Last day of RootsTech and final days in Salt Lake City

Saturday was the final day of Rootstech for this year. The first keynote was given by Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah. He recounted some amusing stories from his time as Governor.  He told how the governor’s house had burnt down one Christmas.  The Christmas tree had been put up in the lobby but the lighting was faulty and caught on fire.  The house was ruined.   His family’s visit to homeless shelters that Christmas were  poignant as they themselves were homeless but had been helped by so many people unlike those in the homeless shelters.   He showed a clip of when they found out that Utah had won the right to host the winter Olympics, everyone was jumping up and down, over seats and literally leaping around with enjoyment.

Mike  was followed by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pullitzer award winning journalist and renowned Presidential historian.  Doris was fascinating to listen to. She recounted stories  from some of her biographies on Presidents of the United States, namely Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedy’s, the Roosevelts and Abraham Lincoln. She worked for Lyndon Johnson for many years and found that he confided in her alot.  One day she arrived on his ranch to find that he had set up a table with a checked tablecloth down away from the house in what looked to her, a romantic setting.  He said he had something he wanted to tell her and she waited in trepidation knowing his reputation for liking younger women.  He told her that she was the only woman who reminded him of his mother!  Not what she had expected at all.  She obviously really enjoyed the Roosevelts and how she came to know them through writing her book about them.  What she didn’t know until her history was explored was that she had family connections (up to her ninth cousin, so not that close!) to 15 Presidents.  Still really exciting for her.

There were only two scheduled sessions for Saturday and I attended both.  The first was a lab session with Tessa Keough on using excel for genealogy. It was well worth it as I only use excel very simply, which was reinforced in her class. I’ll be using it a lot more now. Then I attended ‘What’s Special about US Special Census Schedules’.  It was more interesting than I had expected. I didn’t realize that these special census existed.   They were for manufacturing, social statistics, business and agricultural to name a few and contain so much information.  With some of the social statistics you can match up the numbers of the families from the population census and from the others learn about the communities they lived in.  Something else to look for when researching family in the US.

I spent quite a bit of time going around the exhibition hall and making sure I’d seen as much as I could. A few of the exhibitors weren’t there on Saturday. I joined the Guild of One Name Studies and made the decision – not sure how wise at this stage – to do a one name study on the Scoular / Scouller name. I’ve done so much research on the name that I almost have one. I’ll be making use of much I learned and need to learn about excel for compiling and sharing my data. Should be exciting. I have another name I would like to register as well that I have also been doing an ‘unofficial’ one name study on, but more about that later.  DNA will need to be part of these studies.

I thought about going to the library mid-afternoon but it closes at 5pm on Saturdays and I was feeling a bit tired after an intense week.   I attended the dinner that Dick Eastman hosts each year on Saturday night. I had gone to it four years ago when I was there.   This time I knew a few people;  it was a fun night.

It was a fairly quiet Sunday with a visit to a Walmart with Jan and Sharyn. My first Walmart! I don’t know that I’ll be rushing back. We caught a taxi there, it wasn’t very far away. Then a quiet night in the hotel after that.  Monday I spent the day in the library again. Unfortunately for us visitors they are only open until 5pm on a Monday as it is family night. I managed to do quite a bit but didn’t gain a lot of new information. I was able to cross things off though and download a number of electronic books. My first day there was my day of breakthroughs so I can’t complain.

I had an early start on Tuesday, up before six as I had a shuttle booked for 6.30. The shuttle was actually a taxi driven by Leon, an Englishman who moved here because all of his kids had and his wife forced the issue. He had an interesting background, his father was Roman Rodziewicz, a Polish was hero, who only passed away 14 months ago at the age of 102 was from Poland and was in a Polish regiment in WWII and fought with the resistance. Apparently there has been a lot written about him. He spoke of three generations that had migrated from where they were from. You would have to wonder, or I would anyway, if that continued back in his families history.

Security didn’t take too long at that time of the morning and my flight was on time. Here are a few photos as we climbed out of Salt Lake City.

A photo of landing in Chicago where it had been snowing. I had to change terminals which involved a walkway under the tarmac between terminals and then walked straight on to the plane. They boarded us quite early, I guess to depart on time. It was snowing lightly as we took off.

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