Monday, November 19, 2018

The Passing of my Beautiful Mom, Elizabeth Webster Iverson

I'm sad to announce that my dear, sweet, beautiful Mom, Elizabeth Webster Iverson, passed away on October 27, 2018. She had been suffering from moderate to severe Dementia, most likely Alzheimer's, according to a Neurologist we went to see in early January 2018. She declined at a rapid pace from her initial diagnosis of mild dementia in early November 2017.

My husband and I were with my Mom when she passed away. Our family will miss her, but we are happy in the thought of her joyous reunion with her beloved husband and our Dad, Jan Albert Iverson, who passed away on April 29, 2009. She must have also had a very sweet reunion with her own Mom, Sarah Vasques Madeira, who passed away when my Mom was almost four years old. My Mom also must be so happy to be with her other family members who've passed away before her.

I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will have the opportunity to see and hug my Mom again someday. I'm so grateful to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for His atoning sacrifice that makes this possible.

I'm so happy that my Mom is free from the horrible Dementia that took her away from us little by little over this past year. We will miss her, but we're so happy for her freedom from pain and suffering.

Thanks for stopping by.


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Another Cousin Connection Through Genealogy Blogging

In February 2015 I wrote a blog post titled The Benefits of Genealogy Blogging. In this post I listed several benefits of writing a genealogy blog. One of the benefits is that my genealogy blog acts as cousin bait. Basically, cousin bait means that if a relative of mine searches for one of our common ancestors online, they may find my blog and then contact me.

Over the years of writing this blog, I have had quite a few previously-unknown cousins contact me because of this blog. I actually have used Evernote to help me keep track of these cousin connections and how these cousins found me.

I wrote about one of these cousin connections in January 2015. This was quite an exciting and unexpected cousin connection because this newly-discovered cousin is not a distant cousin, but a very close cousin on my mom's side of the family. If you'd like to read that post, click HERE.

Today, I'm sharing exciting news about another cousin connection. I recently received an email from another previously-unknown cousin. He told me that he stumbled onto my blog and then shared two obituaries for our common ancestor, Ole Anthon Christopherson (my paternal 2nd great-grandfather). Ole was born in Norway in 1837. He immigrated to the United States in 1866.

In these obituaries are details about Ole's life that I didn't know about, including his years sailing the world as a merchant marine. Fascinating! I will be sharing these interesting details about Ole's life in future posts.

Genealogy blogging really is so beneficial in so many ways. I'm glad I began this blog. Thank you to my newly-discovered cousins who've contacted me and shared wonderful information and photos with me.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 24, 2018

Asher Waterman's Cause of Death

Thanks to, I now know the cause of death for my maternal third great-grandfather, Asher Waterman.

Asher Waterman was born on 26 October 1791 in Duchess County, New York. In 1810, he moved to Ohio. He married Bathsheba Paulk (my third great-grandmother) on 22 December 1816 in Athens, Ohio. He and Bathsheba were the parents of twelve children.

Asher served in the War of 1812. The document I found on Fold3 is a Graves Registration Card for soldiers who served from the state of Ohio.1

Information gleaned from this document:

Graves Registration Card     Athens County
Name: Asher Waterman
Address: Troy Twp, Athens County, Ohio
Date of Death: 19 January 1875
Place of Death: Troy Twp.
Cause of Death: Kidney Trouble
Date of Burial: ?
Date of Birth: 1793
Place of Birth: New York
Name of Cemetery: Bethel
Location of Cemetery: Troy Twp.
Lot Number: Row #1
Grave Number: 17
Marker: Upright

Service Record

War Served In: 1812
Date Enlisted: 1 January 1813 [This date is incorrect]
Date Discharged: 21 February 1813 [This date is incorrect]
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Private
Company, Outfit or Ship: Captain Gregory's Company

As you can see from this card, it contains lots of valuable information. I already knew that Asher served in the War of 1812. I have his pension file. But I didn't have Asher's cause of death. I'm glad that this card provides this information for me.

Because I have Asher's pension file, I was able to compare Asher's War of 1812 service information on this card with the information in his pension file. If I had gone by this card alone, I would have thought that Asher served in the War of 1812 for about one month. He actually served for about four months. The enlistment and discharge dates are incorrect on this card. According to Asher's War of 1812 pension file, Asher enlisted for service in the war on either the 1st or the 15th of October 1812. Different documents in his pension file have the date as the 1st of October 1812 and the 15th of October 1812. The discharge date is also incorrect. Asher's pension file lists the discharge date as both the 9th and the 15th of February 1813, depending on the document.

