RootsTech 2013, Day 1 – Keynotes

I can save this for a full day’s blog post or put something out that’s shorter and quicker. I’m opting for the latter.

I thought I’d go to the keynote in person; what was I thinking? But I was just out of the shower as it began and I listened to all three speakers.

I have a few whisper to my neighbor comments about the keynote speakers.

Dennis Brimhall had some staggering facts and great stories. He said, “People don’t really exist until we know their story.” Also, “If there is no record, they don’t exist,” when talking about the 40% of people in the world today that will be born, live, and die, and leave no documentation. Well, actually, they will still exist, they just won’t exist in the future for anyone to find them. Just like those stillbirths buried in the cemetery behind my great-grandparents, along with others from her family. There are no names and no parents’ names on those graves, and no telling if there are more buried there than the two stones. Will I ever know who they were? Actually, I probably will someday. I just don’t have easy access to stillbirths right now. But if there were more, will I find them all? How many other children were born and died before they showed up in the census so I don’t even know to look for them?

Syd Lieberman had some interesting stories to tell. I don’t have much in the way of comments for him. I loved the one quote where his mother had a date and called him to say, “In case you’re gonna call me tonight, I’m not gonna be home.”

Josh Taylor’s stories about his two grandmothers was interesting. I didn’t have a fantastic Grandma Taylor like he did. I did get to speak to both of mine around age 11 or 12 and get some of their family trees, but I didn’t know what I was doing and nobody told me more. After collecting the first round of data, I knew nothing about asking more questions, getting more details, collecting stories, or that there were genealogy societies to teach me more about what I was trying to do. I wish I had that.

One critique I had about his talk was saying that we needed technology to be able to translate old records. Why? There isn’t technology like that now and we learn to read the records for ourselves. Why must future generations have it so much easier? ;-P

Josh also told us not to disregard Twitter. Does that mean he intends to tweet more often? Because we rarely hear from him on there. Psst, hey Josh, tweet more. ;-)

And now I’m going to finish getting ready and head downtown to experience RootsTech in person. I don’t have my blogger beads yet.

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2 thoughts on “RootsTech 2013, Day 1 – Keynotes”

  1. I’m guessing you are the first post! I watched the live feed as well. I can’t go until Friday. I think Josh Taylor’s message about using technology for the younger generation was right on. He just wants to draw in a younger age group. He was unique… not all youth are eager to search census records. It’s so critical to save records. We’re already losing cursive in our schools. Online preservation is so important.

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