Wednesday, February 28, 2018

RootsTech Day 1: England, Deeds, Maps, DNA, and More

Day 1 of RootsTech! Photos now, story later (after Expo opening). Above, "Making the Most of English & Welsh Parish Records" featuring the dapper expert Myko Clelland. Myko explained the different types of parish records and the potential info awaiting researchers who can locate and read the records. "Read" is a key word here--the handwriting can be difficult for ordinary mortals like me. But I'm now encouraged to delve deeper into hubby's Slatter and Shehen lines in England!

Next session on my list was Amie Bowser Tennant's practical and entertaining "Deed You Hear About These Underutilized Records?" One of the top takeaways is to be sure to look up "grantor" records as well as "grantee" records, to see who bought and who sold. In many (but not all) cases, the buyer's previous town will be listed. That's just the clue I need for hubby's Steiner and Rinehart ancestors who bought land in OH!

After a fun lunch break with blogging friends, I refreshed my skills with the hands-on lab "Custom Google Maps" taught by Kyle Clements. Created a sample map showing the travel route taken by my Burk/Birk/Berk/Berg ancestors, leaving Lithuania and going first to Manchester, England. From there, one brother went to Montreal and the other went to Canada just long enough to stop feeling seasick and get on a train to NYC. Yes, that means you, Grandpa Isaac Burk.

Next was DNA superstar Diahan Southard's engaging and motivating "Direct Line DNA Testing for Genealogical Research." I asked Diahan whether mtDNA and YDNA would be helpful in endogamous populations like my ancestral Eastern European Jewish roots. She said yes! So you know what kind of tests I'm bringing home from the Expo.

So many top-notch speakers, so little time . . . but now the Expo Hall is opening and bargains await! Hint: If you're a mystery fan, go see Nathan Dylan Goodwin. I bought 4 of his books at the Expo.


  1. Cool - you got to meet Nathan Dylan Goodwin! I just finished his most recent book, The Wicked Trade, and am looking forward to his next one! I look forward to attending RootsTech vicariously through all those bloggers I know who are there.

  2. This is going to be an adventure! So happy to have spent some time catching up with you!