Even with the incorrect service dates on this card, it is still a wonderful resource with lots of valuable information.

If you have a soldier who served from the state of Ohio, I highly recommend checking out the "Ohio, Soldiers Graves Registration Card" database on Fold3. To access this database, click HERE.

As I've explored this database, I've already found more cards for other ancestors in my family tree. I'll share their Graves Registration Cards in future posts.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 Asher Waterman, Ohio, Soldiers Graves Registration Cards, 1804-1958; digital image 616077181 accessed 21 September 2018, Content Source Ohio History Connection.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

My Dad's Business Card

My late father, Jan Albert Iverson, was a computer programmer by profession. He worked at a large corporation for years. He also had his own small side business, too. 

While going through my parents' belongings at their house before we put it on the market, I came across one of my dad's business cards. This was not a business card from the large corporation where he worked, but from his own business.

His business was called EZuse Software. Two of the products developed were for educational use. They were called Quiz Master Construction Set and USA Construction Set.

Quiz Master Construction Set was software for teachers or anyone who wanted to create quizzes for students or for self-testing. The USA Construction Set was set up for educational questions about the states in the USA.

I decided to do a search in Google for my dad's name and EZuse Software. There were actually some hits online. I've included them here below:

List of Atari 400 800 XL XE Games: EZuse Software

Atari Mania lists and has links to the Quiz Master Construction Set and the USA Construction Set. If you click on the link for the USA Construction Set, you will actually see pics of the program's floppy disks. Pretty neat.

Product Review for Quiz Master Construction Set - November 1986

In his review, Gregg Pearlman begins by writing the following:

"Ever hear of a bouncy, colorful, musical real estate quiz? How about a perky multiple-choice biology exam? Ezuse Software's Quizmaster Construction Set can provide either one, as well as a whole range. of quiz possibilities, from riddle-guessing games to foreign language tests to Trivial Pursuit game questions. You decide on the subject and type in the questions and answers."

Quiz Master Construction Set Mentioned in the ST New Products - August 1988

Gregg Pearlman begins his write-up about Quiz Master Construction Set by writing the following:

"EZuse has ported its popular and inexpensive 8-bit Quiz Master Construction Set over to the Atari ST...."

Antic Magazine Archive: I/O Board

In the link above, my Dad responded to a review. He began,

"Thanks for the positive review of USA Construction Set..."

The U.S.A. Construction Set Manual has a copy of the USA Construction Set Manual on its website at the link above. Pretty cool!

I'm so proud of my dad and that he created his own business. He was always a hard worker and provided for his family very well. I love him and miss him so much.

Have you found any business cards for your ancestors?

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Third Photo From the Vintage Key Chain Photo Viewers - Crecenciana and the Snarling Dog

In a previous post, I shared the second photo from one of the photo viewers that were found in the pretty vintage box I found at my Mom's house. Today I'm sharing the third, and last, photo with you today.

This photo was also taken using my cell phone. I held the photo viewer up to the light and then put my cell phone camera lens next to the viewer as if I were holding it up to my eye. I then took a photo of what my cell phone saw.

It looks like this is also a photo of my maternal great-grandaunt, Creceniana Aurora Matus Villatoro. In each of the three pictures from these vintage photo viewers, Crecenciana was accompanied by a dog. She loved dogs, according to my mom. I think Crecenciana was with the same dog in each photo. In the first two photos the dog looked calm, but in this photo the dog looks like it was snarling at something or somebody.

Wow! It looks rather vicious, doesn't it? I wonder what was going on and why it was acting this way.

Here are the first two photos for comparison. See how calm the dogs looked? Do they look like the same dog to you in all of the photos?

Besides the snarling dog in the photo at the top of this post, do you see anything else of interest in the photo? I noticed the two people walking across the street near the top of the photo. I thought that was interesting. It looks like they are both holding umbrellas. I don't see any rain, so I'm assuming they are trying to shield themselves from the sun. Perhaps it was a hot summer day there.

As with the other photos, I don't know when or where these were taken. But, it's quite likely they were taken in Brazil since Crecenciana immigrated to Brazil from Mexico.

