RootsTech London Headline graphic with London skyine

RootsTech London takes place 24-26 October 2019 at the ExCel convention center. It’s the perfect recipe. The conference combines education, exhibitors from around the world, a splash of entertainment, and undercurrent of inspiration. All on the banks of the Thames.

Which makes it an excellent place to discover more chapters of your family story.

RootsTech is not your average genealogy conference (assuming there is such an animal).

RootsTech started with the confluence of genealogy and technology. However, it didn’t stop there. RootsTech strives for inclusiveness. In fact, despite receiving criticism that it’s not “hard core” enough, RootsTech planners remain committed to embracing everyone.

Jen Allen, event director asserts, “No matter where you are in your family history discovery, there’s something for you at this event.”

Newbies are welcome. There’s something of interest for storytellers, photo-archivists, and anyone else with a tangential passion. You’ll see that through their selection of keynote speakers—Donny Osmond alongside Nick Barratt, the historian best known for his work on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? series.

And it works. RootsTech conferences have a “fun” vibe. That doesn’t mean they’re not serious. However, they put enough inspiration and entertainment in the mix that your brain doesn’t get over-saturated with the influx of new ideas and information. (Or is that just me?)

Full disclosure: As a RootsTech Ambassador, I receive a free pass, VIP seating during keynote addresses, and other perks. One of those benes is a free pass to give away to one of my followers (watch for that in August 2019). I do NOT receive a commission on passes sold.

What’s so special about RootsTech London?


London by night

1.  London

The city exudes history. It’s easy to get to from major European cities, definitely more so that Salt Lake City, Utah.

Additionally, since so many individuals migrated from the British Isles to North America, Australia, and other places, it’s a wonderful place to connect with ancestry.

For example, I feel a connection just looking at the photo of the Tower Bridge. I had one ancestor who was a guard in the Tower (and reportedly died in his sleep there). Another endured an uncomfortable stay there before he was transported to Bermuda.

2.  European Experts

A great exhibition hall that you can explore in between great lectures (click for full schedule).

The conference’s call for presentations made no secret that they were seeking Europeans with European expertise. You’ll see that in the 150-class line-up.

In addition to classes on DNA, photo digitization, you’ll find how-to classes on French, Welsh, British, Irish, German, Portuguese, Scottish, Polish, Dutch, Spanish, Scandinavian, and Italian research. Of course, RootsTech London also offers sessions on migration from British Isles to American Colonies and Australia.

3. All-in-one Pricing

All those breakout sessions as well as the exhibit hall and entertainment events are included in the all-in-one price. No upcharge for the education.

The exhibition hall will include a “discovery center” with interactive displays and “innovation alley” where you can explore new tech tools and chat with entrepreneurs.

Your pass will also include the “extra” events, such as the Friday, 26 October evening performance of the vocal group Tre Amici of “x factor” fame.

4.  Chance to Visit Ancestral Locations and UK archives

Okay, that was probably implied in #1 above.

Seriously, consider tacking on a few before or after days (or weeks).  It’s an incredible feeling to walk where your ancestors tread.  (See In Search of a Bond with My 20th Great Grandmother and What would my Ancestors Think of Me?).

5.  New Friends

Family historians are natural collaborators. Acquaintances turn into friendships.

You meet people with whom you can share expertise, stories, brick walls, serendipitous findings, and laughs.

Time to get Started

RootsTech London pinnable graphic with Tower bridge in backgroundThinking hard about this opportunity? Here’s what you need to do next:

  1. Register now to take advantage of early bird pricing.
  2. Look for great Pass Giveaway contests. If you win, RootsTech will reimburse your registration fees.  To make things easy, Conference Keeper keeps track of them.
  3. Make your hotel and flight bookings.
  4. If you want to do local research, start making a plan.  (See Wanderlust’s article, How to Research your Family History in London.)


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