April 8, 2015

Introducing Thomas MacEntee, Guest Genealogist

Introducing Thomas MacEntee, Guest Genealogist
Thomas MacEntee from Chicago Illinois is our next guest genealogist. Thomas is known as the "guru" of the genealogy community and is always available to offer ideas and to help others. I met Thomas several years ago at a RootsTech Conference and was impressed with his passion for his work. Over the years I witnessed his generousity to others in the genealogy field, and his dedication to genealogical pursuits. Recently Thomas and I discovered that we are actually cousins through our shared Van Slyke ancestry.

Bio: Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional based in the United States specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community.

1.     How and when did you become involved in the field of genealogy?
My first interest in genealogy was in 1977 when as a child I watched the mini-series “Roots” on television. However, it wasn’t until around 1990 when cleaning out items from my recently deceased great-grandmother that I caught the “bug” – one item I located was a 1916 printed genealogy tracing my family back to Schenectady, New York.
2.     What is your main genealogical focus?
I consider myself a genealogy professional and I run several successful entities that comprise my genealogy business. I’ve moved away from client research and now I lecture in-person and online (via webinar), write books and do consulting work for genealogy startups.
3.     Re Question 2 – please tell us more about this main focus.
I see myself as a genealogy “solopreneur” – I like to dabble in many different things and seek out success. I will often try to deploy new products and services that to most genealogists don’t seem like a good fit with the family history sector, but over time I’ve been able to make them work. Most of my projects have some element of entrepreneurial risk: instead of taking payment for services upfront, I will often ask for a royalty and bet on the success of the product.
4.     What are your website(s) and blogs? (Names and URLs)
GeneaBloggers.com (http://www.geneabloggers.com)
Hack Genealogy (http://www.hackgenealogy.com)
High-Definition Genealogy (http://www.hidefgen.com)
Genealogy Bargains (http://genealogy.bargains)
5.     Do you have a Social Media presence? 
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/geneabloggers
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/geneabloggers
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Geneabloggers
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasmacentee
6.     Do you believe a Social Media presence is important?
Absolutely. If we are to attract the next generation to genealogy, we need to place our welcome mat where they congregate: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites.
7.     Are you a member of any genealogical societies or organizations?
Association of Professional Genealogists, Illinois State Genealogical Society
8.     What does genealogy mean to you? Why do you believe it is important?
Genealogy for me is a journey of self-discovery by connecting with my ancestors.
9.     What do you believe is the most exciting development in genealogy today?
Each day brings new advances in how genealogists can use technology to learn more about their ancestors. Whether it is DNA testing or apps to help wrangle Big Data, we need “tool creators” to assist us in our search.
10. Do you have a prediction or hope for the field of genealogy in the future?
In the next five to ten years, there will be even more “information overload” as more and more records are digitized. We will need tools to help us make connections that we can’t readily see at first glance. This means semantic markup of newspaper records and wikis. It means the use of wearables to help us interpret records and even index them.

1 comment:

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Many genealogists and bloggers owe big thanks to Thomas for bringing us together; for teaching us how to improve our research & for the many tips his gives to us. Belonging to GeneaBloggers has been an amazing learning, sharing & caring experience! Thanks, Thomas & Thanks, Olive Tree for highlighting this great guy.