RootsTech Goes Virtual – An Interview with Jen Allen on RootsTech Connect: Episode 146

By Editors of Family Tree Magazine
Woman typing on a laptop.

The biggest genealogy event of the year has gone virtual! Lisa talks with RootsTech’s Jen Allen to see what participants can expect from RootsTech Connect. Plus, our DNA expert sheds some light on re-testing, and we get an inside look at the Freedmen’s Bureau records available on FamilySearch.

Ep. #146: February 2021

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In this episode:

Tree Talk (01:23)

In today’s Tree Talk segment, friend of the show Shannon Combs-Bennett shares how she solved a census mystery.

Share your story of discovery and you may just hear it here on the Family Tree Magazine Podcast! Email your story to:

In our How I Did It series, genealogy experts you know and trust share stories of how they solved a specific problem in their research. This week, Shannon Combs-Bennett shares how she sorted through confusing census records to uncover her ancestor’s mother’s name.
Shannon Combs-Bennett

Feature Interview: Jen Allen on RootsTech Connect 2021 (06:20)

It’s February 2021 and that means its’ once again time for RootsTech, the world’s largest genealogy conference. However, this year the event will see some major changes. It has been renamed RootsTech Connect, it will be 100% virtual, and it’s absolutely free. Event director Jen Allen shares all the details with Lisa.

This year’s event features:

  • shorter sessions
  • session recordings available all year long
  • new website navigation (check out the Getting Started section)
  • no mobile app this year (the website is enhanced for mobile viewing)
  • 11 different languages
  • chat feature with staff, exhibitors, speakers and other attendees
  • the Relatives at RootsTech experience
Jen Allen

DNA Deconstructed: Should You Retake a DNA Test? (20:59)

The DNA industry has gone through a lot of change in just a few short years. Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard answers the pressing question “Should I retake my DNA test?”

Our DNA expert weighs in on whether you ever need to retake a DNA test from a company like AncestryDNA or 23andMe.
Diahan Southard

Best Genealogy Websites: (31:04) is always busy bringing new and unique record collections to genealogists, and the Freedmen’s Bureau records certainly fall into that category. Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, Thom Reed joins Lisa to discuss the records.

Freedmen’s Bureau Records:

  • Labor contracts
  • Apprenticeship records
  • Solemnized marriages
  • Education records
  • Hospital records
  • Court/Legal records
  • Food rations
  • Correspondence
  • Banking records
A new website called Mapping the Bureau will help you research African-American ancestors after the Civil War. The site, created by African-American history and genealogy experts Toni Carrier and Angela Walton-Raji, has an interactive map of field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, a federal agency…
Thom Reid

Editor’s Desk: Winter Virtual Conference (44:55)

Amanda Epperson, eLearning Producer at Family Tree University, provides a look at the upcoming Family Tree University Winter 2021 Virtual Conference.

Register for the virtual conference.
Use the coupon code: VIRTUALCONF21 for 21% off the full-registration price. Code expires March 5, 2021.

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Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast in your favorite podcasting app or with the Genealogy Gems Podcast app in your app store, and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!

Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the Family Tree Magazine podcast.

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