Sean Astin: Main Stage | General Session 3 | RootsTech 2023

Sean Astin: Main Stage | General Session 3 | RootsTech 2023


Sean Astin: Main Stage | General Session 3 – powered by Happy Scribe

And gentlemen, please welcome CEO of Family Search International, Steve Rockwood, and your event MCAP, Kirby Hayborne. Hello.

Welcome to the third and final general session of Roots Tech. I’m Steve Rockwood.

And I’m Kirby Hayborne. And to be honest, it’s a little sad that this is the final day of the greatest conference ever, Steve. Good job.

Thank you. You made it that way. If that indeed is true. But, Kirby, don’t be sad. We’ve made so many great connections this week. For those of you who don’t know, last night right here, there were over 4,000 young adults. Wow. They’re all celebrating family history, uniting families, and trying to get me to dance.

You’ll also notice today you’re going to see many young people with their families throughout the halls today, this will be a great opportunity for us to share with them our love for family history and let them lead out in the whole effort.


Now, while we’re approaching the end of our live event, you can revisit everything that happens here on the main stage and much more at roots tech. Org.


Good idea. Curry, what are.

You doing?

I’m going to introduce you to… You just said go to roots tech. Org. It’s pronounced root s.

Tack, actually. Yeah, root s tech. You’re right.

Roots tech. Org. And I’m going.

To start… We’re going to trademark.

That, by the way now. Good. You have my permission. And it looks like… Okay, so I’m going to download as many sessions. I’m going to watch a video per day until next year. So hopefully I can get through this year.

Video a day while doing pushups.

Yes. Okay, good.

All right. I know a year seems like such a long way off, but please, I’m so excited that we can actually make another announcement. Please mark your calendars because RoutesTech is coming back in 2024. Now, 2024 is a leap year, so it’s going to be very easy to remember. February 29th to March second. Remember, you’re going to leap to RootsTech 2024.


I love that.

That’s so perfect. I’m putting it in my calendar, RoutesTech 2024. It’s a three day event. Three day event. I’m on it. Is it going to be online too and in person?

Online all year round, three days here in Salt Lake. And yes, we are excited to have you join us again online and on site here at the Salt Valley.

Awesome. So exciting. I just want to say that this year has been so amazing. The things that I’ve been able to see. I’ve seen so many amazing people. I’ve loved getting to know as many people and all of my cousins. How amazing is this, Steve? Isn’t this the most beautiful family you’ve ever seen? I think they get to it. They get it from my mom’s side. It’s your presence and everything that you guys bring that’s been so fun. Thank you.

We do appreciate that because it’s you who ultimately bring what we need in helping everyone unite their families. Kirby’s right. It’s all about your presence and your enthusiasm.

One of the best ways to unite families is by preserving the details that bring our ancestors stories to life. Nobody knows that better than our newest platinum sponsor, storyd. Storyd is the next chapter in family history. You can build your family tree with historical records and bring it to life with vibrant collaborative stories. Now please join with me and Steve in welcoming Kendall Hewlett to the stage.

Hi, everyone. For me, family history is all about stories, and stories change lives and hearts maybe more than anything else. Many of my family stories come from our travels. Years ago, my wife, Carolina, and I visited Spain with our three young children. This trip was a comedy of errors from start to finish. Let me give you just a tiny glimpse. Sleep deprived and with loose directions in hand, we were driving to a small Spanish town where we had rented a home. The kids, they were hungry, they were starving, so we stopped for a quick bite to eat. And after lunch, we nearly lost our sanity trying to get out of a little tiny parking spot with just inches of clearance on either side on a steep hill in a manual transmission. We arrived at the village, which was a labyrinth of tiny medieval streets. The rental address didn’t show up on the map, of course, and so we were lost and kept driving around and around in circles. Before long, our six year old son Alex mumbled, Dad, I’m not feeling so good. You all know that feeling. Carolina frantically looked for something to contain vomit if it came to that.

