About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

Are You “Stuck” When It Comes To Presenting Quality Educational Content to Your Genealogy Society?

Are You "Stuck" When It Comes To Presenting Quality Educational Content to Your Genealogy Society?

I’m reaching out to my fellow colleagues who are involved with genealogy societies and programs such as hiring speakers or putting together presentations for meetings. As a genealogy speaker and as a genealogy society board member, I know what the challenges are when it comes to planning a monthly meeting with a speaker. Especially when you want to cover new topics or bring in new speakers. It can be expensive, it can be difficult to schedule, etc. Webinars are great, but very often they aren’t held on Saturdays or at the same date and time as your society’s regular meetings. And try to bring in a nationally known speaker . . . well that can be financially and logistically impossible.

Boot Camp To Go – A New Form of Genealogy Education

Since November 2013, I’ve been teaming up with well-known genealogy author and educator Lisa A. Alzo and we’ve been producing a series of half-day genealogy educational events called Boot Camp. Here are the topics we covered so far:

  • Genealogy Writing Boot Camp – how to translate your genealogy research into written narrative and stories.
  • Get Your Genealogy Groove Back Boot Camp – how to jump start your genealogy, how to get organized, how to track projects and more!
  • Self-Publishing Boot Camp – how to produce your own print or e-book using your genealogy research.

Each event consisted of two 90-minute webinars with lots of Q&A and tons of handouts. In fact, many of the attendees said they would have signed up just for the printed materials! The price was $9.95 and each Boot Camp event sold out quickly with over 100 attendees!

Due to the overwhelming response, Lisa and I decided to package up the recordings and the handouts into a digital download called Boot Camp To Go. Again, the response has been great and since each Boot Camp sold out, we were able to reach a larger audience through the sale of digital downloads.

Send Your Genealogy Society to Boot Camp – The Easy Way!

Since then, several genealogy society leaders have asked if they could use the downloads for upcoming meetings. Lisa and I discussed it and said, “Why not?” So we set up a special “commercial” version of the same materials and set a reasonable price of $39.95 for each Boot Camp (some people say we’re crazy to charge so little . . . ).

With a special coupon included below, the price is down to $32.95 each and for that price you get:

  • Access to broadcast each 90 minute webinar to an audience of any size.
  • The ability to print and distribute all the handouts including free templates to all attendees.
  • And you have up to a year from the purchase date to hold the broadcasts.

What you or your society won’t be able to do:

  • Post the downloaded material publicly or on your website in your members only section; and
  • Copy the digital files and distribute them to members.

What will you need at your genealogy meeting site for this to work?

  • A way to print out enough copies of the handouts to distribute to broadcast attendees.
  • A good Internet connection to play each recorded webinar from a private password-protected website.
  • A screen, projector and sound system just as you would for any genealogy speaker appearing in person.

Money-Back Guarantee

We get it. You’re taking a chance with us on a new format for online genealogy education. If you are willing to try out the commercial version of Boot Camp to Go, we’re certain you’ll be happy. More than happy. If at any time you are not satisfied with the content or format of the materials, we’ll gladly refund your money.


You can purchase three (3) hours of recorded genealogy education covering technology topics by Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Alzo for the low price of $32.95. This includes handouts and means you can present content at a cost of $16.47 per meeting if you show one recorded video per meeting.

Visit http://hackgenealogy.com/features/store/ for more information and make sure you use the coupons listed! Or, scroll down and click the link for each Boot Camp download below.

Hack Genealogy Boot Camp - Genealogy Writing

Genealogy Writing Boot Camp

Coupon: GENSOCWRITE save $7.00 – final price is $32.95

Back to Basics: Craft a Compelling Family History Narrative from Start to Finish
Presented by:  Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Want to write your family’s story but don’t know where to begin? In this webinar, presented by professional writer, Lisa Alzo, you’ll learn the basics of crafting a compelling family history narrative in simple, manageable steps. Discover how overcome writer’s block and use key techniques and tools for documenting your ancestors’ lives, or your own life story.  Examples and a list of suggested writing exercises will be provided.

10 Secrets You Should Know to Survive Microsoft Word
Presented by:  Thomas MacEntee

While Microsoft Word* – part of the Microsoft Office Suite – is one of the most dynamic software programs for document creation, various features can quickly turn into frustrating annoyances. Do you have problems with headings that won’t stay put? Margins that seem to change suddenly? Spacing issues? Does text pasted from the Internet get unruly?

Learn how to tame Microsoft Word and get it to work for you, not against you! Soon you’ll have no fear of creating complex documents for your family history stories, genealogy research or your business functions.

*    Microsoft Word 2010 will be the version used during the webinar. Many, if not all, of the features are the same or similar on other versions of Word including 2007 and 2013.

