Rootstech 2023 – The Gold Dust

This year my wife Dianna and I attended this event on behalf of the Niagara Peninsula Branch of Ontario Ancestors and Canadian Headstones.

We were able to look at the event through the eyes of a local Society and not have to worry about a booth, which can be very draining but also very rewarding.

Let me first state, Rootstech is awesome and we desire to go every year but as a Canadian, there are some definitely lacking Canadian flavour. I refer back to a stat that a friend shared with me once, in the 1901 US Census there is about 1.1 million US citizens who called their birth home, Canada. We have value in the genealogy world and this must be shared and promoted.

Besides the lacking Canadian presence, there was opportunities for Societies, you just have to use your imagination. Since our Branch is right next door to
the NYGBS, this provides an opportunity to sit down with them and discuss opportunities to promote and to work together which includes tearing down the silos between our organizations. We hope to promote their webinars and them ours to get started.

Each year that we have been able to attend, I have always gone down to Salt Lake City with a new idea that I am working on. This year is no different from the past years and this year’s idea is the survival of small Genealogy Groups. How do we remain relevant in an ever-growing online presence, which we were once “King/Queen”.

Although we may be small in comparison to some of the bigger players, we have something they do not and this week I have been taught a new phase which is
“Gold Dust”. With Census Records, Vital Stats or any other larger indexes are known as Gold Nuggets, which the bigger players can get and manage for us, but as a Society, we can get into the attics and basements of places to uncover the Gold Dust that helps fill in dash of ancestor’s life.

No Society should fall when they sit on a mountain of Gold Dust. The big players are begging for it but lack the resources the Societies have in obtaining it. We know our neighbors, the minister at the local church or even the principal at the local High school. We as a local Genealogy Group have more power than we think we have.

There is a solution without giving away the farm and over the next few blogs, I plan to explore and share some thoughts on concern to Gold Dust and how it will make and keep us relevant. Stay tuned this and more discussions to come.

As always, I wish to thank you and my friends for all that you do as “Boots on the Ground”, helping us all to discover our ancestors.
Steve Fulton, U.E.