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Relatives at RootsTech 2022 Experience Opens With New Features

The Relatives at RootsTech 2022 experience opened Friday, February 18, 2022, in advance of RootsTech 2022, taking place March 3-5. Image is a screenshot from FamilySearch.org, courtesy of Church News. All rights reserved.

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By Christine Rappleye, Church News

The Relatives at RootsTech experience opened Friday, February 18, in advance of RootsTech 2022 on March 3-5, with new features. Users now have the ability to chat with newly discovered relatives, connect with friends and check if they are related to actor Matthew Modine, one of the keynote speakers at this year’s event, FamilySearch announced.

Relatives at RootsTech 2022 matches RootsTech participants by comparing names on the FamilySearch FamilyTree. When a common ancestor is found, both parties are shown the living relative and their relationship. A chat feature has been added this year, both as a web browser addition and in the FamilyTree app.

For a participant to see if he or she is related to Modine, see Keynote Connections at FamilySearch.org/connect/matthew-modine.

The Surname Connections tool, located at FamilySearch.org/surnames, can check the history and locations of two last names to see if a person is related to his or her friends.

The Relatives at RootsTech feature had been available at the in-person family history event for several years. In 2021, when RootsTech went global, virtual and free, it attracted more than 1 million visitors from 240 countries and territories.

Todd Powell, product manager for mobile apps at FamilySearch, said the demand at the 2021 event exceeded expectations and had to be throttled back. Now, it will accommodate upwards of 10 million people simultaneously.

“It is a wonderful experience for people when they find, discover and connect with others that they’re related to, especially for those who didn’t know they had relatives. There’s this amazing connection experience when that occurs,” said Powell.

By midday on Friday, more than 25,000 people had joined the Relatives at RootsTech experience.

Relatives at RootsTech 2022 is available at FamilySearch.org/Connect. Registration for RootsTech 2022 is free at both RootsTech.org and FamilySearch.org.

RootsTech 2022 will follow the same virtual model as the 2021 event, with internationally diverse keynote speakers and a mix of on-demand, livestreamed and interactive sessions where participants can connect with each other, ask questions and learn from experts.

In addition to Modine, the keynote speakers include Palestinian comedian Maysoon Zayid, Food Network’s Molly Yeh, African boxing champion Azumah Nelson, Argentine singer Diego Torres, French baker Apollonia Poilâne and Brazilian actress Thaís Pacholek.

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