News Release

Thousands of Filipinos Attend All-Virtual RootsTech Connect 2021

More than a million people join worldwide

More than 1 million family history enthusiasts participated in RootsTech Connect 2021, many for the very first time, making this the largest gathering in the event’s 10-year history. Participants from over 235 countries and territories are registered for the world’s largest family history celebration, which runs Thursday through Saturday, February 25–27, 2021.


In the Philippines, more than 4,000 people registered and attended the event. Emilia Tadeo shared the impact this conference had on her. "Hearing all the stories and experiences in the lives of all the keynote speakers from this virtual worldwide conference, I am inspired to write my own story, my parents, and the stories of my great-grandparents through RootsTech Connect, since these are already available in my own book".

"So far, I have already completed my family tree from my grandchildren going all the way back to my great-grandparents on both sides. All the stories shared by different celebrity keynote speakers about their ancestors and heritage are truly uplifting. I enjoyed watching cultural dances from different countries. I also enjoyed the ideas on how we can expand our family tree. I am very thankful that I was able to attend the worldwide virtual conference of RootsTech Connect because with the knowledge I have learned from that conference, I can now put our pictures in my five-generation family tree on FamilySearch, upload my own stories and stories of my parents, grand and great-grandparents and some old pictures from the 1970s through RootsTech Connect", shared Emilia.

The nature of the first-virtual event allowed more people to join. Venerable Miao Jing Shih of the Fo Guang Shang Mabuhay Temple shared how this event resonated with her. "I found the event interesting because the Chinese usually keeps a record in the ancestry temple of the village". She further shares her heartwarming experience. "I consider the keynote speakers to be silent heroes. Their research and life experiences made me appreciate people, human values, and world peace. The song competition showcased the talents and the sound of heaven. Moreover, the message from Elder and Sister Holland was very sweet, warm, and faith-filled. The closeness we feel with friends and family especially during the pandemic allows us to break through the darkness and see light".

Jane Vera expressed her appreciation for the keynote speakers featured during the event. "Though they're from different places and have different struggles in life, they chose to continue to help other people. I was inspired by the story of someone who lost a loved one, but even though it was difficult, watching RootsTech Connect and sharing knowledge and experience became an inspiration to that person to help others through the same platform", she shares.

RoosTech also featured popular features such as consumer DNA, new innovative technologies, and online historical records. Yoli Espinola found all these during the event. "One thing the speakers talked about was the importance of the research log function. I realized that I have ignored this for many years. I was reminded of the role it plays in genealogy work. I also learned something new - I never knew that Ancestor DNA can give a whole new dimension in family history. I find it beautiful that this conference helped bridge science and the belief that we all belong in a big, eternal family.

The event also featured different ways to celebrate family history. Patricia Quine shared her takeaway from the event "Having a meaningful connection with our ancestors means knowing their past stories and learning from them, reflecting from their bad and good encounters and applying the favorable ones into our lives, celebrating their success and looking into what matters to our own stories too, and how all of these can inspire the generations of the future. With this, keeping a journal and storing photos are some ways to preserve family memories and to make meaningful connections live".

Lourdes Lacre remembered her own journey while watching RootsTech Connect. "I have learned that in our time we can create our own success stories and connect the stories of our ancestors to our future generations. The good memories and the stories of our ancestors - all those things inspire us in this generation to do something so that we will have more stories to tell for the future generation. The stories and memories of my ancestors who are politicians, advisers, singers, dancers, artists, beauty queens - are connected to who I am today. No matter what happens, we go forth with faith, trust the Lord, create our own good stories and memories to become a shining example and pattern to our next generations", she shared.

Emelita Reyes reflected on the role of this virtual event in her faith. "RootsTech has been a great help in showing us how to live with faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so that we can gain knowledge about our mortal life. As we do so, we can do the will of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. All who spoke faced trials greater than what we have faced, and we saw that those who participated in RootsTech succeeded in overcoming these challenges".


RootsTech began in 2011 to create a forum to unite innovators of family and family history-related technologies with potential audiences for those tech products and services. The first year drew 3,000 attendees. By 2020, the popular international event had grown to more than 25,000 in-person attendees and over 50,000 online viewers. Organizers attribute its success to the popularity of consumer DNA, new innovative technologies, a proliferation of mobile devices, and exponential access to online historical records.

FamilySearch usually hosts RootsTech in-person in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, at the end of February, but the annual gathering is all-virtual for the first time because of COVID-19. Even after the event, the registrants will be able to access the nearly 2,000 live and on-demand sessions at no cost — another first.

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