Announcing the Genealogy Do-Over

Announcing the Genealogy Do-Over - the 2015 educational initiative at GeneaBloggers - where you do get to go home again . . . and start over.

Today I’m making a big announcement: Me and genealogy are parting ways. Done. Finished. Game over.

Have you ever said to yourself, “That’s it! I’ve had it and it just isn’t worth it anymore!” Well, have you? Sort of like the character Howard Beale in Network when he says, live on air, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

My Past Genealogy Research Frustrates Me!

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Before you think that I’m leaving the genealogy community or closing down my genealogy business, let me clarify what I mean by leaving: Starting January 2nd, I’m setting my 20+ years of genealogy research aside and starting over. From scratch.

Seriously. How many times have you thought about doing the same thing? Did you start your research the same way I did, by just collecting names, grabbing stuff from other online trees, or pasting text into your genealogy software? Lately, has the prospect of going back and citing sources and proving facts and evidence brought you down and ruined your genealogy buzz? Do you throw up your hands and say, “I give up!” only to return to the same review and edit process days or weeks later?

If you’re like me, you need a genealogy makeover. Better yet, a Genealogy Do-Over. That’s what I’m calling this journey upon which I’m embarking in 2015. And I want you to come along.

Genealogy Do-Over: A New Journey of Genealogical Discovery

journey 02

Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).

Since I started my initial research, much has changed in the areas of genealogy research methodology and education. I now realize the need to collect facts and track them properly, including the use of source citations. I now understand the process of analyzing evidence and proving facts to reach a conclusion. In essence, I know a lot more about the “process” of genealogical research and I want to put it to use.

This is not to say that I haven’t been following proven guidelines when it comes to finding family history. For my research clients (mostly pro bono), I actually employ all the methods advocated by many in the genealogy community. However, when it comes to my own research from years ago, I’m not walking the walk . . . I’m just talking the talk.

It isn’t always easy to “walk backwards” and review each and every bit of information gathered over the years. Instead, I want to do more than re-walk a trodden path: I want to head out from the same starting point and see where the journey takes me this time. I’ll have better tools, better knowledge and be better equipped for each twist and turn. And again, I encourage you to join me on this journey.

The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 13 mileposts or journey markers which are laid out over 13 weeks. You can choose to pace yourself differently. You can even decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add your own. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are on a firm footing to finding your ancestors.

A short synopsis of my planned route (a full schedule will be announced soon):

  • Take inventory of what I have, box up the physical items and set them aside.
  • Move all digital genealogy files into a HOLD folder.
  • Gather tools to research.
  • Set research goals.
  • Start with my own knowledge and write it down.
  • Start tracking research.
  • Interview family members.
  • And more!

And then, week by week, continue with my research, add more skills and areas of focus including citing sources, tracking searches, building a research toolbox, creating an educational plan, researching offline as well as online, and more.

By the end of the 13 weeks I hope to have completed a review of a firm foundation in genealogy and family history research skill building. I realize that some focus areas may differ; anyone along for the journey has the freedom to add or remove content. This program has to work for you and should not be something that you dread each week or that you find you are working against.

How Much is a Ticket?

Genealogy Do-Over Tickets

There is no price. A journey that could very well revolutionize the way you’ve been doing genealogy research is priceless.

The fact is that there is no cost to using the Genealogy Do-Over program. There will be weekly blog posts here at GeneaBloggers outlining each week’s tasks and I’ll post my own personal progress as well. In addition, there will be free webinars (like this one at Legacy Family Tree), a boot camp on using a research log, and even incentives such as prizes related to a specific week’s topic. I may even publish another free e-book!

You’re Invited – You Get a Genealogy Do-Over Too

youre-invited

What I want most is a collaborative community effort to re-examine the way in which each of us has personally pursued our genealogical research. I intend to be honest with myself without beating myself up. I want to feel the joy of looking at one small fact and perhaps realizing that I never looked at it from all angles. I want the discipline of not following a possible lead just because it shakes or makes more noise than other leads.

Most of all, I want to be open to all possibilities on my journey of genealogical self-discovery and to enjoy that journey. This means researching with a plan, with a purpose, with sound practices and with the support of my fellow researchers. I don’t intend to make this journey again. Genealogy Do-Over is my chance to get it right.

