Official RootsTech Bloggers
Meet our official RootsTech 2013 bloggers. In addition to providing updates prior to the conference the Official Bloggers will give you all the inside happenings onsite during the conference.
Jill Ball. Geniaus, a proud Australian, has been a librarian, teacher and most recently Head of Information Technology in a Sydney Independent School. Now semi–retired she is devoting too much time to her passion, family history.
An amateur genealogist, this connected Granny uses Web 2.0 tools including Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, and Blogger to communicate with genealogists and family members around the globe. She shares her passion for integrating technology with genealogy through her blog Geniaus and with presentations in her home city of Sydney. Her genealogy can be found at Geniaus’ Family Site.
Geniaus is thrilled to be attending and blogging about The Rootstech Conference where she envisages a rich learning experience with the added bonus of meeting her virtual pals in person.
Amy Coffin, MLIS, came to the genealogy field with a background in library and information science. She spent several years as an independent researcher, gathering information on many subjects for her clients. In time, she found genealogy to be here favorite subject and shifted her business focus at AmyCoffin.com.
Amy is the author and creator of The We Tree Genealogy Blog, which touches all aspects of genealogy. She believes knowledge of one’s ancestry is important to daily life. In her blog, she combines research experience with a healthy dose of humor to inspire others to seek their roots.
She volunteers as an indexer and arbitrator for FamilySearch and serves on the publicity and marketing committee for the California Genealogical Society and Library. She also is a proud member of several genealogical and historical societies throughout the country that preserve history and promote information access. Amy has written numerous articles on online search tools and the use of social media in genealogy research. She continues to write about and discuss information organization and user experience from a genealogical perspective.
Lisa Louise Cooke is the Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show at GenealogyGems.com. She is the author of the books Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies and The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, and the Google Earth for Genealogy DVD series, an international conference speaker, and writer for Family Tree Magazine.
Kathy Dalton is a marketing professional and consultant with a passion for blogging and social media. Born in Denmark, she has a passion for family history. She serves on the Social Media Club Board of Salt Lake City and blogs at AdventureMom.TV. Connect with Kathy on Facebook and Twitter.
Kathy Dalton is thirty-something active mother of two young children who married her kindergarten crush, Jon. Together, they live in one of Salt Lake City’s historic neighborhoods with their dog Banjo.
The Dalton’s have an insatiable appetite for the outdoor recreation available just steps from their front door. Their most loved sports include hiking, cross-country skiing and most self-propelled sports that involve fresh-air; family togetherness and an up-close look at nature.
A degree in Communication Marketing from BYU and more than 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing, communication and product development make Kathy a valuable resource in connecting with brands with consumers through on-line and social media.
DearMYRTLE is the nom de plume of Pat Richley-Erickson, author of The Everything Online Genealogy Book (2001) and DearMYRTLE’s Joy of Genealogy (2006), and the DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog. A retired post–secondary computer software instructor, Myrt speaks in person and virtually to genealogy societies throughout the US and the world. Participating in online genealogy since 1985, Pat began writing as DearMYRTLE in 1995. Myrt also host genealogy chats in Second Life where she is also active in the Second Life Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Dick Eastman has been involved in genealogy for more than 30 years. He has worked in the computer industry for more than 40 years in hardware, software, and managerial positions. By the early 1970’s, Dick was already using a mainframe computer to enter his family data on punch cards. He built his first home computer in 1980.
In 1988, Dick started the Genealogy Forum on CompuServe and managed it over the next 14 years. In January, 1996, expanded to a weekly newsletter that he could e-mail to genealogists all over the world, sending the first edition to 100 surprised friends and acquaintances. The weekly newsletter has since grown into a daily publication, still available in e-mail but also now available on the World Wide Web. The present newsletter is read by more than 60,000 genealogists all over the world.
Nowadays, Dick Eastman lives near Boston where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine.
