Steve Rockwood in front of Connect Belong Slide

“Connect. Belong. Because it matters.” That’s how the opening session of #RootsTech 2018 began.  And that theme will echo through the classrooms, main stage, and exhibit halls.  Meaning family historians will be able to learn about storytelling and vice-versa.

Wednesday’s keynote, FamilySearch‘s Steve Rockwood, opened the session with those words.  And you know, even though that tagline was probably vetted by a team, there’s no doubt in my mind that the CEO of FamilySearch uttered those two words—the 2018 theme—from his heart.

He spoke about discovery, which not too many years ago would have meant records. Names. Dates. Elimination of the bare branches on the family tree.

Things have changed in the family history vertical.  Of course it’s about the discoveries of new, accurate, original source records.  And the technology that enables that.

However, FamilySearch, the nonprofit family history organization that organizes RootsTech has nailed it. The magic happens when the “brilliant minds” are connected to “sensitive hearts.” (Again, Steve Rockwood’s words.) The way we Connect. Belong.

He continued “We know discovery when we see it. We know discovery when we feel it.”

He’s right. It does matter. That’s a theme that I see continuing through the industry that’s rolling out the red carpet for family storytellers, photo collectors, and newbies of all ilk.   As the week continues, keynotes such as Brandon Stanton and Regina Mason, as well as session instructors, will educate genealogists and storytellers alike on how to tell and share our stories.  How to give others that “feeling” of discovery.

Your Turn:

How have your stories changed your family history?  How have they impacted your sense of belonging? Your sense of connection?

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