Genealogy Do-Over: Last Day to View FREE Webinar Recording

Watch Thomas MacEntee present his plan to "redo" years worth of genealogy research - Genealogy Do-Over webinar at Legacy Family Tree.

Today, Tuesday, January 27th is the LAST DAY to view the recording of My Genealogy DO-Over – A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes – my latest webinar at Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

If you’ve been wondering about the “Genealogy Do-Over” and how it works – and why we’ve attracted over 3,200 people to the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group, then spend some time and watch this webinar.

Click here for more information on the Genealogy Do-Over and how you can participate!

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Call In the Big Guns to Break Down Brick Walls – Legacy Tree Genealogists

Have you hit a brick wall with your genealogy research? Time to change it up, try a new approach and call in the Big Guns? Check out Legacy Tree Genealogists.

I’ve come to realize two things with my own research: 1) Not everything is online and 2) I can’t do it ALL! That is why a professional service like Legacy Tree Genealogists is so important. I’ve found that it is better for me to work with experienced researchers who have access to records and are knowledgeable about the record set than to waste time (and money) doing it myself.

Legacy Tree Genealogists - Put your family history in our hands. Your ancestors’ stories are a fascinating part of your story, and our professional genealogists can discover them for you.

Thanks to the folks at Legacy Tree Genealogists, they’ve made a special offer to my fans and followers: $50 off their services if you use promo code THOMAS50. Click here for the special landing page and get a free consultation. See what they can do for you, and you may just break down that brick wall in 2015!

A professional genealogy firm can:

  • Help solve a brick wall that’s been bugging you for years.
  • Research lines that deal with a language you’re not comfortable with.
  • Send an agent to an onsite archive to access records.
  • Push back genealogy lines using a team approach – multiple perspectives and experience helps!

About Legacy Tree Genealogists

  • Founded in 2004, Legacy Tree is one of the oldest and most respected team genealogy firms.
  • Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Legacy Tree has easy access to the world’s largest family history library.
  • With contacts all over the world, Legacy Tree regularly accesses records worldwide through onsite agents.
  • Each member of Legacy Tree’s core team has a college degree in family history, 10+ years genealogy experience, and/or accreditation in genealogy.
  • Each member of Legacy Tree’s core team has been proven for excellent research, writing, and analysis skills.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Do-Over: Week 2 – My Own Progress So Far

Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers describes his own Week 2 progress for the Genealogy Do-Over.

So in Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over, we have the tasks of collecting information about our own lives, interviewing other family members about the family history, and setting research goals. Again, like almost everything in the Genealogy Do-Over, while it may look easy on the surface, each topic does require some effort, some thinking and quite a bit of work. I prefer to look at it all as an “investment” and I’m taking the time to “do it right” if I’m going to actually succeed in this do-over!

A Family Group Sheet Issue – Removing the Bias

As I stated over at the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group, I am partial to a set of fillable PDF forms produced by the folks at Family Tree Magazine. Called Essential Family Tree Forms CD, there is a great family group sheet form that is easy to use.

But because I want to look at other types of forms, I tried using one that I found on the Internet. Let’s just say I realized there was a definite bias when I opened the form:

biased family group sheet

  • The Husband is listed at the top of the form and it is the only person with an Occupation field available. I guess women don’t have occupations.
  • The Wife is listed under the Husband.

So I’ve reconfigured this family group sheet so that the Husband is now listed as Person and the Wife is listed as Spouse. And both of them are allowed to have occupations.

family group sheet

Download the Biased Family Group Sheet and compare it to the Reconfigured Family Group Sheet.

My Week 2 Progress

So far, this is what I’ve done:

  • Self Interview – Family Group Sheet: I filled out a family group sheet for myself and named it using my preferred file naming convention.
  • Biography: I also did a quick one page biography outlining my major life events and where I have lived over the past fifty plus years.
  • Other Family Group Sheets: Having been told the birth dates and places of my parents and when they got married, I also created separate family group sheets for each of my parents, listing myself and my younger brother Michael as the children.
  • Family Member Interviews: I don’t have many older relatives left and some just don’t want to discuss family history. When my great uncle Gregory Austin died in December 2013, he was the last of that generation and I regret not interviewing him years ago about family history. I do remember the stories that my great grandparents John Ralph Austin and Therese Austin told, and I’ve constructed family group sheets based on my recall. In addition, my aunt Patricia Larsen May produced rudimentary family group sheets for a family reunion in 1991. So I set those aside last week and I will use them to populate other family group sheets and generate more research goals.
  • Set Research Goals: Once my family group sheets were finished, I created a Microsoft Word document listing my research goals:Prove birth date of Thomas MacEntee.
    Prove birth location of Thomas MacEntee.
    Prove baptism date of Thomas MacEntee.
    Prove baptism location of Thomas MacEntee.
    Prove father name of Thomas MacEntee.
    Prove mother name of Thomas MacEntee.
    Prove marriage date of Richard MacEntee and Jacqueline Austin.
    Prove marriage location of Richard MacEntee and Jacqueline Austin.
    Etc.
  • File Management: Since I moved all my original research to a HOLD Genealogy folder on my C drive of my desktop, I’ve created a new Genealogy folder and then this week created two sub-folders: Templates and Family Group Sheets.- Templates is where I will story any form-type documents that I use over and over again such as a research log, a to do list, a family group sheet. This is where I go for those forms and I create a copy that I place in another sub-folder as needed.genealogy folder- Family Group Sheets is where I store all family group sheets for my research. These serve as my “intake” forms and from them I populate my research goals and try to prove data points (such as a birth date or location) or relationships. Since I am trying to remove what I see as a bias in family group sheets (where the husband is the main focus), I will need to create two for each family: one where the husband is the primary person and one where the wife is the primary person.

family group sheets

* * *

Are you ready for Week 3? I am and I’ll post the topics, information and resources for Week 3 of the Genealogy Do-Over at GeneaBloggers on Friday 16 January 2015.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.