Jenny Eckton was born and raised in New York, and at age 19 moved to Utah to be in a band with some friends. She’s been blogging since 2005 at formerlyphread.com, and has enjoyed guest-blogging on other sites, as well as presenting at conferences, including BlogHer (2011), Story@Home (2012), and evo (2012). Jenny is honored to have been one of 31 bloggers chosen to participate in the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign’s 2012 blog relay (#Blogust) which was able to raise over $200,000 for life-saving vaccines for over 10,000 children all over the world. In October, 2012, Jenny traveled to Uganda as a Shot@Life Delegate and was able to see the results of those fundraising efforts as children and families received the vaccines and health care they so desperately need. Currently she serves in the Mentor Circle for Shot@Life. Jenny and her husband Darin have been married for over 15 years, live in Provo, Utah, and have six children (5 Alive, 1 in Heaven). Jenny enjoys music, triathlons, Zumba, and traveling. You can follow Jenny on Twitter and Instagram @formerlyphread.
Holly T. Hansen is totally immersed in bringing the latest technical developments in family history to non-techies as well as seasoned researchers. As the owner of Family History Expos, she is constantly looking for new ways to help you “learn the tech to trace your roots” at her events. She works hand in hand with industry leaders and top notch presenters, so she’s never at a loss for valuable information for genealogists.
Family History Expo’s theme this year is “Top 10 Techniques: Fishing for Ancestors & Other Persons of Interest” -- Holly brings beginners and professionals together to share new technology and research methods for finding ancestors.
Holly received degrees in History and Information Systems and Technology from Weber State University. You can find her at Family History Expos.
Emily Hill is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and writer. (She also has a B.S. in Business Management but whatever.) When she’s not driving carpool, stepping on Legos or hiding from the kids, she enjoys entertaining readers on isthisREALLYmylife.com. Emily is the social media specialist for Where Women Create family of magazines and a member of the eBay Parent Panel. She recently served as the co-owner and managing editor of SassyScoops.com and contributing editor for BoutiqueCafe.com. In her spare time she is a freelance copywriter and editor. Diet Coke and chocolate make it all possible.
The Ancestry Insider was a readers’ choice for the top four genealogy news and resources blogs, part of Family Tree Magazine’s “40 Best Genealogy Blogs” for 2010. He reports on the two big genealogy organizations, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. He was named a “Most Popular Genealogy Blogs” by ProGenealogists, and has received Family Tree Magazine’s “101 Best Web Sites” award every year since 2008. A genealogical technologist, the Insider has a post-graduate technology degree and holds a dozen technology patents in the United States and abroad. He has done genealogy since 1972 and has worked in the computer industry since 1978. He was Time Magazine Man of the Year in both 1966 and 2006. Conference attendees are among the few nationwide to learn his secret identity. And he really is descended from an Indian princess.
At my house I am the wife & the mom. In my home office I'm a Virtual Assistant and blogger. Behind closed doors I am a container-aholic and have a severe office supply addiction. Most wives love to receive flowers, but my husband knows the way to my heart is with paperclips and file folders. I’ve been married for 19 years to an insightful, hilarious, hard working man and we are the parents of 5 great kids. My role as a mother is #1 on my list of priorities and seeing my children grow and succeed is my greatest joy. My other interests include graphic design, sewing, reading and watching my kids play sports. I spend any and all free time nagging said children --and sometimes the husband-- and shuffling kids to various games, lessons, practices and other activities. I blog at www.welcometomychaos.com & www.localcommunityhotspots.com and you can find me on Twitter @SavvyVeronica. I recently joined the KSL TV, Studio 5 team as a contributor where I focus on family friendly activities in Utah.
Sue Maxwell is a genealogist and blogger specializing in teaching, training and mentoring others with their genealogy research, family history, and computer and software skills. Her focus has been on helping others find the joy in identifying and learning about their ancestors. "Sue is actively involved in the genealogy community, having servedon the Executive Board as Vice President of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA), and Family History Center Director, trainer, and tech support. She is a member of several genealogical societies and is a regular speaker and trainer at both the UVTAGG and the Riverton FamilySearch Library; and maintains her blog, Granite Genealogy, focusing on training information and materials. She retired after a 27-year career in management in the utility industry. Besides genealogy, she spends her time with her church activities and family, which range in age from 2 to 102!
