How to attend RootsTech 2023 for free online
Can't make it to Salt Lake City for RootsTech 2023? Follow our tips and get the most out of the free online version of this global genealogy conference
RootsTech is the world's largest genealogy conference, organised by the family history arm of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch. The conference runs every year in Salt Lake City around the end of February or beginning of March and welcomes thousands of family historians from around the world. RootsTech 2023 runs from 2-4 March, with some pre-recorded talks being uploaded the day before.
During the Covid pandemic, the conference went online and the success of these online events has led to FamilySearch continuing with a virtual version of the conference. Although this option does not offer all of the talks available to physical attendees, it does have the benefit of being more accessible for most people and free!
To access free RootsTech talks, you need to register first. Go to the RootsTech home page on FamilySearch and select 'Register for Virtual Event'.
Once you have registered you will have access to hundreds of talks already, before the conference has even started, most from previous years.
RootsTech 2023 schedule
After registration, you can explore the RootsTech 2023 schedule at rootstech2023.mapyourshow.com or you can explore online talks through the on-demand library. For new talks, make sure you select the filter for the year 2023, although there's nothing stopping you looking for interesting talks given in previous years.
Below we have listed some of the virtual talks we like the look of for anyone researching their British ancestry, but the global nature of RootsTech means that it is a great opportunity to improve your knowledge about overseas genealogy if you have family who migrated to from the British Isles.
We have put the times down for the classes as they appear on the RootsTech website, but these are Mountain Standard Time (MST) so keep in mind that a talk that is on at 8am MST will be 3pm in the UK. If you like the look of a talk, you can add it to your 'Play list' to watch at a time that suits you.
More like this
As well as the virtual schedule, you can watch a number of the main talks live, although these are not necessarily available for you to watch on-demand later.
RootsTech online highlights - Wednesday 1st March
4pm MST - 10 Sources for Researching your Scottish Ancestors - Without Certificates - Scottish genealogist Alison Spring shares some tips, many of which are free.
4pm MST - Tackling Photo Albums - Maureen Taylor shares tips on how to identify photographs, preserve albums and share their stories.
4pm MST - Killing off your ancestors - Alison Spring shares some quick tips in this short 15-minute talk.
4pm MST - Expo Hall Orientation: RootsTech 2023 - go on a tour of the virtual Expo Hall and find out how you can get help from experts, ask questions about products and watch demos.
RootsTech online highlights - Thursday 2nd March
1am MST - Introducing the 1921 Census of England and Wales - Mary McKee talks through what makes the 1921 census special.
2am MST - Irish Family History is Easy! - Brian Donovan explores some of the many resources online for Irish research.
11am MST - Jordin Sparks - The multi-platinum recording artist and actor shares her thoughts on her life and family as one of the keynote speakers.
1.30pm MST - Innovation and Tech Forum - a look at the latest innovations in family history with Nick Barratt.
3pm MST - Understanding British and European cemeteries - Myko Clelland shares some insights into burial traditions.
RootsTech online highlights - Friday 3rd March
8am MST - Aspects of adoption - Jonny Perl, Dr Penny Waters and Marie Cappart discuss adoption and the practicalities, excitement and pain that can come from researching a 'new' family.
3pm MST - How third-party DNA tools can help with your family history research - Jonny Perl from DNA Painter, discusses tools that will help you get more from your DNA research.
3pm MST - A woman's place: finding women in the archives (1500-1800) - The out-going CEO of the Society of Genealogists Dr Wanda Wyporska shares tips on finding women's voices in the archives.
RootsTech online highlights - Saturday 4th March
11am MST - Sean Astin - The Lord of the Rings actor shares his stories in this keynote speech.
These are just a few highlights from hundreds of options. We haven't included talks about getting more from the FamilySearch website because there were so many to choose from, but if you don't use the site much, this is a great opportunity to discover more about recent improvements and how it can help your research.