RootsTech London 2019 Recap


RootsTech London 2019 is over now, but it won’t soon be forgotten. The conference was full of fun activities and classes. And it always delivers the latest information about family history-related DNA services and genealogy discovery technologies.

Nearly 10,000 people from42 countries attended RootsTech London; an additional 1,300 tuned in through the conference’s online livestream. More than 60 exhibitors demonstrated their products and services in the exciting exhibition hall.

Even if you couldn’t attend, don’t worry; you can still watch RootsTech London sessions online.

RootsTech london 2019 convention center.

RootsTech London 2019 Keynote Addresses

FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood and celebrities Kadeena Cox, Dan Snow, and Donny Osmond were keynote speakers at the 3-day event held at the ExCeL London. Each provided unique insights into how their personal family history has impacted their lives.

Steve Rockwood

In his keynote, FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood spoke of the importance of each individual in the work of genealogy. He emphasized that family history work cannot be done alone and that it's all about connection, not just for us, but for the next generation.

Rockwood also recounted the history of FamilySearch, how it began as a small community of people searching for their ancestors and has since developed into a large nonprofit with a growing partner network and over 5,000 family history centers around the world.

Kadeena Cox

Kadeena Cox’s story is one of unrelenting determination, courage, and hard work.

Cox, a decorated British Paralympic athlete, talked about her journey as a professional athlete after experiencing a stroke and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

conference attendees listen to an address at RootsTech London 2019.

Her family story has deep roots in Jamaica, where her mother’s side of the family still lives. Her mother was born there, and her grandmother was the first to leave the island for Leeds,England. In England, her grandmother set up shop and eventually brought her children to the United Kingdom.

Dan Snow

Popular British historian Dan Snow shared stories of his youth. He described growing up listening to history and stories shared by his parents and grandparents. He shared vulnerable and painful stories about his own family history, including a difficult story about his grandfather’s disappointing role in the Battle of Sommes.

Snow believes finding imperfections in our ancestors as we build our family tree is a common reality and that each of us can learn from our family's mistakes and improve.

Donny Osmond

The crowds started gathering early in the morning on the final day of the convention to vie for the best seats for Donny Osmond’s RootsTech London keynote. The world-renowned entertainer recounted and performed a number of his favorite songs, shared personal stories and video clips, and told anecdotes about his own ancestors while inviting RootsTech participants to record their own stories for posterity. 

donny osmond attended rootstech london 2019.

Catch up on RootsTech London 2019

Still want to watch some of the action? Watch and listen to all these speakers and more in the RootsTech video archive. Want to view even more of what you might have missed at RootsTech London 2019? Purchase a virtual pass to watch the video archive of classes.

About the Author
Paul Nauta is the senior marketing communications manager for FamilySearch. He loves family, friends, food, fishing, adventure, gardening, all things Italian, and serving God and others.