She managed to get a paper bag just in front of Alex’s face right before he threw up. I stopped the car. Alex passed the bag to me right over the car seat that was holding our one year old daughter Daphna. You guessed it. Just when I grabbed that soggy paper bag, the bottom ripped open and everything fell onto Daphna. But then it got worse. Daphna dipped her fingers into the mess on her lap and started eating it. That was a low point. After we got things cleaned up, Carolyn and I turned to each other. We said, This is horrible, but it’ll probably be funny in two years. The reality is it became funny as soon as we got home and readjusted to Mountain Standard Time. And this story became a unifying narrative for our family. Our children even learned something from it. Some time later, Alex, he was at school and he had this really embarrassing experience. Carolina tried to lighten it up. And she said, Well, this whole thing is a little funny, isn’t it? His response touched us. He said, It’s not funny now, but it will be in two weeks. In 2013, Bruce Feiler wrote an article in the New York Times called The Stories That Mind Us.

This has made a huge impact on me and on my colleagues at Storied. He described research about what keeps families together and functioning well. The single most important thing you can do for your family, he says, may be the simplest of all, it’s develop a strong family narrative. Research shows that children who know the most about their family history are more resilient and have greater emotional health and happiness. The bottom line, if you want to make a happier family, retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come. Stories are powerful. We have an amazing opportunity to shape future generations with the stories that we passed down. That’s why we created Storied. Let me tell you about four challenges that we see in the family history world. The first one is storytelling. Historical records are a lot like the dictionary. They’re critical, they’re foundational, they contain important information. But let’s face it, no one wants to read the dictionary. They want to read stories. Second challenge. Oh, sorry. That doesn’t mean that the amazing records that we have on Storied aren’t awesome.

They are. But the stories are even better. The second challenge is relationships. Family trees are fantastic. But when you think about all the people that impacted your life, it’s way more than just your family members. It could be a colleague, a friend, or a mentor. But unfortunately, those relationships and those stories don’t show up in a traditional family tree. Stories graph technology makes it possible to add any relationship you want, even your pets. The third challenge is collaboration. Sometimes family history feels like a solitary pursuit, but it’s way more fun to share stories with others. Stories were made to be shared. On Storied, you can create a private group and any members of the group can share stories and engage with comments, likes, shares, and more. The fourth challenge is affordability. Family history hobby can be expensive. Luckily at story, you can build a tree and tell stories for free. And it costs just 4.99 for access to nearly a billion records and the ability to create private groups. Family history is evolving from paper records and charts to online trees, hints, records. And now we see the next step in that evolution with collaborative storytelling and relationships that go beyond the tree.

Be sure to check out story. Come get a special offer just for roots tech. Come to the booth and try out this new feature we just rolled out. It’s called story assist. It uses AI to help you tell a story super easily. You can tell a story in about 20 seconds. It’s amazing. Happy storytelling. Thank you.

Vandel, thank you so much. We’re so excited to have you as part of the Family search family. Thank you for your sponsorship. Our next guest is one of my all time favorite heroes. He’s been a part of every important stage of my life. We’re going to have when I was 10, I wanted to search for gold and be a gooney with him. Yes. When I was 16, I wanted to play football with Rudy. When I was in my mid 20s, I wanted to journey with the one ring to Mount doom with him. Now as a dad, I hope I don’t get eaten by a demic organ like him. That’s for the younger kids. He’s an Academy Award nominated director and my favorite actor. And honestly, the nicest man on the planet. Please give a roots tech welcome to Sean Astin. That was incredible. Thank you.

Listen to that. Thank you, guys.

Look at that.

That’s awesome. This is so great. There’s like two actors in the world. Sit down. There are two actors in the world, you and me. That’s it. They really unite generations like you do. You keep inventing yourself. You keep coming back and we’re joking backstage that you said, Yeah, in about 10 years, let’s see what grandpa role I can play.


Ready. You had such an amazing journey and you’ve been such a light through it all. It’s been so great to watch your journey.

I’ve been so blessed. I’m actually just at the moment wondering how many of you I’m related to.

I think it’s this section.

Right here. It’s that section over there. Did we organize it like that? That’s awesome.

It’s the rowdy section.

