Saturday, March 12, 2022

A RootsTech Re-Wrap


It's been a week since RootsTech wrapped up its run for 2022. Generously, the RootsTech team made this year's event as accessible as last year's—and even more so now, as we can still access our play lists from the previous year, along with the current year's offerings.

Unlike last year, the "advantage" for me with this season's conference was that I was a captive audience. Coming down with an illness that same week which slew me—or at least knocked me flat on my back—had its advantages, at least in the matter of timing. I had no choice but to watch; I couldn't get up to do much more than lazily stare at my computer screen.

There was, however, much more than that, as far as benefits went. Now that I've had a week to mull over everything, here are some observations.

The first detail that struck me about RootsTech was how accessible beginner training was. From a selfish point of view, that might not seem a plus, but besides the outcome of nurturing newer genealogists, viewing the stuff which might seem old hat to us can still be beneficial. In the midst of all that "yeah, yeah, I already know that" material turned out to be quite a few helpful tips. While we may think we know a lot, there's always someone else who might turn up with a new way of approaching a problem that might not have occurred to us in our entrenched expertise.

There is also an aspect that I like to refer to as "learning by osmosis." That is the principle I try to employ when I write about my research escapades, becoming the genealogical guinea pig to share the experience in hopes that others will glean new resources or approaches to genealogical puzzles we have in common. At RootsTech, what I found unfolding in my mind, as I listened to speakers, were ideas on how I could modify someone else's research approach to fit a puzzle I hadn't yet been able to solve. There is something about listening to others talk through their difficulties that provides us with the creative problem-solving juices to oil our own mind's machinery. Insights often beget insights.

Now that I'm back on my feet, I suppose the remainder of my playlist will face the same fate as the one from last year's event: still waiting to be watched. That's the truth of the matter, as it stands now. But perhaps I'll heed that little realization, that light bulb that turned on while flat on my back last week during RootsTech. Sometimes a little down time to let our subconscious problem-solving mind tackle the details can turn out to be a good thing. It certainly did revitalize some research efforts for me—and I'm looking forward to sharing those little sparks in the coming week.


  1. Sorry to hear that you were ill, hope you make a full recovery!

    1. Well, let's just say I'm on my way to better. Thanks for the well wishes, Far Side!


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