Well, that's it for the vintage photo viewers. There were only three of them in the pretty vintage box. But, there are lots of loose photos to share with you in upcoming posts.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Second Photo From the Vintage Key Chain Photo Viewers - Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro

In a previous post I shared a photo from one of the photo viewers that were found in the pretty vintage box I found at my Mom's house. In that post I told you I'd share the second of three photos in an upcoming post. Today is the day I'm sharing the second photo with you.

Just like the first photo, this second photo also looks to me like it's a photo of Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro, my maternal great-grandaunt.

This photo was taken using my cell phone. I held the photo viewer up to the light and then put my cell phone camera lens next to the viewer as if I were holding it up to my eye. I then took a photo of what my cell phone saw.

I tried to scan this small photo on my flat bed scanner, but it didn't work out well. It looks much better using my cell phone camera.

If you look closely at the photo, there is a man looking through the window at the right above Crecenciana. I wonder who that is. Could it be her husband, Theodor Reinacher?

Again, I don't know when or where this photo was taken. But, I wouldn't be surprised if it was taken in Brazil. Crecenciana immigrated to Brazil from Mexico. The dog in this photo looks like the same dog in the previous photo I shared.

I'll share the third photo viewer picture in an upcoming post.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Even More Joyful Times ~ Adding Another New Daughter-in-Law's Name to My Genealogy Database

I'm playing catch up with this post, because I should have shared this happy and exciting news last year. But, it's been a very busy time around here since last November.

What I'm happily and finally sharing with you today is the news that our oldest son and his beautiful bride were married on November 11, 2017 in Oakland, California. Here are some photos from their special day.

Our son and his sweet fiance (now wife) were married in the Oakland California Temple. They were sealed for time and all eternity. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that marriages performed in the holy temple can last throughout the eternities and not end at death.

It was a beautiful day for their wedding.

I added our sweet new daughter-in-law's name to my Legacy Family Tree database last year. What a joy that was! We are so happy she has joined our family!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Frederico Moyer Webster ~ A Newly-Discovered Great-Uncle

Because we were holding an estate sale before putting my parents' house on the market, our family went through their belongings, deciding what to keep and what to sell. Of course, we kept family history items and heirlooms. I am in possession of lots of photos and slides that belonged to my parents, as well as my maternal grandparents, Debs and Willis Webster, who passed away many years ago. My mom inherited many of their photos. And now they've come into my possession, for which I'm grateful.

I have started scanning these precious inherited photos. One of the photos in my grandparents' collection is the photo of this young man.

Thankfully, someone wrote the name of this young man on the back of the photo.

The writing on the back of the photo says:

Frederico Moyer Webster

This photo of Frederico is familiar to me. I had seen it some time ago. I looked in my Grandpa Debs Webster's briefcase, and found that it contained a photocopy of both the front and back of this photo. That's where I had seen it before. Now I have the original photo. Yay!

I didn't know who Frederico was or if he was connected to our Webster family. So, I did some research and found out we are definitely connected. I searched on and I found Frederico's marriage registration record1 that listed Frederico's father's name as E. E. Webster, and his mother's name as Emilia Garabito. I wondered if E. E. Webster could possibly be F. E. Webster, my maternal great-grandfather (Frederick Emory Webster). The record also listed E. E. Webster's age as 59. The age didn't exactly fit my great-grandfather, but it was only a few years off.

After doing more research, I found documents that proved E. E. Webster, Frederico's father, was in fact, my great-grandfather, Frederick Emory Webster, a.k.a. The Traveling Dentist. One document,2 the baptism record for Maria del Carmen Webster (another child of Frederick's, and sister of Frederico Moyer Webster), listed my great-grandfather Frederick's parents, Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster and Cynthia Waterman. That clinched it!

Another piece of evidence came from a document that listed Federico Emory Webster and Emilia Garavito as the grandparents of Federico Moyer Webster's child on the birth registration.3 I also found the birth registration record4 for Federico Moyer Webster, naming Federico Webster as his father. In this birth record, my great-grandfather Frederick's nationality is listed as American, and his profession is listed as dentist.

So, it turns out that my great-grandfather, Frederick Emory Webster, a.k.a. The Traveling Dentist, had another child that we were not aware of before. In a previous blog post, I shared the news of a newly-discovered relative who was another child of Frederick Emory Webster.