That’s awesome. People used to say to me, because my parents were famous, actors Patty Duke. You guys remember Patty Duke? Patty Duke? And John Aston. I don’t know if it was expected that I would become a professional actor, but when I did, the question from journalists and whatnot was always like, Well, how are you going to… Are you going to make the leap from child actor to adult actor? And my thought was, and I think this is applicable for us in just life, was to be comfortable with who I am and what I’m doing and what I’m interested in. And then maybe that will be appealing enough for filmmakers to hire you and you’re doing that. So I really appreciate the compliments and the good words. And you would have been two years younger than us on the goonies track if you were 10 looking for pirate treasure. But I’m sure we would have taken good care.

Of you. Thank you, man. That means a lot. So was there a moment then because you did have, I’m guessing, a little bit of pressure because both your parents were actors. Was there a moment that you said, Yes, I know who I am. I want to go forward with this.

There was a moment when I was 18 and we did Memphis Belle, which was about a B 17 bomber in the Second World War, that I looked around at the other actors, Matthew Modine, who was here at Routes tech last year, who’s a dear friend of mine, and Eric Stolz and Harry Connick Jr. ‘S first movie, and just a bunch of people who were professionals and mature actors, at least relative to the kid parts I’ve been doing. I definitely had the feeling like, I need to pay attention. I maybe need to get some formal training, and I have to take it seriously. But it wasn’t until I graduated from college. I did two years at a community college and then three years at UCLA. And when I graduated then, I really had this sinking feeling about where do I fit in? What’s my place in the world, in the world of filmmaking, in the world in general? And we had our first child, Christine and I, who’ve been married now for 30 years. Yeah. She’s a better storyteller about the family than I am. I want him to know. But I was a little bit uneasy about myself at that moment.

And I have to provide for…

So that moment.

When you had a daughter. Well, we had our daughter. I graduated from… When you go to college and you have an acting career, they don’t like… It takes a little while to reset because you’ve been doing college. I wasn’t sure that I could get the next job. I wasn’t sure where money would come from.

Even after you’ve done all those things, you still…

What have you done for me lately? Then I got the Lord of the Rings. I got the Lord of the Rings.

Do you feel like you understood better who you were because you were grounded with a wife and you’re a father now. Did that help you? You talked just a second about how it’s knowing who you are and presenting that and taking me, this is me. Do you feel like you were in a place then? Did they.

Help you get there? Absolutely. I was humbled by not working for a minute. But I also had read… I studied history and English. The literature that I read in most of the stories, there’s something about a pastoral life, about agrarian life, about being a farmer, working with your hands in the soil, or planting a garden and vegetables that is at the end of every great quest. What you learn when you fought dragons and been in armies and done all these things is that really the most important thing is your family and tilling your own soil. I had felt that way. My mom lived up in Idaho on a farm setting, and I’d spent some time doing that. I definitely felt like when I was told it was Sam Weiss Gamgie, I was like, What about Aragorn? Can I play Aragorn? You look like Aragorn. I look like Aragorn, but the cast director said, No, you cannot play Aragorn. But when I knew that it was Samwise Gamgie that I was going to play, I went speeding through the trilogy, which, by the way, for any of you talking fans out there, a passionate fau geniologist, he spent so much time doing the geneologies of all the different species.

Elf geneologies. You can go back in the Silmarillion and the appendices and you can trace back. But I don’t know if it’s going to be in that computer program I just saw. But some people I know, fans of Lord of the Rings. But yeah, my daughter was with me, Christina and Ali were with me the whole time in New Zealand when we were filming Lord of the Rings. And I felt like, there’s this line at the end of the two towers, there’s some good left in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for. That’s so great. And the way you.

Said that, too, I just want to give you a big hug.

That’s so true. It’s actually better than that. It’s like in the great tales, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really matter, full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you don’t want to know the end because how can the end be happy? How can the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass and a new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those are the stories that meant something. We got the director’s cut. That was so great. Stories.

That’s it.

It is those.

Stories, right? I would love to hear because I wish we could be here for three hours with you.

Sean, because you’re amazing. I could do early deep cut movies that I was doing.

But talking about stories, selfishly, once they all can emcee the show, then they can ask questions that they want. I want to ask you some questions. I’m ready. I want to do it my way, too. I’m going to say my four favorite movies that you did that meant a lot to me. I want you to tell me one.

Word, what.

