RootsTech Connect is 24-27 February, 2021 and they have a great feature for hobbyists and professionals alike–Relatives at RootsTech.
To take advantage of this feature you’ll need to:
- Go to FamilySearch.org/connect and sign in to this feature OR create a FamilySearch account at this link and opt in to this feature (you’ll also be signing up for the RootsTech Connect conference–it’s free)
- Build a tree (easy) by connecting yourself to a family tree at FamilySearch (use this number to call and get online help 1-866-406-1830)
- Once you’ve signed up at FamilySearch.org/connect, you can use that link and if you have a family tree at FamilySearch, you’ll be able to see how many of your cousins are registered attendees at RootsTech. If you look closely, the first image below gives you an idea what the map and list will look like.
- And once you’ve signed up, even without a family tree, you can use the FamilySearch.org/connect link and search a family name and see how many people with that surname are registered attendees and where they’re from.
- When the RootsTech Connect conference goes live on Wednesday, February 24th, 5pm MST, you’ll be able use the Connect feature to go to Relatives at RootsTech where you’ll be able to chat with, and/or view your relationship to your relatives at RootsTech
- you can opt out at any time by selecting your User Preferences in the top right-hand corner of the screen and toggle off the Relatives at RootsTech button
The RootsTech Connect feature
I’ve had a sneak preview and it’s going to be fun and will be especially useful for newbies and hobbyists who might be looking for living family to connect with. I’m not permitted to show you my view of the conference until it’s live, but here’s a link to a YouTube Video released by FamilySearch with some information about what will be available at this virtual conference. Around the 29:38:00 minute mark they mention the Connect feature but don’t show everything I’m describing below.
Once the conference has gone live, I’ll release a new blog post showing you exactly how to find your Relatives at RootsTech, but I’ll talk you through it right now.
There will be a Connect button you’ll select. You’ll have the option to send Direct Messages to attendees or go to Chat Rooms. In the Direct Messages window under My Conversations there will be a Show My Relatives feature. This will open up a list of My Relatives at RootsTech and it appears to be an ordered list by closest relatives to more distant relatives.
If you scroll to the bottom of the truncated list of relatives there will be a View Map of My Relatives button. Select this button and you’ll be taken to a Relatives at RootsTech map showing how many attendees (who’ve opted in to this feature) you’re related to and mapping the first 300 or so on a world map. You can select an attendees’ name from the list and Send a Message to them, +Add Friend which adds them to a friends list (I’m not yet sure what this feature is for), and View Relationship.
Below is an image of the Relatives at RootsTech map you can access when you’ve signed in at the FamilySearch.org/connect link. I’ve blurred the names and faces of people in my relatives list for privacy reasons.
View My Relationship
This is the most exciting feature for those new to genealogy. FamilySearch already has this feature on their family tree but basically it allows you to select a person and see how you and this person are related. It’s only as good as the information in the FamilySearch family tree, but it’s a fun way to find distant cousins and see how closely we’re all related.
The latest information I’ve been given is:
- More than 315,000 people have registered for RootsTech Connect
- They represent more than 220 countries and territories
- At least 16,000 are from the UK
Another fun thing about the My Relatives at RootsTech is any registered participant can create a new Chat Room. So you could create a chat room for an ancestral line and potentially invite some relatives to join and share info about your ancestors–glean what other relatives have in their collections!
Okay, enough for now. I’ll update this once the conference is live and I can show you an actual walk-through. If you think you’ll want to take advantage of this feature you should sign up now, before the event starts, when their system might get overloaded.
And if you KNOW for certain you won’t be signing up, but are interested in learning how many people of a certain surname are attending and from where, leave a comment and I’ll look it up and post an answer in my reply.
Best with your research!