I'm so glad the mystery of who Frederico Moyer Webster was has been solved. I'll share more about him in a future post.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 "México, Michoacán, Registro Civil, 1859-1940", database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Federico Moyer Webster and Maria Jesús Gindo, 1926. Image 107-108 of 687. Page 95 and 96. Accessed 24 June 2018.

2 ]"México, Jalisco, registros parroquiales, 1590-1979," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 February 2017), Guadalajara > San Juan de Dios > Bautismos de hijos naturales 1897-1913 > image 334 of 599; Page 190. Maria del Carmen Webster. parroquias Católicas, Jalisco (Catholic Church parishes, Jalisco). Accessed 25 June 2018.

3 "México, Michoacán, Registro Civil, 1859-1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Uruapan > Nacimientos 1927-1928 > image 70 of 694; Page 56. Sara Webster Guido. Direccion del Registro Civil y Notarias (Civil Registry State Archives), Michoacán. Accessed 24 June 2018.

4 "México, Jalisco, Registro Civil, 1857-2000," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Guadalajara > Nacimientos, defunciones 1908-1909 > image 530 of 864; Federico Webster. No. 2188. Page 269. Archivo del Registro Civil (Civil Registry State Archives), Jalisco. Accessed 25 June 2018.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saving My Dad's Canvas Painting Apron From the Estate Sale

We've had a lot going on around here lately. We've been getting my parents' house ready to sell. My dad passed away in 2009 and my mom has been living in a memory care facility since mid-January. There was still a mortgage on the house, so it was necessary to sell their home. In order to do so, we held an estate sale on June 15th and 16th. Getting ready for the estate sale was a big job. Our family needed to go through my parents' belongings in the home to determine what should be sold and what should be kept. Of course, family history items/heirlooms such as photos, etc. were kept.

We hired an estate sale company to run the estate sale. They set everything up, advertised, priced the items for sale, and then when the estate sale was done, they cleared the house and put all of the items that didn't sell in the garage for donation.

I thought that we had gone through all the places that would have family history items before the sale began. But, on the first day of the estate sale, one of my friends was at the sale and found some family history items, including photos! She texted me and told me what she found and sent pictures of the items. She held onto them until I got there. The one closet we didn't really go through before the sale was in the den/office. It was packed with office supplies. That's where my friend found the family history items. And in that closet I also found my dad's canvas painting apron!

My dad was an artist. We kept all of his paintings. They were not included in the estate sale, of course.

It's really fun to see the different colors of paint on my dad's apron.

I'm so grateful to my friend for finding the family history items, which led me to find my dad's canvas painting apron.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Photo From the Vintage Key Chain Photo Viewer - Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro

In a previous post, I shared the exciting news that there were three key chain photo viewers included in the pretty vintage box I found at my mom's house.

Today, I'm sharing the photo from one of the photo viewers with you. I tried to take a photo of the picture inside the photo viewer using my cell phone and it worked!

I held the photo viewer up to the light and then put my cell phone camera lens next to the viewer as if I were holding it up to my eye. I then took photos of what my cell phone saw.

Here's one of the photos my cell phone took:

This doesn't look exactly like what I saw when I held the viewer up to my eye though. Here's a cropped version to get just a single image instead of the kaleidoscope effect in the cell phone photo.

I discovered that the white end of the viewer can be removed and the picture can be removed as well. These pictures actually look like slides.

I was able to scan two of the slides using my flat bed scanner. The third slide didn't come out easily like the other two, and I don't want to harm it, so I need to figure out a way to remove it without damaging it.

Here's the same image above after I scanned it with my flat bed scanner. I also cleaned the scanned image up a bit using Photoshop.

This looks to me like Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro. Unfortunately, I don't know when or where this picture was taken. It could be in Brazil. She immigrated to Brazil from Mexico. My mom told me she loved dogs.

I'll share the second photo viewer picture with you in an upcoming post.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 23, 2018

More From The Vintage Box - Vintage Photo Viewer Keychains

It's time to share more finds from the pretty vintage box.

In a previous post, I shared one of the photos I found inside this box. It was a photo of Theodore Reinacher, husband of my maternal great-aunt, Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro.

Today I'm sharing three curious items I found inside the box.

Photo Viewer Keychains
Approximately 1-6/8 inch long

Have you ever seen these types of items before? I didn't know what they were. But after looking at them and doing some research online I found out they are vintage photo viewer keychains. How fun is that!? They are small and measure about 1-6/8 inch long and about one inch at the widest area.