They meant to you either, like just what you learned, who you became because of that. Are you ready? Your seatbelts on? I’m here, aren’t I? Okay, M ikey from Goonies. One word.


That’s the right answer, you guys. That’s what I have. Hope you did it. Good job. This is a quiz show. Okay, R udy.


Yeah. there are so many other words. He’s really jamming me here. I know.

We’re short on time.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry. Sam Weiss Gamgie. Home. Home.


I love it. So we’ve got hope, grit, and home. What about Bob? From Stranger Things. What did you learn from Bob?

Decent. Decent.

That’s it. I love it. Those are the right answers, Sean. We were talking about… You passed. You’re going to be able to get on your plane later, so we’re going to let you out of Utah.

My daughter has an event tonight. it, though. So I’ll be.

With her for that. Good. How awesome. Do you want to go back and connect with her? Yeah. We were talking backstage about you have a special name, you have a trail name. I think that’s all.

Of those things you just said. It’s amazing that of all the things we connected with, that really sat.

With you. Because it’s you. Tell them what your trail.

Name is. An interesting… And then it took me a minute to put it together. But down in Arizona, I was invited by the Anasazi natives to come and give a talk to kids who are struggling. And they gave me a bowl, a traditional bowl that was for world peace, is what they said. And then we had a ceremony with the leader of the group whose name was Ezequiel, the Mormon. I think.

There are two.

In here. Two more Mormons? Yeah. Raise your hand if you’re a Mormon. I saw one. But anyhow, we sat down and it was a beautiful ceremony. Normally, you go on a trail experience and then they do this at the end, but it was a little truncated. But he sat down, he said, You don’t have to accept this name, but I’ve watched your movies and I’ve tried to embrace who you are as a human being and what I know about you. And so we sat on this rug and he gave me the trail name, gentle Wind Eagle. Yeah, gentle Wind Eagle. And the people who are a part of the group were blown away. They’re like, he gave you the Eagle? I was like, yeah. And they’re like, he doesn’t give anybody the Eagle. And what he said to me was, this is about my favorite story myself. I realized I started to tell the story, but it was amazing. He said the Eagle has the greatest vision of any animal in the animal kingdom. And he said, And you have the ability to see into people’s hearts. He said, So that’s why I gave you the Eagle.

And then I called my youngest of three daughters and I said, Bella, I was given a child named gentle Wind Eagle. She said, Dad, your wind’s not that gentle.

I love that. But look at that common thread, all of the roles you’ve been offered. You have seen the heart and what needs to be told in these characters, and it’s spoken to so many people. What was it like growing up to be the Sean Astin? Was it weird going on dates and stuff? They see Mikey from Goonies, they see you from Memphis Belle. Was it weird dating Sean Astin?

I did Goonies. It came out in the theaters in 1985. It was made 70, 80, $100 million. It was a big thing. I went back to Catholic school in the seventh grade, and I ran for student body president. Me and Doug Cooper and Bobby Conka, and I didn’t make the run off. Sister Stella came over that day, oh, and we’re going to have a run off, and it’s Doug Cooper and Bobby Kanka. I’m like… Actually, in my speech, I was like, Well, if you elect me President, I promise I won’t do another movie until eighth grade is over. And then Bobby Conka got up there and he’s like, Free dress on Friday, less homework, candy bars and vending machines.

Things he can’t.

Follow up on. No, I think that most people who know me after a good four or five minutes are no longer super impressed with the whole filmmaking thing. I’m just a gentle wind. I think the reason that I’ve been able to work consistently over time is that I have a natural quality and that normalcy comes across. Okay. I was never able to use the movie star thing with the babes. Actually, I got to ask my wife. Maybe it worked with her. I don’t think it worked with her. It didn’t? No.

How did you meet her?

How did you meet her? She was working with her brother at a commercial agency. She’s from Indiana. Her dad was a firefighter and a farmer. Her birth mom died when she was young, but her step mom worked in a factory and stuff. But she had gone out to LA to be with her brother, and I went in to meet her and to meet her boss. Her boss did that thing where they keep you waiting a little bit. I walked to the outer room and Christine was there and I was like, Wow. My first question to her, I was like, Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Are you married?

You just.