Hack Genealogy Boot Camp - Get Your Genealogy Groove Back

Get Your Genealogy Groove Back Boot Camp

Coupon: GENSOCGROOVE save $7.00 – final price is $32.95

Genealogy Goals:  How to Set Them, How to Keep Them
Presented by:  Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Want to make 2014 your best genealogy year ever?  Whether you desire to improve your research skills, find new cousins, break through a brick wall, or finally write that family history, this session will show you effective ways to set realistic and attainable goals, and offer tips and tricks to help you achieve them.

Managing the Genealogy Data Monster
Presented by:  Thomas MacEntee

It is so easy to let the large amounts of data involved with genealogy overwhelm you – to the point that family history research is no longer fun! Learn how to tackle the three main problem areas of genealogy data: research data, project data and file data so you can put the fun back in your research!

We’ll cover the basics of working “smarter” instead of “harder” when it comes to managing genealogy data. Topics include setting up genealogy projects and tracking them to completion, using a research log to track research, and how to better manage your genealogy data files.

Hack Genealogy - Self-Publishing Boot Camp

Self-Publishing Boot Camp

Coupon: GENSOCSELFPUB save $7.00 – final price is $32.95

DIY Publishing for the Family Historian: Tips, Tricks and Tools
Presented by:  Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Whether you’re a family historian looking to share information with your family, an aspiring author, or a society looking for cost-effective way to produce materials, this session is just what you need to get started with self-publishing. Learn tips and tricks for preparing your book from idea to print, and the basics about which software and online writing tools can help with the process. Various self-publishing/print-on-demand platforms including: CreateSpace, Lulu, Smashwords, Kindle, and more, will also be briefly discussed.

Microsoft Word Secrets for Self-Publishing
Presented by:  Thomas MacEntee

Preparing a written narrative extracted from your genealogy research may seem straightforward, even using a generally accepted document software like Microsoft Word*. But there are special considerations when it comes to self-publishing that narrative, in both print and e-book format. Learn the secrets to producing a formatted narrative that can easily be published on a variety of self-publishing platforms.

*    Microsoft Word 2010 will be the version used during the webinar. Many, if not all, of the features are the same or similar on other versions of Word including 2007 and 2013.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Join GeneaBloggers as an FGS Ambassador

FGS 2015

We just received the notice below about the FGS Ambassador program in conjunction with the upcoming Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference in Salt Lake City, 11-14 February 2015. This year, FGS 2015 will run in conjunction with RootsTech over the same dates.

If you are a member of GeneaBloggers, we urge you to join in the fun by being an FGS Ambassador! You don’t need to attend the conference – you can actually participate from home and help spread the word about the FGS 2015 events and about genealogy. This is also a good way for you to get your genealogy blog known to others who will be following FGS 2015.  Stay tuned for more information about FGS 2015 and the FGS Ambassador program.

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FGS Invites You to Participate

September 18, 2014 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce an invitation for FGS Ambassadors. If you are a blogger, social media enthusiast, writer, editor, or in any way interested in spreading the word about the FGS 2015 Conference, FGS is looking for you.

The 2015 FGS Conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be a one-time special event with RootsTech. FGS Ambassadors will blog, share, like, +1, and tweet to spread the news about this unique FGS conference to their friends, colleagues, and everyone interested in genealogy.

Benefits to FGS Ambassadors include:

  • Link to your blog, website, Twitter, or other social media accounts on the FGS 2015 Conference Ambassadors Page.
  • Potential to be guest blogger on the FGS Voice Blog.
  • Direct contact with the FGS 2015 Marketing Committee.
  • Advance notice of press releases and other important updates from the Conference Committee.
  • Participation in the FGS Ambassadors Facebook Group.
  • Meet-up with other Ambassadors at FGS 2015—group photo for FGS publicity.
  • Ambassador badge ribbon at the conference.

Having a genealogy blog or planning to attend the FGS 2015 conference are not requirements for participating.

Visit FGS Ambassadors at https://www.fgsconference.org/media-center/ambassadors/ to review the full guidelines for participating and to register as an FGS Ambassador. Please register by October 8, 2014.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see the Disclosure Statement here at GeneaBloggers.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Thursday 18 September 2014

addams family
Today is Thursday 18 September 2014, and here is what’s available in terms of Daily Blogging Prompts and other related events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Items of Note

  • Happy blogiversary to When I Was 69 (started 18 September 2012).
  • Today: “The Addams Family” Television Premiere – 50th Anniversary, Hull House Opens – 125th Anniversary, Train vs. Horse Race – Anniversary, US Air Force Established – Anniversary, and US Capitol Cornerstone Laid – Anniversary.

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