While holding them up to the light, and looking through the small end of the viewer, I saw pictures of Crecenciana.

There is a different picture of Crecenciana inside each one of them. I will be sharing these photos in upcoming posts.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

National Siblings Day 2018

It's National Siblings Day!

I found this photo of me with my brothers while I was scanning my parents' wedding album. Today's the perfect day to share this photo here on my blog.

Happy National Siblings Day!

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 5, 2018

My 6th Blogiversary

Wow! It's already been six years since I began this blog. Where has the time gone?


Unfortunately, I haven't published many posts since my 5th blogiversary last year. It's been very busy around here lately. We've been settling into our new home, and it's still not all done. But, we're making progress. Here's a photo from when we moved in.

And here's a photo of what that same area looks like today. Hurray for progress!

In the second half of 2017 we celebrated the births of three grandchildren. Yay! And, in early November, our oldest son and his beautiful bride were married and sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS Oakland California Temple. Later in November, we held a wedding open house for them at our home. We also helped some of our kids with moves earlier in the year.

We also are helping my elderly mother and making sure she is well taken care of where she lives. The concern and responsibilities regarding my mother's care and health have continued into this year.

We've had a mixture of happy, exciting, and fun times, along with stressful, worrisome, and sad times since my last blogiversary.


Thank you to my wonderful readers for taking the time to read my posts and for leaving comments over the years. I appreciate your support very much!


Here are some highlighted posts from the last year (since my last blogiversary)

Debs and Willis Webster's Vintage Matchbook Collection - May 22, 2017

Family History Blogging Can Help Others Find Their Ancestors - June 19, 2017

An Exciting Discovery! Could This Felicito Villatoro Be My 2nd Great-Granduncle? - February 16, 2018

An Exciting Discovery - What's in the Box? - March 7, 2018

A Photo From The Vintage Box - Theodore Reinacher in Uniform - March 26, 2018

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to blogging on a more regular basis in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Photo From The Vintage Box - Theodore Reinacher in Uniform

In a previous post, I shared a photo of a pretty flowered vintage box that I found at my mom's house. I opened the box and found lots of photos. What a wonderful find!

Today I'd like to share one of the photos from the vintage box with you. It's a photo of Theodore Reinacher. Theodore was married to my maternal great-aunt, Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro.

Theodore Reinacher

Theodore was born in Manheim, Germany on 2 March 1898. According to his immigration card, he immigrated to Brazil in 1929.1 He and Crecenciana were married in 1932 in Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Theodore appears to be wearing some kind of uniform in this photo. Unfortunately, I don't know when or where this photo was taken. But on the back of the photo are the words, "Meu Theo" which in Portuguese means "My Theo."

After looking through the photos in the vintage box, I think it belonged to my maternal grandparents, Debs and Willis Webster. My mom must have inherited it after they both passed away. But where did they get the box of photos? Because of the photos contained in it, I'm wondering if the box originally belonged to Crecenciana Aurora Matus Villatoro. Perhaps my grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, inherited the box of photos from Crecenciana. Or perhaps he inherited the photos from her and the box belonged to Debs and his wife Willis. I don't know. But, I'm glad the photos and this pretty vintage box were kept all of these years.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Crecenciana was very kind to my Grandpa Debs, and to his daughter (my mother).

In upcoming posts, I will share more photos from the pretty vintage box.

Thanks for stopping by!


© 2018 Copyright by Jana Iverson Last, All Rights Reserved

1 "Brasil, São Paulo, Cartões de Imigração, 1902-1980," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 October 2015), entry for Theodor Reinacher. R > Reina-Reinnan > image 187 of 1126; Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State Public Archives, São Paulo).

Thursday, March 15, 2018

RootsTech 2018 in Review

The following is a press release from FamilySearch:

rootstech_2018_at_a_glance.jpgSalt Lake City, Utah (15 March 2018), The desire to discover and connect with one's family or ancestors brought together tens of thousands of family history enthusiasts from 43 countries and 50 states—and even more online—at RootsTech 2018. Celebrities Brandon Stanton, Scott Hamilton, Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., Natalia Lafourcade, and FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood keynoted each day of the popular 4-day event originating in Salt Lake City, Utah. Cool technology, popular consumer DNA services, and hundreds of how-to classes kept beginner to advanced attendees buzzing.