When he’s not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 2,800+ members of GeneaBloggers, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas MacEntee is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.” Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry. After being laid off from a 25-year career in the tech industry in 2008, Thomas has been able to “repurpose” his skill set for the genealogy community and loves to see other genealogists succeed, whether it is with their own research or building their own careers in the field. You can reach Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his site at High-Definition Genealogy – www.hidefgen.com.
Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved in the fields of genealogy and history for more than thirty years.
Lorine is active in the genealogy community with several blogs, the main one being the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog, and another blog, Ask Olive Tree. Here visitors can submit queries and challenging questions for an answer from Lorine.
Lorine is the author of many published genealogical articles and books and the creator and owner of Olive Tree Genealogy website.
Olive Tree Genealogy was one of the first websites to be given space at Rootsweb.com in February 1996. Lorine’s website was among the first to bring primary sources to the Internet with its passenger lists of ships from the Netherlands to New York in the 17th Century. Lorine specializes in early Ships Passenger Lists to America and Canada. She also specializes in New Netherland (17th Century New York), Loyalist research and Ontario genealogy research.
Lorine has been a frequent instructor in various IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Workshops for Internet research, Ontario Loyalist topics, and 17th Century New York. She is a volunteer host for several Ontario GenWeb sites as well as some USGenWeb sites. She also volunteers as an administrator for over 30 genealogy mailing lists and more than 2 dozen genealogy message boards.
Sonia Meza has been able to combine in recent years her role as a mother of three beautiful and mischievous children with the start of her blog, "Red de Antepasados". In addition, in a way that is still totally inexplicable to her family and friends, she has managed to find time to be one of the creators and teachers of the course of Introduction to the genealogy of HISPAGEN (Hispanic genealogy Association), writing articles in various journals in Spanish, volunteering in a FCH or Family Search support, and displaying a tireless effort so that thousands of members of the Hispanic community can leverage technology as a resource in their genealogy and family history.
Sonia belongs to the APG and HISPAGEN (where, in addition, she has recently been named partner of Honor). Her blog, Red de Antepasados, has obtained several awards, including one by the FamilyTree Magazine, which has included it among its "2012 Best Genealogy Blogs".
While she bathes her children she is thinking of new ideas and projects, which continue to mature as he takes Selene to school, changes the Adriel’s diaper or craddles Abril.
Those who know her well know that she is unstoppable and shows an incredible talent for entangling with any activity that includes the words genealogy or family in its definition. If you happen to meet Sonia at RootsTech and talk to her for a few minutes, the conversation will most likely end with a crazy or required proposal to promote the Hispanic genealogy. Most of the time, both things at the same time.
Rosemary Morgan is a British genealogist specialising in the Greater London area, through her London Roots Research genealogy business. She also blogs about genealogy issues relevant to those who are searching for their London ancestors at her blog London Roots Research and is active on Twitter and Facebook.
Originally starting out as a computer programmer, Rosemary spent over twenty years in business-to-business marketing and market research. Then about five years ago, she decided to concentrate on her life long passion for genealogy, and studied for the Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde in 2007-8, followed by the Postgraduate Diploma in 2010-11. Since then she has been busy working as a professional genealogist, for a regular stream of genealogy clients from the UK, the USA and Australia.
Rosemary lives in Guildford, Surrey, which gives her easy access to all the London repositories including The National Archives at Kew, the London Metropolitan Archives and the Westminster Archives. She is also a long-standing member of the London-based Society of Genealogists, and currently sits on their Education Committee.A member of the Association Of Professional Genealogists, Rosemary is looking forward to her first trip to Salt Lake City and is excited to be the UK’s first official blogger at RootsTech 2013.
