11:59 AM

Jen Allen: The Woman Behind the RootsTech Magic


Organizing the annual RootsTech Conference is no small order—and RootsTech Connect has been a challenge in its own right. It takes someone of phenomenal skill to organize something so grand—and that’s where Jen Allen comes in. Think of Jen Allen as the conductor of a grand orchestra, making sure every string is tuned and every performer is ready to bring the symphony of RootsTech to life each year for the entertainment and edification of thousands of family history buffs.

Before she became involved with FamilySearch, she was sidetracked from teaching English into scrapbooking—a hugely popular hobby at that time—where she managed events in the craft industry for nearly 9 years. She says, “Jumping from scrapbooking to family history really is not all that different—both are preserving family stories, just with less glitter and stickers.”

Now, Allen is head of the 9-member RootsTech team—and has been for 9 of the 11 years of RootsTech’s existence.

Jen Allen’s Work with RootsTech

RootsTech is a massive genealogical conference hosted by FamilySearch. Typically, it takes place in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah—though 2019 saw RootsTech spread to London as well.

This year’s global gathering, however, is a decided departure from the past. The coronavirus pandemic has caused us all to look at things differently—this year, there will be no streams of enthusiasts headed for the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Instead, the streaming will occur via computer, phones, or other portable devices with internet access as a virtual program that reaches beyond Salt Lake City into the far corners of the world.

“COVID changed everything,” Allen said.