The 8th annual conference continues to grow in popularity. More than 17,000 guests from every state and 47 countries gathered at the Salt Palace Convention Center, and more than 111,000 watched live using the internet. Keynote sessions were highlighted each day with special announcements from show sponsors, and

In his keynote, FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood suggested that when you discover you are related to someone, you treat him or her differently. Using geo fencing technology and a little engineering wizardry, FamilySearch enabled attendees to use its Family Tree mobile app feature "Relatives Around Me" to make connections with unknown cousins in attendance at the conference, showing how they were related and enabling them to communicate and rendezvous. Astonishingly, over half of the attendees (8,450 people) were connected with other conference goers. The total number of cousin connections found at the conference (from 1st to 10th cousins) were 2,334,110, which makes the average number of relatives discovered at the show per user 276.


The show offered over 300 mostly packed class sessions on a vast range of family history-oriented topics, an expo hall filled with vendors’ displays and products, and enrichment events nightly filling every moment with family activity. It was energetic, lively, exciting, entertaining, inspirational, and educational.

Brandon Stanton, author of the blog and book Humans of New York, shared his story of how his dream job came true through hard work and determination. He said, "Following your dreams is nothing but hard work." He said that we shouldn't get to a place where you don't have to work, but to get to a place where you get to choose your work. His blog, and resulting books, illustrate the importance of all individuals. He says "listening is a scarce commodity" in this age of selfies. Stanton has found that everyone needs to tell someone about themselves, if they can find someone to listen long enough—a key to the success of his bestselling books that depict pictures and intimate and personal stories of people around the world. When asked why people share personal stories with them, he replied, "I ask." He says that the feeling of being validated, the feeling of being heard unlocks something in people that allows them to share.


Scott Hamilton, Gold Olympian, RootsTech 2018 KeynoteScott Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist, is as energetic and affable today as he was during his career run of athletic medals. He shared a touching story about himself as an adopted child, his bouts with different types of cancer, and the help of “family” figures in his life. He captivated the audience with his love of family and how important families are in everyone’s lives. He told about his own family, his wife, and the miracle and blessings that are his two natural children and two adopted children from Haiti.


Dr. Henry Louis Gates, host of PBS' Finding Your Roots, RootsTech 2018 Keynote. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of PBS's hit series Finding Your Roots, shared how an obituary of an "estimable" great aunt he read when he was a child planted the seed for his lifelong love for family history, and how knowing their stories can impact future generations. Gates shared how his journey through an Ivy-league education, African American roots, and a DNA test paved the way to a string of genealogy-related television shows that led to his current popular and long-running series on PBS. He introduced the DNA Detective, CeCe Moore, and explained how DNA is breaking down long held family history brick walls, dispelling myths, and blessing the lives of people young and old. He has created an initiative to introduce K-12 children to the joys and benefits of discovering their family histories in a summer camp called Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings.


Natalia Lafourcade, RootsTech 2018Natalia Lafourcade, a Mexican pop-rock singer and songwriter, is one of the best known singers in the pop rock scene in Latin America. She shared the importance of family memories and quipped that family lore says she had French pirate ancestry. FamilySearch revealed a personal genealogy that confirmed her French roots, but could not validate the pirate family legends. She sang songs from her latest album, concluding with the Oscar-winning song “Remember Me” from the Oscar winning animated movie Coco.


The RootsTech 2018 Innovation Showcase, hosted by Extreme Genes'  Scott Fisher, addressed the state of historic records, digital memories and DNA.  Panelists included Judy Russell, legal genealogist, David Rencher, FamilySearch CGO, and Kurt Witcher, director of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Allen County Public Library, Brewster Kale of Internet Archives, and five popular commercial DNA companies. 


In concert with Brandon Stanton's keynote, RootsTech invited aspiring local photographers and writers to participate in a video-story contest. Over 200 people entered the contest, and the winners were Russell Hathaway, Karen Foster, Amberley Beck, and Cali Church. They received prizes such as a Dell laptop and Canon cameras. The pictures with their stories will be published in the future on RootsTech and social media channels.

RootsTech 2018's Family Discovery Day welcomed more than 26,000 attendees—mostly families with children. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, showed how they share their family history with their posterity. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren participated, sharing how they have been able to personally connect with ancestors through written histories, photographs, and stories.

Also participating in Family Discovery Day were Hank Smith and Jason Hewitt, and singers Evie Clair, Kenya Clark, and Alex Melecio.


Find this announcement and additional photos online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...