So stay tuned, watch for a new domain – http://www.genealogydo-over.com – and look for more announcements before the January 2, 2015 start date!

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Mastering Evernote for Genealogy Boot Camp

evernote boot camp

UPDATE: As of Saturday, 27 September 2014, this boot camp is SOLD OUT with all 100 seats filled! Click here to find out how to get on the waiting list!

Come join well-known genealogy educators Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee as they team up to offer a unique education event: Mastering Evernote for Genealogy Bootcamp! On Saturday, 18 October 2014, you’ll be able to learn from two experts on how to use Evernote – the popular and FREE note taking application – to assist you with your genealogy research.

Already think you know Evernote? You might be surprised at even some of the “basics” you may not know that are important for a solid understanding of Evernote. Here’s what you’ll get from this new Bootcamp:

  • Learn the basics of using Evernote including how to set up your account, how to create notes and notebooks, and how to organize items using tags and stacks.
  • Review the various apps and websites for Evernote and how to keep your data synchronized across multiple devices.
  • Practical applications for research that go beyond simple note taking: templates, tables, lists, scanning documents and more.
  • We’ll even venture outside of the genealogy arena and show you how Evernote can become your own virtual assistant and keep your daily activities organized!

You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 13 October 2014 and receive $3 off the registration price for a low $9.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Win A Free Registration!

That’s right. You could attend this Blogger Boot Camp for free if you are selected as our Registration Rebate winner! Simply register and pay for the upcoming Boot Camp by the early-bird deadline of 13 October 2014. We’ll select one person from the list of registrants and refund their entire registration fee!  No contest forms to fill out! We’ll announce the winner here at Hack Genealogy on Tuesday 14 October 2014.

Schedule

Saturday 18 October 2014
Duration: 3.5 hours (with a 30 minute break)

  • 11:00 am EDT /10:00 am CDT
    Welcome / Meet & Greet
  • 11:15 am EDT / 10:15 am CDT
    Evernote Basics
    Thomas MacEntee
  • 12:30 pm EDT/11:30 am CDT
    Break
  • 1:00 pm EDT /12:00 pm CDT
    Getting Even More from Evernote
    Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
  • 2:30 pm EDT / 1:30 pm CDT
    Closing and Thank You

Webinars

Evernote Basics
Presented by: Thomas MacEntee

Have you ever wondered about Evernote and why genealogists are using it for their research? Have you even gone so far as downloading the free app and installing it but you wonder, “Now what?” Even if you consider yourself an Evernote user, you’ll learn some new ways of using the program in this “basics” class. We’ll cover everything an Evernote user should know about the program and focus on ways to use it for genealogy research.*

*    Attendees will also receive access to a free Evernote Toolbox.

Getting Even More from Evernote
Presented by: Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Are you an Evernote enthusiast? Do you want to get even more from this popular organizational and note-taking app and discover how to harness its power for your genealogy research and writing?  In this session: we’ll cover

  • How to use schedule reminders and create checklists to stay organized.
  • Utilizing the camera and audio recorder for capturing and sharing family history.
  • Suggestions for using free add-on programs such as Skitch and Penultimate for developing ideas, and annotating screen captures and documents.
  • How to use shortcuts, keyboard commands, and other features to increase your productivity.
  • Ways to utilize specialty features such as Clearly and Food, and third-party apps (such as CamScanner and EverClip) for smartphones and tablets.

You will also receive additional tips, hints, and resources to help you get even more from Evernote!

Presenter Bios

Lisa Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of nine books, including: Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, APG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. For more information see http://www.lisaalzo.com.

Thomas Mac Entee

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, marketer, network builder and more.

Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started building his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He’s 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.”

How To Register

Ready to join in this great educational event? Here are the details on the registration process:




  • Click the button above to go to PayPal and make payment or click here. You do not need a PayPal account to make payment.
  • Once payment is processed and received, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also receive links to register for each webinar. You must register for both webinars if you want to participate in both webinars.
  • Then you’ll be reminded via e-mail at least one day prior to Boot Camp.
  • Within 24 hours of the start of Boot Camp, you’ll receive the passwords for each webinar as well as links to all the handouts and freebies to you can review them before we start.
  • After the webinars, all registrants will have access to the recordings for personal use for a period of one (1) year. Recordings will be hosted on Vimeo and set to play only on a specific page here at Hack Genealogy. A password will be required to access the video pages.

