Family history has always been a key focus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As members learn more and more about their relatives and ancestors, it makes temple work a lot easier.
An event that has helped thousands of people learn how to search their family history is RootsTech Connect, and starting this weekend, it returns in a virtual format.
Paul Nauta, the public relations manager for the event, is excited to see how the shift to a virtual format will help the event grow.
“We’ve always talked about extending RootsTech to a broader audience worldwide. Now is our opportunity to do it,” he said in an interview. “The pandemic has given us an open door to figure out how to deliver the signature RootsTech experience in an online environment.”
The RootsTech conferences started in Salt Lake City in 2011. Since then, the event has only grown, with more than 25,000 attendees during the 2018 conference.
Now that the conference is entirely online, Nauta said the organizers are expecting a lot more people to attend. And they were right, it’s a lot more than 25,000 people.
“We are expecting over half a million attendees this year for the three-day event,” said Nauta. “And they’re from all over the world, from 226 countries and territories is what the expectation is right now.”
With so many people attending, the demands for classes and activities is very high. However, because of the new online format, RootsTech is ready to deliver. Their new website has a lot to offer to those who have registered for the event.
“There’s going to be content going on 24/7. We have over a thousand sessions that cover things like ‘Helping Find Your Family and Ancestors,’ ‘DNA,’ help for researching different kinds of records from different places, we have so much to offer,” said Nauta.
The website has more than 800,000 videos made by people who have done extensive family history research, and all of them are available at their website. You can even make a playlist to watch later.
“You could watch six videos a day, every day, for 365 years, and maybe cover everything that RootsTech Connect 2021 has to offer you,” said Nauta.
The event has helped change a lot of people’s lives, even Nauta’s. His family is from Italy, and he’s been able to connect with relatives from there because of the things he’s learned from this event.
“Me personally, my life has been changed for the better by being able to connect with relatives that I didn’t know existed,” he said.
To find out more about the event, or to register for free, visit their website at rootstech.org.