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Research Notes 2018-2-19

This year’s RootsTech conference kicks off on Wednesday, February 28th. It’s a huge conference with a broad range of presentations along with an impressive number of genealogy vendors displaying their products and services. It’s also a long way away from Florida. Fortunately, they realize that many of us can’t make it to Salt Lake City (especially in winter) and are making it possible for us to enjoy some of the excitement and education that makes RootsTech so special.

RootsTech will be live streaming five presentations every day but Saturday (only four on Saturday). Check out the Streaming Schedule ( and watch the ones you find interesting on the RootsTech home page ( It gets better! Download the free RootsTech app and take advantage of the apps tools to connect with vendors, see what’s happening via social media and even download the speaker handouts.

This screenshot shows the app as viewed on an iPhone and you can see the different elements available to you. Tap the Conference Schedule icon to see the complete schedule. Each listing in the schedule has one or two tiny icons just below the title. The red PDF icon means there’s a handout available to download. Tap the session title to display that presentation’s detail screen. Scroll down to Resources and you will see Handouts (1). That means there’s one handout for this presentation. Tap the Handouts bar to display the handout(s) then tap the handout title to download it. It will be downloaded to the Downloads section of the app where you can read it whenever it is convenient.

The app is free and available for iOS and Android devices (both phones and tablets). Check your app store for details and download.


The handouts from Saturday’s Genetic Genealogy presentation can be downloaded at the Speaker Handouts page on SAGS Support.

If you are interested in genetic genealogy, I highly recommend reading Reunion – A Search for Ancestors by Ryan Littrell. [Amazon: Paperback $9.99 & Kindle $4.99]

Ryan Littrell has the gift of storytelling and puts it to good use telling the story of his search for his Scottish roots. But this is no normal family history. While Ryan details his efforts searching for his MacDonald ancestors, he also tells the story of the MacDonald clan. One chapter tells his adventures in research in such a way that I was cheering each new success while the next chapter brings the history of the clan another step closer. The chapters alternate forward and backward until they reach the reunion – making the connection to the ancestor who migrated to America.

In addition to writing a fascinating story, Ryan has provided one of the best descriptions I’ve seen on how to use DNA results in an ancestor search.


SAGS members don’t need to wait for the North Florida Genealogy Conference (March 10th) to take advantage of the family history goodness available at the Storytellers Studio. If you are looking for creative ways to share your family history, join us now at That’s not all! The Storytellers Studio group on Facebook is a great place to share your works and get even more ideas.

The St. Augustine Genealogical Society will have a Storytellers Studio table at the North Florida Genealogy Conference with lots of ideas, information and resources to show you what you can do to kick up your family’s history.

who will tell your family's stories

The past issues of Research Notes are full of useful research tips and resources but you’ll find even more on the website. You can visit the site at any time to take advantage of all this genealogy goodness. Visit SAGS Support at At the top of the screen you’ll find the main menu. Click any menu item to see the sub-menu items each contains. In the sidebar on the right you will find a search box. Enter a keyword or two and you will be presented with a list of the pages and posts containing those keywords.

Further down the sidebar you’ll find the Sections menu and then the Tag Cloud. The main menu and sections are the digital equivalent to a table of contents while the Tag Cloud is the index. Each page and post has been tagged with one or more keywords (tags) to identify its content. Click on any tag to display all the site content containing that tag. The tags with larger fonts have more articles on that topic.

SAGS Support contains a wealth of information with new additions added regularly. You may want to bookmark the site so you can easily return whenever you like.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in this example. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Fine print

Also down at the bottom of each delivered post is a Comment button. If you would like to comment on something discussed in a post or ask a question, just click the Comment button and you will be taken online to the comment section of the post where you can share your thoughts and read what others have shared.

To learn more, download a copy of the SAGS Support Guide.

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