RootsTech 2020 Free Genealogy Sessions

By Family Tree Editors

RootsTech 2020 is just around the corner—but Salt Lake City may not be. If you can’t make it to the annual genealogy conference for its 10th year celebration, don’t feel left out! Over 20 sessions will livestream for free on their website. (Don’t forget the session times are in MST!) Here is the schedule and session descriptions. Also be sure to check out our suggestions listed under each RootsTech livestream session for supplemental learning materials from Family Tree!

A DIY RootsTech with Family Tree Magazine

#NotAtRootsTech? Not a problem! We’ve laid out the day-by-day livestream schedule for you here so you can create your own RootsTech experience. Plus, we’ve included links to lots of great Family Tree content to supplement these free sessions! Check out our relevant articles, podcast episodes, products and videos and get more out of your valuable learning time.

Use #NotAtRootsTech on social media to comment on livestream sessions and share your own insights, tips and tricks!

Other Recorded Sessions

In addition to these live-streamed lectures, RootsTech also offers a Virtual Pass with 30 hand-picked classes that will be recorded and posted online about two to three weeks after the conference. You’ll get 24/7 access to these classes for a full year. Watch as often as you like! Scroll down the list of Virtual Pass presenters and you’ll spot several names you may have seen in Family Tree Magazine, including Contributing Editor Sunny Morton, Diahan Southard, Lisa Louise Cooke, Drew Smith and Deborah Abbott.

Family Tree at RootsTech 2020

We’ll be on the ground in Salt Lake City again this year to bring you news and tech updates from the conference. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest developments. And if you’ll be at the conference, stop by and see us in the exhibit hall at booth 1404!

Sunny Jane Morton contributed session summaries where noted. Other session summaries provided by RootsTech.

Explore the Livestream Schedule by Day

Wednesday, February 26
Thursday, February 27
Friday, February 28
Saturday, February 29

RootsTech Livestream Schedule
Wednesday, February 26

Click here to access the RootsTech 2020 Livestream Sessions

Today’s Sessions:

8:00 AM MST: Photos Capture the Story
9:30 AM MST: What’s New at Ancestry
11:00 AM MST: The Story of You on FamilySearch
1:30 PM MST: Adding Branches to Your Family Tree with DNA
3:00 PM MST: Finding Your Elusive Female Ancestors
4:30 PM MST: General Session: 10-Year Celebration

8:00 AM MST
Photos Capture the Story
Jens Nielsen

Whether it’s the moment, the face, the time, or some other small item, it’s true that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This session will teach you how to take your photography skills to the next level and will help you understand how to use photography as you document and share your family story.

Supplement the Session with Family Tree


5 Steps to Digitized and Organized Photos and Records
Best Resolutions for Scanned Photos and Documents

Family Tree Podcast

Picture-Perfect Photo Books: Episode 131
Archiving Family Photos: Episode 84

Free Form

Photo Inventory Form


Photo Rescue eBook

9:30 AM MST
What’s New at Ancestry
Crista Cowan

Ancestry’s Crista Cowan (aka The Barefoot Genealogist) shares the latest news, updates and happenings at one of the world’s online genealogy powerhouses,
– Sunny Jane Morton

Supplement the Session with Family Tree


10 East Tips for Using
Ancestry MyTreeTags: Put Sticky Notes on Your Ancestors
Are You an Power User?

Family Tree Podcast

All About Podcast Episode 119


Unofficial Guide to How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Websites

Unofficial Workbook: A How-To Manual for Tracing Your Family Tree on the #1 Genealogy Website Cheat Sheet


Errors on

Ancestry Tree Tags

11:00 AM MST
The Story of You on FamilySearch

FamilySearch is an incredible tool that allows us to capture our personal and family stories online at no cost. However, it can be common for people to be confused about what to capture and save on FamilySearch. In this session, we’ll talk about what to put on the site and how to get started in capturing and preserving your personal stories!

Supplement the Session with Family Tree


How to Stir Your Own Memories for Genealogy Clues
Beginner Tips: Where to Look for Great Ancestor Stories


Why Participate in the FamilySearch Family Tree?

1:30 PM MST
Adding Branches to Your Family Tree with DNA
Angie Bush

Expert genetic genealogy educator shares secrets to expanding your family tree through DNA testing and research.
– Sunny Jane Morton

Supplement the Session with Family Tree


How to Use Shared DNA to Determine Relationships
Using DNA to Find Relatives

DNA Q&A: How to Order a Test for Someone Else

Family Tree Podcast

DNA and Adoption: Podcast Episode 122

Free Form

Five Generation Ancestor Chart


The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

DNA Problem Solver eBook


Asking a Relative to Take a DNA Test

3:00 PM MST
Finding Your Elusive Female Ancestors
Julie Stoddard

Historical record-keeping was biased toward the men in the United States: women appear less frequently and with fewer identifying details. Learn strategies and records for finding U.S. records that may teach you more about the mysterious Mrs. and Miss names on your family tree.
– Sunny Jane Morton

Supplement the Session with Family Tree


14 Unusual Records for Finding Female Ancestors
Five Tips for Learning Women’s Maiden Names
Strategies for Finding Female Ancestors

Family Tree Podcast

Finding Your Female Ancestors: Episode 58


The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and-True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors

Female Ancestors Cheat Sheet

Family Tree Magazine January/February 2020 Digital Edition

4:30 PM MST
General Session
10-Year Celebration

When RootsTech began 10 years ago, this conference was simply a test. To see how it’s grown and expanded over the past decade is truly incredible and a testament to each of you. We’ll take a look back at the past decade and celebrate the great strides made within the industry. Then we’ll look forward to the exciting future of family connection and discovery. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for site to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to affiliated websites.

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