Kim Orlandini is first a wife & mother and second, a photographer, graphic designer, jewelry business owner, and blogger extraordinaire. Kim has been blogging about the ups, downs, and realities of life through her words and photographs since 2006.
Her belief when it comes to telling stories through her blog and photography? Tell your story. Tell it accurately. In a world of bloggers that only highlight the happy times, Kim believes it’s important to accurately portray her reality - even when it's less than pretty. For Kim, this is where true inspiration is found. We need the dark times in life just as much as we need the bright times. Together, they create the photograph of life.
Family + Art + Teaching.
This unique combination is what I enjoy most about creating. A wife and mother of three young children, there’s never any shortage of inspiration or creative material. As a designer in the greeting cards/gift industry, digital & hybrid scrapbooking/crafting was a logical evolution for me. In 2004, I won the Creating Keepsake’s Hall of Fame contest. I spent two years working as Creative Director for Digital Scrapbooking Magazine & 4 years at Two Peas in a Bucket as a Garden Girl & lead digital designer. I co-founded & worked with House of 3 for 2 years. And, was one of the Spark founders, as well. Currently, I serve on the Wacom Pen Scrappers Team. In addition to my career as an artist, I have a degree in Art Education and have taught both nationally and internationally.
2 stops for pure insipRation:
Rhonna Designs: the store.
-where I sell my DESIGNS TO UPLIFT AND INSPIRE. A place to house my artwork, workshops, etc.
Rhonna Designs: the blog.
-where I share my IDEAS TO UPLIFT AND INSPIRE. I, along with my cReative Team, share ideas, inspiration & a part of our heart &soul with you... so we can all enjoy the pRocess!
I am the writer/owner of the blog Summer Scraps "Scraps of Paper, Scraps of Food, Scraps of Life". I blog about scrapbooking, crafting, cooking and every day life. I have always kept my family history through scrapbooks but have wanted to delve deeper into my geneology. Since I was little I have been told fascinating stories of my ancestors. I have roots that stem back to "Old King Cole" from the famous nursery rhyme and I am a daughter of the Mayflower, American Revolution and Utah Pioneers. I have always wanted to get all of the wonderful stories I have been told down in an organized fashion so I can share them with my children. With only having a basic knowledge with geneology it has always been a little overwhelming. I am very excted for the beginner sessions being provided at the RootsTech Conference and I am very excited to share all that I learn with my blog readers.
California native Randy Seaver is a San Diego area speaker and teacher on genealogy research and family history. He is a graduate of San Diego State University in Aerospace Engineering, and a retired aerodynamics engineer with a 38-year career at Rohr/Goodrich in Chula Vista. His ancestry is mainly colonial New England and Upper Atlantic, with some colonial German, French and Dutch forbears, and several 19th-century English immigrants.
Randy's activities include serving the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (formerly President, currently Newsletter Editor and Research Chairman); speaking occasionally to Southern California societies, libraries and groups; teaching Beginning Computer Genealogy senior adult classes at OASIS; and writing the Genealogy 2.0 column for the FGS’s FORUM Magazine. He is a member of NGS, NEHGS, SDGS, CVGS, CGSSD, and SCGS. He blogs daily about genealogy subjects at Genea-Musings, The Geneaholic, and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe.
Drew Smith, MLS, a librarian at USF in Tampa, is a Director of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, past Secretary of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and President of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa. He is author of Social Networking for Genealogists and co-host of The Genealogy Guys Podcast.
Nancy Shively is a relative newcomer to the genealogy world and is passionate about connecting people with the past using the tools of the future. A former teacher, she has been a public librarian for the past 18 years, including several years in the library IT department. In her present position she gets to combine her love of teaching and technology as a computer instructor specializing in working with senior adults. She was the inaugural blogger for Family Tree Magazine's "Family Tree Firsts" blog and now writes at her own blog Gathering Stories. She is also a guest blogger for the Accessible Archives web site. A native Oklahoman with deep roots in Missouri and Tennessee, she lives near Tulsa with her husband. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 3 to whom she hopes to hand down the family stories.
