Rememberize Newsletter, March 2019

Highlights from RootsTech 2019

Family Discovery Day

Organizers estimate that a total of 25,000 people attended RootsTech 2019, held February 27 through March 2 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, with another 100,000 participating online through live broadcasts. While the conference and vendor expo were open to participants earlier in the week, Saturday was Family Discovery Day, with free admission and events open to all who wished to attend.

Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Susan, delivered the  keynote address on Family Discovery Day, with a message of, “You can do this!”

Elder Bednar shared a story from his family’s history to illustrate a non-tech solution for gathering family information about ancestors who have impacted our lives. He spoke of his third-great-grandfather, Luke Syphus, from England, who immigrated to Australia and opened a lumber business with Joseph Ridges, the convert who built an organ and donated it to the Church for the old adobe tabernacle on Temple Square, and later collaborated on the design and construction of the organ for the Tabernacle.

Sister Bednar asked those attending the conference to use the Family Tree app on their digital device to search for relatives who were also attending the conference to participate in a high-tech experiment. She noted that both she and Elder Bednar are related to more than 3,000 people who were using the app and were at RootsTech. She asked attendees to search for the Bednars and see how they were related to the couple.

RootsTech is sponsored by FamilySearch, the family history arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The conference will expand later this year, with RootsTech London set for Oct. 24-26, and will return to the Salt Palace Feb. 26-29, 2020.

Finding New Relatives at RootsTech

Our initial Rememberize illustrated children’s book tells the story of Jens and Maren Jorgensen and their journey from Denmark to the United States after joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It continues to share the story of how they changed their names to James and Mary Johnson, and then crossed the plains with the Pioneers to settle in Utah, including a famous family story of faith about Jens’ life being spared by the Lord during a buffalo stampede.

We displayed a sample of the book in our booth at RootsTech, and we were approached by more than one relative of the Jorgensens. One of those relatives specifically noted that Marie was the more commonly used name for Maren, and she also requested that we change that in the book and go to a second printing so that more extended family members could enjoy the story in children’s book format.

The book was illustrated, in large part by a seventh-great-granddaughter of Jens and Marie, who is eight years old. It’s production was a great family project, and it will now unite a family as distant relatives enjoy the miraculous story. As you share your historical stories in your families, those same things will happen.

RootsTech Drawing Winners

We have completed the drawings and selected the winners of our Rememberize RootsTech prizes. Lynn Glover of Palm Beach, Florida will receive free design and printing of a Stories of Life Mini-book, while Makayla Biggs of Phoeniz, Arizona was selected for a free illustrated children’s book. We look forward to working with both on these projects.

Thanks to all who stopped by our booth at RootsTech and shared your stories with us. Everyone who entered the drawings receives a $50 credit for any of our services. We would love to work with all of you as you rememberize and share your stories.

Recent Rememberize Projects

“I’m flying every day until it’s time to go home,” was just one of the lessons Don Andrews learned during his time in the military, which included two tours in Vietnam. We were fortunate to be able to interview Colonel Andrews for more than three hours, and then to write a photobiography that covers the chapter of his life that covers his military career.

The project included two videos, as Don shared two of his own stories. He shares the story of his friend Mike Ellis, who locked onto the wrong navigational beacon and landed on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, and the story of how the Lord put his family in the right place at the right time to meet the missionaries who shared with them the message of the gospel. He also shared the story of the lift he received from communications with the family of Floyd Olson, who did not make it back from Vietnam, and his feelings in being chosen as one of the Olympic torch bearers for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

We look forward to delivering the final 52-page printed photobiography that will allow the family of Colonel Andrews to rememberize his life and service to his country, and the lessons that came along the way.

Another distinct pleasure came from interviewing and helping Robin and Julia Tuck share a collection of stories from their missionary service in Cambodia. The Tucks learned a lot about themselves from their time in the Phnom Penh Mission, the first of their three missions.

We get so much from telling these stories, but we hope families like the Andrews and the Tucks get so much more. They will have a keepsake that captures lifelong memories and lessons shared by those they love.

Quarterly DIY Tip

Get your family involved in children’s books.

At Rememberize, we have had success in producing children’s books with eight-year-old illustrators, teenaged illustrators and professional artists providing the drawings. Perfection is not part of the equation when it comes to children’s book illustrations. Instead, it is about the message the artwork delivers. Your family will appreciate the children’s book even more when people they know did their best work. Don’t worry about professional-quality illustrations. Your audience will love the book and the artwork when they come from the heart.

We encourage you to do as much as you can yourselves, no matter how you tell your family stories. Then, when you need help to finish, we are happy to do what we can.[The children’s book below was created by three 15-year-old sisters (triplets!).]

Looking For a Full Personal History 

We are presently looking for a full length, high-end personal history project to add to our collection of Rememberize samples. Are you ready to tell up to 50 stories of your life, but need some help with moving the project along and getting it written? We’d love to work with you.

Please contact us.