Wednesday, March 22, 2023

RootsTech 2023 Summary from FamilySearch

 I received this from FamilySearch today:


RootsTech 2023 Unites Friends and Families Worldwide

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—RootsTech 2023, the world’s largest, global celebration of family and genealogy hosted by FamilySearch, held its first ever hybrid in-person and virtual event from March 2–4, reaching millions of participants from 236 countries and territories. Participants were inspired by keynote speakers like Jordin Sparks and Sean Astin, hundreds of classes, and millions of personal and family discoveries and connections. The RootsTech 2023 virtual content can now be explored for free at, all year long.

FamilySearch CEO, Steve Rockwood, in his opening remarks invited attendees worldwide to make an extra effort to counter divisiveness in all its forms by helping to unite their families, friends, and communities.  Watch Steve Rockwood’s RootsTech 2023 Keynote

A record number of participating in-person and virtual attendees made new family connections with cousins all around the world through the interactive, free Relatives at RootsTech feature, which continues through March 31, 2023.

The busy RootsTech 2023 virtual Expo Hall, where viewers can watch product demonstrations from show sponsors and related classes, will be available online through the end of 2023.

RootsTech 2023 Quick Facts
  • RootsTech 2023 united, inspired, informed, and entertained participants from all over the world.More than 500,000 participants have made over 5.2M common ancestor connections to other participants through Relatives at RootsTech 2023.
  • Participants from 236 countries and territories.
  • More than 3 million participants in person and online.
  • Over 128,000 hours of livestream video and 70,000 hours of on-demand content watched.
  • Over 4,000 young adults attended in person.
Relatives at RootsTech 2023

Whether you attend RootsTech 2023 in person or online, a popular interactive activity of the annual event is Relatives at RootsTech. Open through March 31, 2023, anyone can see if and how they are related to hundreds of thousands of participants anywhere in the world. The experience uses an easy tree builder and includes a surname comparison feature for those who do not have a FamilySearch tree. Hundreds of thousands have been delighted to discover new cousins, or to find out they were related to friends, speakers, fellow attendees, famous people in history, and even one of the keynotes—Sean Astin, of Lord of the Rings fame (Find out if you’re related).

RootsTech 2023 Keynotes
  • The youngest winner of American Idol and Grammy-award winning performer, Jordin Sparks, kicked off RootsTech 2023. She shared the role music has played in her life and career. Watch Jordin Sparks at RootsTech 2023
  • Actor Sean Astin, well known for his roles in Lord of the Rings, Goonies, and Rudy, further endeared himself to fans as he reminisced about his family and how we can build united relationships. Watch Sean Astin at RootsTech 2023
  • Surprise guest, Adassa, the voice behind the animated character Dolores in Disney’s “Encanto”, and the voice behind the chart-topping song, “We Don’t Talk about Bruno”, wowed the audience with a live rendition of the song and her own family history reveal. Adassa also sang the RootsTech 2023 theme song, “Uniting”, with singer/songwriter Chad Truman of the Truman Brothers, and the One Voice Children’s Choir. Watch Adassa at RootsTech 2023
  • Renowned photographer, Me Ra Koh took the RootsTech 2023 audience through her personal journey of resilience and growth, and inspired viewers to appreciate that the inevitable shadows of life actually define the light in our lives while providing tips on developing personal narratives and resiliency. Watch Me Ra Koh at RootsTech 2023
  • Jennifer Jacobs and Jessica Stern, CEO and COO of nonprofit Connect Our Kids, shared how the organization’s search technology has been helping child welfare advocates unite foster care children with their families. Watch Connect Our Kids at RootsTech 2023
Other RootsTech 2023 keynotes were available exclusively online.
  • His Highness Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al-Qasimi is a major contributor to achieving sustainability and food security in the United Arab Emirates. He was awarded the Medal of Excellence for being an important figure in sustainable investment. He talked about learning from bees how to make the world a more harmonious place.
  • Tuti Furlan is an influential psychologist in Guatemala who specializes in positive psychology and the science of happiness. Her address in Spanish emphasized that family is not a burden but the fertile soil that allows us to flourish, if we choose it.
  • Mona Magno-Veluz, national president of the Autism Society Philippines, designed and engineered initiatives that empower persons on the autism spectrum and those who care for them. She talked about three blessings she has found in her life through family history.
RootsTech 2023 Innovation and Tech Forum

RootsTech is the place to learn about advancements in technology that can help make new family discoveries and connections. Watch some of the latest innovations including artificial intelligence and DNA showcased at the Innovation and Tech Forum 2023.

RootsTech 2023 welcomed industry leaders and platinum sponsors to share their latest innovations:
  •  Ancestry’s CEO, Deb Liu, and Chief Product Officer, Heather Friedland (Watch here) announced the celebration of the company’s 40th anniversary. Ancestry® introduced its new Storymaker Studio™, advancements in its DNA science with SideView™ technology, handwriting recognition AI, and predicted it will publish 15 billion new historical records online in 2023.
  • MyHeritage celebrated its 20th anniversary. Aaron Godfrey, Vice President of Marketing at MyHeritage, highlighted their new AI Time Machine™, 3.1 billion new records, Photo Tagger™, and an exclusive new feature called Photo Data™ that can estimate when a photo was taken using AI technology. (Watch here to learn more).
  • is a newcomer to the family history industry. The online service intuitively builds your family tree from historical records and brings it to life using collaborative stories. CEO, Kendall Hulet introduced the company’s new AI-powered family history tool, StoryAssist™, that enables users to quickly create an impressive story from just a few details.
Family Discovery Day 2023

Creating and deepening family connections is at the core of Family Discovery Day at RootsTech. Sessions are aimed at learning more about ancestors and strengthening personal and family narratives. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, explored their Chinese and Irish ancestry at Family Discovery Day 2023. The Gongs shared video clips of their recent visits to their homelands in Hawaii and Ireland.
Watch Family Discovery Day 2023

Participant Quote Highlights:
  • I loved coming back to [RootsTech] ‘in person’. There’s nothing like the energy of gathering together…making new connections. Our calendar’s already marked for RootsTech 2024. See you then!!! –L. Bringhurst
  • I attended in person for the first time! It was everything I had hoped for and more. So excited that many classes and events were virtual, and we can watch them anytime! Thank you to everyone who worked to make this event amazing!!! –A. Utton
  • I loved the hybrid classes. I'm new to genealogy and I loved all the sessions I watched from home. It definitely makes me want to attend next year in person. –P. Hawkins
  • I just finished watching... It was absolutely incredible! So entertaining, I cried and I laughed until family came from the other room to see what was going on. –R. Rawlings

Disclosure:  I am a RootsTech 2023 "Influencer" but will receive no remuneration for my support or posting of RootsTech information.  I will be an online participant this year because of my health problems.

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