Born in Utah, but with family roots deep in Arizona history, James has degrees in Spanish, Linguistics and Law. He has been involved in various computer businesses and practiced law for 36 years. As a genealogist, James serves as a volunteer and missionary at the Mesa (Arizona) Regional Family History Center. He is married and has 30 grandchildren.
James earned a B.A. in Spanish and M.A. in Linguistics with a minor in the History of the English Language, both from the University of Utah. He holds a J.D. in Law from Arizona State University. James practiced real estate law for over 35 years with an emphasis on trusts and estate litigation. He has owned several computer businesses including an Apple dealership and obtained various certifications as a computer technician. He started the Arizona Macintosh Users Group. For several years James taught at local community colleges, teaching classes in Spanish, Law and Computer Information Systems. He has more than 25 years of experience researching genealogy and has served for many years as a volunteer and a missionary at the Mesa Regional Family History Center. James also teaches classes on computer program related topics and has done extensive research in genealogy in many different states and countries.
Genealogy has been a passion of Julie's since 2007 and she has been a professional writer for as long as she can remember. She provides writing, editing, and design services to assist other genealogists in telling their family stories. Julie is working toward the American Records certificate through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and has completed the ProGen Study Group program. She currently serves as the Education Committee Chair for the Illinois State Genealogical Society and serves on several committees for the Letitia Green Stevenson Chapter NSDAR.
Dirk Weissleder first started in genealogy in 1982 and then in 1987 forming the “Weissleder Family Archives“, began worldwide researching after German Unity in 1990, and in 1991 established the “Weissleder Family Community“ with annual family meetings. He has served as president of the Federation of Family Communities (BdF) since 2007 and the national chairman of the German Federation of the genealogical societies since 2012, becoming the youngest-ever formal head of German genealogy. Thirty years after becoming involved in genealogy he opened the 64th Deutscher Genealogentag (German Genealogical Convention) on August 31, 2012. The next national event will take place Sept 27-29, 2013 in Heidelberg: “The world in Germany – Germans in the World.“
This year is his first time attending the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City and Dirk wants to intensify German-American relations and international cooperation, building up an umbrella structure for family communities and reunions.
Weissleder is an expert on the historical development of the organized genealogy in Germany and also on international structures. Since 2012 Weissleder is editor of the GENEALOGIE (leading genealogical publication in Germany) and author of his own family history blog forum-familiengeschichte.de. An interview book Genealogists are crazy ... if they do not take today‘s opportunities, will be published Spring 2013.
Dirk Weissleder is running for the national parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) in September 2013 and is an active local politician in Laatzen and the Hannover Region in Germany. He’s been married to his wife, Katrin, since 2002 and has two children, Marike Sophia and Marten Christoph.
Renee Zamora is the author of Renee's Genealogy Blog. She has been blogging since 2005 and reports on what's happening on the LDS Family History scene. Technology and organizing, and how they relate to genealogy, are also recurring themes. Renee has been involved in genealogy since she was 15 years old, and primarily researches in the Warren and Washington Counties of New York. Renee currently serves as Secretary for the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG formerly UVPAFUG). She has served as a Family History Consultant for many years, and currently works at the American Fork Family History Center located in the Alpine Tabernacle. Renee is an employee of RootsMagic, Inc. She has three beautiful children, a wonderful husband and resides in American Fork, Utah.
Sista Beehive and Sista Laurel are Multimedia Personalties and founders of Sistas in Zion. They started their blog in 2009 as a way to keep in contact when they were no longer living in the same state. Being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the ladies decided to write on matters of faith. Their hope was to create a place where their friends and family of all faiths could openly converse and also share humorous aspects of Mormon culture. The plan to keep the convo between family and friends was instantly obliterated as people started to share their posts, now these women are a major part of the faith-based scene. Their media entity Sistas in Zion, has grown into much more than a blog, they now co-host Sistas in Zion Radio, speak to live audiences and are gearing up to author their first book.