Cut right to the chase. What did she say? What did she say? Well, there was a little exchange, but then after I was being a bit forward with her, she opened up the file cabinet and she pulled out the file that my manager had sent over for her boss. And she opened up my file that had my resume on it and she did this. You’re me, right? Okay. So what she’ll tell you now is the reason she dated me was that I was wearing a sweater that my mom bought for me that was like a Christmas sweater in June. And with my whole s, my pants had holes in the knees. And she said that I looked like I needed a lot of help.

So thank you, Patty Duke, for this sweater.

That’s so great. So how our youngest is about to be out of high school, so we’re going to be empty nesters. And I said to her, because I travel all over giving speeches and stuff, and I said, honey, are you going to start coming on these trips with me? I want, let’s start getting the tickets and stuff. She said, Well, it depends on how you ask me. I’m like, Please.

Come with me. Please.

So you’ve got three amazingly beautiful daughters.

Three amazing daughters. The oldest one, the one that’s got the second from the… The long blonde hair. Not the hat, not the little one, not my wife. Okay. Ali, about six or seven years ago, discovered genealogy. And this is an appropriate topic, yeah?


Think it’s okay. Yeah. So she’s in Italy today. I actually just sent her a text and asked her why she liked genealogy so much. But she started really investigating our background, both the adopted and the steps and the biologicals. Then she started traveling. We sent her around to anyone that was biologically related or close in the East Coast, up north, whatever. She would sit with them for six, seven hours and go through their photo albums and go through their whatever materials they had. When I called her and said, Ali, I’m doing this thing called roots tech. I said, I’m sure she understands that one of the powerful tenets of the Mormon Church and community is this idea of connecting with family. She said, Dad, I can trace you back to Charlemaine. I was like, What? And she goes, Yeah. But she says, If you look at your fourth grandfather on your mother’s side and this person on your father’s side, I’m stuck. So can you see if they can help figure out? You’re at the right place.

Can somebody help.

Sean out? So I texted her after having these wonderful conversations with the folks who are putting on Roostec. And I said, Where’s she here? Ali. I wrote, Why do you love genealogy? She went to Harvard, and I thought the reason she was initially interested in genealogy was because at Harvard, everyone’s like, Oh, my grandfather was a Supreme Court Justice, or something like that. And I thought she was trying to level the playing field to figure out if we were like governors or mass murderers or whatever.

My dad still wears a sweater that my grandma gave him. Yeah.

It still fits him. He’s young. So she wrote, It’s the way to learn about the ancestors that live on through me. We are the key to our ancestors. eternal life and through my children… Here, you read it. Okay.

Through my children in a way, wow, I’ll live forever. So it’s important to honor that.

And then I wrote, What’s the real reason? She put, I think we all repeat certain generational patterns and learning from my ancestors is the biggest cheat sheet to solving life’s greatest problems.

Yeah, it is. You got to be proud. You did something right to raise a daughter like that.

My wife did something right. Yeah. i mean, the smartest thing I did was let my wife do everything. But it’s roots tech. I’m embarrassed because my mother told these stories when we were growing up of the McMans or of John and coming over. I don’t know if it’s a gender thing because I’m a boy. I just didn’t care. I don’t know. I just in one ear out the other. I always wondered about the passage from the old country. I wondered about that a little bit, but I didn’t listen. Even when Ali was going through all of her genealogical awakening, I didn’t I didn’t understand. Then today, Tamra presents me with my genealogy.

That’s Tamra from Family search.

From family search. There’s so much to understand. I mean, there’s the military records. I could see that my great grandfather signed up, but he registered for the First World War and as an old man for the Second World War. My grandfather registered and served in the Second World War. There’s that and then there’s birth and death records and all these things, but they have the manifests. She showed me a picture of the boat that my great grandfather came over in. I think it was in a February. And he was 23, 24. Then the 19 year old girl who claimed to be his cousin on the manifest, because you have to… She didn’t want to list like boyfriend and get turned around. She is like five, six months later. And then a year later, they get married. Wow. I saw the boat that my… And she said six of my eight grandparents came from Ireland and yeah. Our great grandparents came from Ireland and the immigrant experience lives in our family. She said something else that just blew me away. She just said, They were workers. They worked in Ireland. They worked. In fact, some of them fell on hard times and had to go in a work home, like a poor house.

