What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get me, Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more.
I was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so I started building my own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. I also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. My most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”
I’m a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics and I’ve finally figured out what I do best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. I believe in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.
I see things differently than most in the genealogy field; I’m almost never content with the status quo. That doesn’t mean I chase after change just for the sake of change; but when I see an opportunity to improve something and to bring more people into the genealogy sphere, that’s where you’ll find me.
Finally, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I realize that. I tend to be polarizing as a personality and I don’t have a need to be liked by everyone. My followers are as loyal and passionate as I am about genealogy and family history. I encourage constructive feedback, positive and negative, and enjoy a good “conversation” both in person and online. I do have my detractors; success often brings them out of the woodwork. I don’t have time for negative, unconstructive people set on pulling others down so they can raise themselves up. If that’s your bag, kindly move on . . .
Industry Expertise (5)
Areas of Expertise (5)
The George Washington University: Bachelor of Arts, Art History 1984
Boston University: Certificate in Genealogical Research, Genealogy 2010
- Association of Professional Genealogists
- Illinois State Genealogical Society
- Austin Family Association of America
- Southern California Genealogical Society
- Utah Genealogical Association
Sample Talks (5)
Google for Genealogists
Most genealogists are only using 10% or less of the resources behind Google when it comes to research. Learn about the other 90% and how these Google components can be leveraged for better search results. Google is more than just a search engine ? it is a wealth of information much of which goes unnoticed by the average genealogist. Besides search, Google allows you to access maps, books, journals, abstracts, patents and much more. These components may be what is needed to make advances in your genealogy research.
10 Ways To Jumpstart Your Genealogy
Whether stuck in a rut with genealogy research for the past year or just wanting to expand the ways in which family history can be pursued, follow these 10 touchstones and you’ll be surprised at the results. Covering every aspect of genealogy and even those you never considered, your genealogy research will not just jump, it’ll leap!
Backing Up Your Genealogy Data
Have you ever experienced a data loss when it comes to your genealogy research? Not yet? Well if not, have you prepared for what might happen if your hard drive fails? What if your laptop is lost or stolen? Learn the basics of backing up all your genealogy data including identifying data, common backup methods and how to use free online programs to help you make sure your data will always be available!
Building a Research Toolbox
Are overwhelmed with the number of online resources for genealogical research? Are you constantly working with unorganized bookmarks or favorites? Printing out lists of websites you use most? Learn how to build a research toolbox that is organized, easy-to-use, and can be accessed from almost anywhere.
They’re Alive: Searching for Living Persons
In this session you’ll learn not only why it is important to locate living relatives, but how to leverage the power of Internet to make certain you have the correct contact information. You’ll also learn how making contact with the living can hone your genealogy research skills and actually help you break down those brick walls.
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