Thousands attend annual genealogy convention in Salt Lake City

Posted at 7:42 PM, Feb 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-12 21:42:39-05

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s Rootstech’s fifth year at the Salt Palace, and it's attracting record numbers of people from around the world. With DNA testing going mainstream, the science of genealogy is more advanced now than ever before. That's a big reason why the conference is seeing larger crowds each year.

“We're excited to host people from all over the world and all over the country, right here, who are interested in celebrating their families,” said Jen Allen, manager of Rootstech.

Joyce Cory came from Las Vegas to research her family history. She explains how she caught the genealogy bug after joining

"I signed up, and the very next day I got an email from a man named David who was in Great Britain who said our great-great grandfathers were brothers," she said.

The convention has doubled its numbers from last year, with nearly 20,000 visitors. It features hundreds of vendors and classes.

"It's just great being here, this is my first year here, actually I'm from New Zealand and I've never seen anything like this before," said Tinoa Tuioti, a representative for Family Search.

The convention is hosting some big names as guests, including former first lady Laura Bush, Donny Osmond and David Archuleta. But, the real draw for many is a chance to connect with their past.

"Look how different we are,” said Jeffrey Smith, who’s originally from Scotland. “But we're all one. We all go back to the same source."

Fore more information about the convention, click here.