The best compliment my mom ever gave me was it just popped out of her when she said it. But it was after Lord of the Rings came out. And she was thinking about Goonies and Memphis Belle and all the other movies and the Thousands of auditions and the thousands of phone calls with agents and managers and having to make money here and do this. And then getting to Lord of the Rings and it was two years and six day weeks and 18 hours days. And she just goes, You worked so hard for this. You worked so hard for this success. It’s like now I have in me from tomorrow this idea that that ethic, that work ethic wasn’t just ingrained in me by my mother, but it comes down through our lineage.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? How those stories connect. You feel that spirit, that connection. Once you know who you are, and you mentioned that right at the very beginning, once you know who you are, you become a better version of yourself.

Well, I wanted to talk about that with this group because I’ve been thinking about it for a month now, a lot. I want to talk about the nature of identity and who are we? Are we what we do? Are we our grades in high school? Are we the work? Are we our relationships? Where do we come from? I think the answer is we’re the sum total of all of our experience. But this idea that you can be more alive and more animated, the better you understand the truth of where you come from. Now there’s this incredible technology and this discipline and the talent. I mean, her talent in telling me my story. Tamara’s, I mean, she’s a real sensitivity to know how to connect me to the data.

Because that is that’s a sacred thing for you. That’s your story. That’s who.

You are. Yeah. It’s all of us and how we’re related. I think that society will in the coming years and decades, this is a way to bring people together. There’s so many things that pull us apart. This is it. This is it. This is it. It’s a freebie. It’s a freebie. And you don’t have to necessarily… I think if you’re like… In my background, apparently, according to Ali’s search, there was a governor and there was something, and then somebody went from France to England in some war. It was an important figure in the war. I’m like, Yeah, but we’re probably also like garbage collectors. Right.

And they’re just as important.

Whatever’s the truth.


What’s important, I think.

Shawn, I think we’ve all been blessed by hearing from you today. I just would like to know, what’s the story? What’s the legacy that you want to be known for? So that what your sweet daughter just texted to you that lives on forever. What is it about Sean Aston that you want to live on forever? What stories do you want your hopefully one day grandkids to.

Be saying? Yeah, I want the grandkids now.

You’re saying that back stage.

Bella is 17, but I’m like, in biblical times, you’re past your due date.

What do you want the stories about you? What do you want them to say about you, about Grandpa?

Well, I hope they don’t talk too much about how much I missed from working all the time, but I would like it if they were to focus on kindness. I think kindness is a nice legacy.

Yes. Sean, honestly, we’ve all felt that today. We felt your kindness. You really are a gentle wind Eagle. Thank you so much, Sean, for being here. Ladies and gentlemen, Sean Astin. Thank you, buddy. Thank you, buddy. Oh, we have a gift for Sean already? Thanks. Pretend like he doesn’t know that you came up here. It’s mine now. I’m just kidding. There are three moments that I’ll remember in my life. The day I married my wife, the day I became a father, and then the time I got to sit down with Sean Aston. What an honor. That was so fun. We learned so much today. Wow, Sean, you should see everybody’s leaving now. It’s just Kirby. So see you guys. Well, you’re not going to see the surprise that’s happening, guys. Just us that are staying. So it’s just for us. We have a very special guest. We’re taking you all the way to Nashville, Tennessee, where we met with an artist behind another beloved character. We met with Adasah. She’s the voice of Dolores from Disney’s Encanto. And she shared some of her discoveries we made in her family history. Let’s see what magic lies in her real life family history.

We got a video.

Welcome to my home. My name is Adasah, and I’m so grateful that you got to come to Tennessee. I’m a singer, I’m a songwriter, I’m a public speaker, an actress, and some of you may know me as Adasah, the voice of Dolores from Disney’s Encanto. Well, as we sit here in my home studio, this is the creative space that we love to come here once we put the kiddo s to bed at night and we write songs, we produce music together, my husband and I. So I have a total of seven kids. I’ve been married for 25 years, and it’s absolute chaos. I am not going to kid you, but it’s beautiful. Family is so important to me. I come from a Colombian family through and through. I have so much family over there. And for me, family is everything. It’s the root of who we are. I mean, what we look like, to what we love, the music that we listen to is influenced by the roots of our family. I am really excited about discovering about my family history because I think that we are all part of a very beautiful tapestry. And when you are missing parts of it, you’re missing genuinely important parts of that mosaic, that tapestry that makes you who you are.

