on this session), and the final session for the day for me was a Lab, Paul Woodbury's 'Introduction to Chromosome Mapping'. I have to admit this session was a little over my head at this point in time, but the links and material which were made available to the participants, will I am sure come in handy in the future for me.

Unfortunately, the Family History Library was closed this evening due to a power outage, so any research that I had planned to do in the library tonight was not possible, instead I was able to relax and catch up with some email and blog posts.

© Geoff Mulholland 2013-2016

RootsTech 2016 - The Mysterious Life of A Record - Family Search Panel

This afternoon I went to the RootsTech, FamilySearch Panel session - 'The Mysterious Life of  Record.' 

The panel was made up of  Rod DeGiulio, Records Division; Trish Melander, Content Strategy; Mario Silva, Field Relations; Niel Oscarson, Records Operations; Tim DeGraw, Indexing, and  Kris Whitehead, Process Improvement.

Rod DeGuilo introduced the session and the panel members to the audience.

Trish Melander gave an outline of how FamilySearch seeks out and then prioritises the acquisition of genealogical records throughout the world for publication on the FamilySearch website. Depending on the custodian involved, these records could be located in an archive, church diocese or even in the local priest's home.

Mario Silva, who is currently on location in Brazil, connected online for the presentation and described the process of negotiating the acquisition of records. The usual offer involves free digital preservation of the records, a copy of the digitised records is donated to the custodian of the documents, a backup copy is stored on FamilySearch servers, and FamilySearch gives a commitment to futures updates in technology, e.g. FamilySearch commenced digitising records about 15 years ago. Privacy concerns come into play in the negotiations, and in some cases records may be redacted.

The records are digitised onsite at the custodians premises, this is stipulated by FamilySearch, so there is no external movement of the physical records. Most of the digitised records are copied to Hard Drives and shipped by Fedex to Salt Lake City. In the case of European records there is a pipe dataline which is used to directly deliver the digitised records to Salt Lake City. 

It was revealed that FamilySearch has in excess of 300 cameras throughout the world digitising records, with 60 terabytes of data including approximately 3 million images being received in Salt Lake City each week. Neil Oscarson, described how this data then undergoes quality control, high quality images are sent to the FamilySearch servers and bad images which may be out of focus or poor contrast are sent back. Pixel checking is crucial to the quality control process.

FamilySearch then prioritises which projects will be indexed next. Examples were given as to which content may receive a higher priority such as birth records, especially from Brazil may jump to the top of the list, other factors involved in the prioritisation are user needs and workforce capabilities.

 Tim DeGraw described the Indexing Setup process, which involves Image Review, Rules, Project Aids, Blocking of images that do not need to be indexed, Quality and then Launch.
Project instructions, Field help, and Handwriting help all play a part. 

In 2015 there 300,000 unique indexers who indexed 240 million records from 165 countries and in 23 languages. 

A significant number of people in the audience had been involved in indexing and arbitration of FamilySearch projects

Kris Whitehead described FamilySearch's Vision which he called the Next Big Leap and reported that there is a focus on publishing more records faster  and that there is a vision of instant publication of records as they are indexed.

© Geoff Mulholland 2013-2016