RootsTech 2017 – You Didn’t Miss It! By Marlis Humphrey

The largest genealogy conference in the world, RootsTech 2017 attracted 30,000 attendees. While the upcoming IAJGS Conference in Orlando will focus on Jewish genealogy, RootsTech focused on all the latest in general genealogy tools and methods. Most all of the sessions except for certain ethnic ones are also helpful for those researching their Jewish ancestors.

The conference app is available for Apple devices in the App Store and for Android Devices in the Game Store. You also can access the app from a computer browser at From there you can search the sessions by keyword or browse by day. For a limited time, all handouts for the sessions can be downloaded from the app.

More than forty sessions were streamed live over the Internet. Those sessions will be available for a year on the home page Be sure to view Lara Diamond’s Thursday session “Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look and What’s Available”. There are several good sessions on DNA – including one from Diahan Southard who has been a speaker at the JGSGO. Crista Cowan, who will be presenting to the JGSGO at the March workshop was also recorded.

Jewish genealogy sessions at the conference included:

Jewish Genealogy Resources on the Internet: Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage | Intermediate

Tips for Tracing Your Jewish Roots: Schelly Talalay Dardashti, MyHeritage | Beginner

Jewish Genealogy: Where to Look & What’s Available: Lara Diamond | Beginner

Introduction to Jewish Genealogy: Mark Fearer, Ancestral Discovery | Beginner

Jewish DNA: Successes and Lessons From the Journey: Israel Pickholtz | Intermediate

The Nuts & Bolts of Jewish Genealogy: Ken Bravo, Nuts & Bolts of Jewish Genealogy | Beginner

Be sure to look at the handouts.

RootsTech always holds an Innovator’s Summit. You can take a look at the products and services that are on the horizon for genealogy at Our IAJGS Webmaster, Banai Feldstein, was a semi-finalist with her product CSI – Crowd Sourced Indexing. IGRA, a JGS in Israel, has been using the product for indexing local records.

A highlight of this year’s conference was the new “Coaches’ Corner where attendees could sign up for one-on-one help with their genealogy problems. A similar resource will likely be available at this year’s IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy 2017 in Orlando.