Questions? Email us at hackgenealogy@gmail.com.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions for all Hack Genealogy Boot Camp events before you pay and register! Click here for more information.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Interested in Self-Publishing Your Genealogy Research?

Self-Publishing Boot Camp

[Editor’s Note: Readers of GeneaBloggers may not know that I also run the Hack Genealogy website which covers the latest in technology for genealogists and family historians. Every other month I team up with Lisa Alzo, of The Accidental Genealogist, and we offer a “boot camp” covering a popular topic such as writing, project management and this month, self-publishing.  Check out the info below and be sure to sign up soon . . . each and every Hack Genealogy Boot Camp in the past has SOLD OUT!]

* * *

Come join well-known genealogy educators Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee as they team up to offer a unique education event: Self-Publishing Survival Guide! On Saturday, 22 March 2014, you’ll be able to learn from two experts on how to take your written genealogical research and publish it in both print and e-book format.

Are you all ready to publish on your own, but you don’t know where to start and have these questions?

  • What is the best self-publishing platform for me and my book?
  • Should I use a service that handles book cover design, marketing and more . . . or can I really do this all on my own?
  • Should I have a print version and an e-book version?
  • What are the formatting and document preparation requirements for both print and e-book self-publishing?

You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 17 March 2014 and receive $3 off the registration price for a low $9.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Win A Free Registration!

That’s right. You could attend this Self-Publishing Boot Camp for free if you are selected as our Registration Rebate winner! Simply register and pay for the upcoming Boot Camp by the early-bird deadline of 17 March 2014. We’ll select one person from the list of registrants and refund their entire registration fee!  No contest forms to fill out! We’ll announce the winner here at Hack Genealogy on Tuesday 18 March 2014.

Schedule

  • 11:00 am EDT /10:00 am CDT
    Welcome / Meet & Greet
  • 11:15 am EDT / 10:15 am CDT
    DIY Publishing for the Family Historian: Tips, Tricks and Tools
    Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
  • 12:30 pm EDT/11:30 am CDT
    Break
  • 1:00 pm EDT /12:00 pm CDT
    Microsoft Word Secrets for Self-Publishing
    Thomas MacEntee
  • 2:30 pm EDT / 1:30 pm CDT
    Closing and Thank You

Webinars

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.*

*    Attendees will also receive a free Self-Publishing Checklist.

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.

**   Attendees will also receive access to a special Self-Publishing for Genealogists Toolbox – tons of links covering platforms, methods and tips!

Presenter Bios

Lisa Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of nine books, including: Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, APG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. For more information see http://www.lisaalzo.com.

Thomas Mac Entee

Thomas Macentee

When he’s not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 3,000+ members of GeneaBloggers.com, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas MacEntee is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.” Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry. After being laid off from a 25-year career in the tech industry in 2008, Thomas has been able to “repurpose” his skill set for the genealogy community and loves to see other genealogists succeed, whether it is with their own research or building their own careers in the field.

How To Register

Ready to join in this great educational event? Here are the details on the registration process:




  • Click the button above to go to PayPal and make payment or click here. You do not need a PayPal account to make payment.
  • Once payment is processed and received, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also receive links to register for each webinar. You must register for both webinars if you want to participate in both webinars.
  • Then you’ll be reminded via e-mail at least one day prior to Boot Camp.
  • Within 24 hours of the start of Boot Camp, you’ll receive the passwords for each webinar as well as links to all the handouts and freebies to you can review them before we start.
  • After the webinars, all registrants will have access to the recordings for personal use for a period of one (1) year. Recordings will be hosted on Vimeo and set to play only on a specific page here at Hack Genealogy. A password will be required to access the video pages.

Questions? Email us at hackgenealogy@gmail.com.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions for all Hack Genealogy Boot Camp events before you pay and register! Click here for more information.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee