Why should family history writers attend Rootstech 2020. There are four big reasons storytellers will love Rootstech 2020.

4 reasons storytellers will love Rootstech 2020 headline grapic with open book and RT Logos

Each year, I try to point out things of special interest to storytellers at RootsTech.  This year, there’s a lot, regardless of your family history expertise.

The RootsTech 2020 Theme

RootsTech is celebrating its 10th anniversary with “The Story of You.”  Organizers acknowledge that the research and stories are inseparable. Storytelling is no longer a tangent.

It’s the point.

ROotsTech is about the story of You and perfect for Storytellers

The Mainstage

We get to listen to stories we might never experience otherwise.


Keynote speakers include Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, Leigh Anne Tuohy of The Blind Side, and Pulitzer Prize winner and White House photographer, David Hume Kennerly, and comedian Ryan Hamilton. (Read more at https://media.familysearch.org/rootstech-2020-lineup-of-keynote-speakers-and-entertainment/.)

The good news is that even if you’re #notatrootstech, you can enjoy these speakers via the livestream.


We want to improve our craft, not just listen to excellent stories. We’re in luck! Storytellers will love RootsTech educational opportunities.  So much so, that it will be super hard to choose what to attend.

Here’s a sampling of the storytelling sessions that piqued my interest. (Speakers’ names are in parentheses). In the interest of self-promotion, I’ve starred my two presentations.

  • Discover Your Family Story with Interviews and Sources (Mat Trotter, Rachel Trotter)
  • Get Started | Sharing and Saving Your Family Story (Mike Sandberg) Mike Sandberg
  • My Ancestor Was a Farmer: Telling Their Stories (D. Joshua Taylor)
  • What Your Old Objects and Images Might be able to Tell You (Glen Beckstead, Ronald Lee Fox)
  • Oral History for Beginners – Interviewing is Key (Rhonda Lauritzen, Rachel Trotter)
  • Computer lab: Quickly and Easily Write About An Ancestor Now! (Devon Noel Lee)
  • Computer lab: Story Projects to Add Life to Your Family Tree (Brenda Hudson)
  • Engaging the Family in Telling Your Family Story (Nicole Dyer, Jana Greenhalgh, Olivia Jewell) Note: This one is included on the Virtual Pass
  • Picture This – Use Photos and Graphics in your Story (Valerie Elkins, Rhonda Lauritzen, Rachel Trotter)
  • “Novelize” Your Family History Story (Alison Taylor)
  • IN LOVE AND WAR: Extraordinary Love Letters Written from Every Conflict in U.S. History (Andrew Carroll)
  • Telling Your Family’s Story in Bite-Size Pieces (Amy Johnson Crow)
  • Tackling Difficult Chapters of our Family History (Cheri Daniels)
  • Filling in the Family Stories – Social History (Susan Kaufman)
  • Gathering the Life Stories of Living Generations (Deborah Abbott, Sunny Morton, Jay Newton-Small) Note: This one is included on the Virtual Pass
  • Life Stories—The Coach and the Curator (Joanne Milner, Steven Olsen)
  • Shredding the Joy: When De-Cluttering Goes Too Far (Maureen Taylor)
  • Sharing and Saving Your Family Story (Mike Sandberg)
  • The Power of Digital Journaling (Heather Cluff)
  • Five Simple Steps for Writing the Story of You (Devon Noel Lee)
  • Storytelling and How NOT to Revise History (Laura L Hedgecock) ***
  • The First Documented Africans and Hear Their Story (Ric Murphy)
  • Practical Tools for Family History Storytellers (Laura L Hedgecock, Rhonda Lauritzen, Rachel Trotter)***
  • Can You Illustrate A Family History Without Family Photos? (Laurie Castillo)
  • Write History that People Will Actually Read (Scott Hales)
  • The Hoarder’s Guide to Family History Preservation (Cheri Daniels)
  • Sensitive Subjects – Writing About the Hard Stuff (Rhonda Lauritzen, Rachel Trotter)


There’s something about being at RootsTech that jump starts your storytelling. You come up exhausted and enthused. And you’ve got some additional tools in your pocket.

4 reasons storytellers will love Rootstech 2020 pinnable ImageStill undecided?  You can take advantage of a flash sale from Saturday, February 15 to Monday, February 17, 2020:  $189 for 4-day and $79 for 1-day passes. Use the code FLASH when registering!




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