Descendant of Dred and Harriet Scott announced as first keynote speaker for RootsTech 2024

Jackson has spent her life telling the story of her ancestors and advocating for civil rights

Lynne M. Jackson, a descendent of Dred and Harriet Scott, will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2024, FamilySearch announced Monday, Oct. 30, in a blog post.

Jackson will tell the story of her ancestors at RootsTech 2024, a 3-day global family history conference scheduled for Feb. 29-March 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and virtually at

The theme for RootsTech 2024 is “Remember.”

Landmark case

In the Dred Scott v. Sanford case of 1857, the Supreme Court denied Dred and Harriet’s petition for freedom, ruling that enslaved people were not citizens of the country and could not expect protection under the law.

The decision is considered one of the catalysts for starting the U.S. Civil War, a conflict that resulted in the abolition of slavery across the nation. Dred and Harriet Scott were eventually granted the freedom they were once denied.

Who is Lynne M. Jackson?

Jackson is the great-great-granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott. She is an author and the founder/president of The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation.

The foundation was created to “promote the commemoration, education and reconciliation of our histories ... and ensure that we never forget the struggle for freedom, citizenship and equality, with an eye towards helping to heal the wounds of the past,” according to its mission statement.

Jackson has spent her life telling the story of her ancestors and advocating for civil rights.

“It’s a story of courage, fear and faith to claim one’s right to freedom, by the law of the land, and by the conviction that all human beings are entitled to stand up for their freedom,” the FamilySearch blog said.

Jackson is scheduled to give her keynote address on Friday, March 1.

How to register for RootsTech 2024

RootsTech 2024 will feature hundreds of classes, sessions, exhibitors and other activities to help attendees discover more about their family heritage.

The online event is free and other pricing options are available at

Registration for RootsTech 2024 opened on Sept. 18. Learn more and register at

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