It brings us so much more joy and understanding that it’s something to leave as a legacy for our children as well. I’m so excited to learn more about the family because there’s very limited information that I have. I’m excited to share it with them. Add asa, before we met today, we shared what you knew about your family tree, which is honestly pulling on strings because I literally did not know that much. Our expert researchers at the Family search library took a look at what you knew about your family and what records to tell us more about them. They found records. Really? Oh, my goodness.

They’re with your mom’s side. Okay, I’m super excited. You shared with us this record. It was the only record. And honestly, this was somebody from my grandmother’s side that had uploaded this to the site. It’s the baptismal record of your maternal grandmother, Rosa Vidal Pájaro Balceiro. On this same record, her parents are listed as Emiliano Envital. There are more names on this record that give us another generation of information? Really? Emiliano and Vidal have nine children, but it turns out one is missing. He’s a distant uncle. No, his name is not Bruno. This is Elias Manuel. He was baptized in 1926. And if you look closely, you can see the VELEA is Carmen F. Palsero is Francis Franisco, and Villa Nueva is Victoria. He’s had it. This was more specific. Oh, my goodness. That’s amazing. Okay, so with just those two records, your family tree on your mom’s side has grown. Oh, my goodness. So we have Emiliano, Maria Vitalia Balcero, Villa Nueva, Bernardo Pájaro Carmen Vileñ, Francisco Balcero, Victoria Villa Nueva. This is amazing. What about your dad’s side? What about my dad? I know from what my father had told me, his father passed away when he was young.

He had to take and become the man of the house. Very, very young. So by the time he was nine years old, he was selling arepas and pan de abono and boyos door to door just to help with the income of the family. Nesto was born in El Carmen de Bolivar, Colombia. Yes. Carmen de Bolivar is considered the musical capital of the Columbian Caribbean. Yes. This is the baptismal record for your father. What?

Ernesto Fidel.

How did you know? Oh, my goodness. I’ve never seen this. This is amazing. It lists his father, Fidel, and his mother, Antonia. It does. This is the baptismal record of your father’s sisters, Magali, Esther, and Sarah Tisimit. My Tia Magali. Yes. My Tia Magali. I met my Tia Magali. She was beautiful. Her record shows a few more important members of your family. Now you have the names of both sets of your great grandparents. It’s amazing. I can’t wait for everybody else to do this. This is so incredible to find out the names because, I mean, you didn’t appear from thin air. And so to find out such incredible information, it’s like feeling your family is complete. So I’m very grateful. Thank you so much. Thanks. Oh, my gosh. You guys.

And gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, Adoosa.

There’s a spark deep inside of you. Let it grow till it’s shining through. Because you’re not the only one. And see that wall right in front of you. It seems so wide that you can’t break through. And you think nothing can be done.

But what do you say?

Is it okay to rise above this all just to come and stand with me? If this is the way starting today, we’ll find them one by one until they see that we can be. United. United. United. So keep on united.

It’s a feeling that feels brand new. Up on top with the greater view.

It’s a change.


Can’t be undone. Now there’s a line drawn for me. Could it be what they say is true?

Wait and see.

What we can become. So what do you say?

Is it okay?

To rise above this all, just come and stand with me.

If this.

Is the way.

Starting today, we’ll find them one by.

One until they say that we can be. If I don’t have to be the person that I am, then I have to be the person that I am. So keep on united, no matter where we’ve been, no matter how we’ve got it wrong. We’ve been connected all along. With every.


We take.

Whether short.

Or whether long, we can make a place.

Where we belong. So what do you say?

Is it okay to rise above this fall?

Just come and stand with me. If this is the way, starting today. We’ll find.

Them one by one until they see that we can win. United, United, United. United, United, United. United. United. United. No, don’t stop. United.


Sean Astin: Main Stage | General Session 3 | RootsTech 2023

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