Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Insider Speaking at RootsTech 2014

The Ancestry Insider is speaking at RootsTech 2014I am happy to announce that I will be speaking at RootsTech 2014. I am teaching “Do It Yourself Photo Restoration.” I’ll present the topic once in a regular session and twice in hands-on labs. My syllabus is 39 pages long! (it has lots of photos, as you might expect.) I was nervous about the length, but I asked and an unsigned reply said it was OK. That’s a lot of translating for 10 languages! I appreciate RootsTech’s investment.

Restore that photograph to its initial splendor. Repair colorcast. Restore tonal range. Eliminate blemishes. Get the most from your scanner. We’ll be using free software, since many people don’t own PhotoShop. But the principles are universal.

Someone pointed out that I’m three of the eight sessions in the Photos category. There are

  • 39 sessions in the Find category,
  • 39 in General,
  • 15 in Organize,
  • 8 in Photos,
  • 12 in Preserve,
  • 27 in Share,
  • 21 in Stories,
  • 39 in technology,
  • 14 in Business, and
  • 12 for software developers.

Theoretically, that adds up to 238 sessions. Slicing the sessions by audience (and perhaps registration type), there are

  • 119 general sessions,
  • 25 getting started,
  • 24 computer labs,
  • 27 innovator,
  • 19 LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints),
  • 12 youth, and
  • 12 unconferencing.

Within their respective category and audience types, there are

  • 165 beginner sessions,
  • 172 intermediate, and
  • 139 advanced.

That adds to more than 238 because some sessions are counted in multiple skill levels.

The idea behind “Unconferencing” sessions is that the session attendees do the presenting. You may have a moderator or organizer, but attendees do all the talking.

I’ve wondered how much RootsTech has caught on among advanced genealogists. Most don’t have the means to attend NGS, FGS, and RootsTech. Is there enough draw for them to divert money from the established conferences? I filtered the sessions by Advanced, and was pleased to see sessions by Pamela Weisberger, Laura Prescott, Judy Russell, Curt Witcher, and Elissa Scalise Powell. I should not have gone down the path of mentioning specific names because there are plenty of nationally recognized experts whose names I don’t recognize (early-onset dementia). My apologies to the rest of you. But you don’t have to trust my recall abilities. You can see the sessions yourself at

I look forward to my presentation and hope to see you there, if not in my session, then somewhere at RootsTech 2014.

The Ancestry Insider is an official RootsTech 2014 blogger


  1. During your presentation "Do It Yourself Photo Restoration" you mentioned your syllabus could be found at this location or on I have been unable to locate it in either place. Would it be possible for you to respond to this comment with the URL to the location of the file?


  2. At the moment, you can find it at


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