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Roots Tips...What You Didn't Know You Didn't Know

by Shaune Jonasson


Are you stumbling with working through the Icelandic Roots database? Having difficulty with searching for an ancestor? Or their residence? Never fear! Roots Tips is here!


A new resource forum for Icelandic Roots membership was launched on Monday, January 22nd, with the inaugural session of Roots Tips. It is the offspring of Members Helping Members that some of you may be familiar with; but this is much better!


Roots Tips is presented to the Icelandic Roots membership community as an opportunity to learn the efficiency of the database and its background activities. Icelandic Roots volunteers populate the database with the pertinent details of birth, death, immigration, and residence, family photos and stories, and so much more. With ongoing updates to the database, each session of Roots Tips is guaranteed to pass along something new.


The first session of Roots Tips did not disappoint. Rob Olason, our host and creator of the Roots Tips concept, welcomed Sunna Furstenau as our guest. Sunna, President of Icelandic Roots, has stated "Icelandic Roots is so much more than just a database." She is so right.


Sunna enthusiastically explained where we all start when joining Icelandic Roots; the completion of the Cousins Form found on the Icelandic Roots webpage. Anyone believing they have Icelandic heritage are encouraged to complete the Cousin’s Form even if they choose to not become an Icelandic Roots member. All paths into the database begin from that one form. For those wishing to proceed further with their Icelandic heritage or lineage, a membership to Icelandic Roots is required. There are many membership levels one may choose from, so pick the one that suits your needs and desires.


Sunna took us into the database and showed how each member has their own page of family connections. We were shown our immediate and ancestral family tabs, and how to find our many cousins with each generation. The relationship calculator tab illustrates how we Icelandic descendants are related and through what lineage that relationship grew from; it’s always a highlight that can present a surprise!


We were also shown areas where information is missing. Sunna explained that we can help provide information through our own research. As many of us dig through attics, various boxes, book collections, and family Bibles of our ancestors we sometimes find nuggets of information that is welcomed by the IR volunteers.  


Each step taken to populate the database helps to meet the mission of Icelandic Roots of educating, preserving, and promoting our Icelandic Heritage. When you find something that you’d like to preserve and share with Icelandic Roots, you are encouraged to contact support@icelandicroots.com. They volunteers always look forward to hearing from us and will provide the necessary guidance.  


Were you unable to attend the Roots Tips on Monday? Or were you only able to attend a portion of it (because it did go on for an additional unplanned half an hour). Or perhaps there was so much information you were a bit overwhelmed with keeping up. That’s all ok. Rob recorded the session and once edited, it will be accessible on the members only YouTube site. Thanks, Rob!  


Join us each month for more Root Tips. There are so many other menu options that will be explored. Keep in mind, these sessions will be a perfect venue to ask your questions. As you go through the database, write your questions down, then bring them when you join us on Roots Tips.


The next Roots Tips will be on February 19th. Watch your email for the Samkoma Member News where we will send you the link to join us on Zoom.

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