Some genealogists may not be familiar with Drew Smith, who is based in Florida.
I "met" Drew online on Facebook a year ago and was immediately impressed with his knowledge and genealogical skills. Drew's a busy guy and I am thankful he found the time to answer my questions. Read on to learn more about Drew and his work in technology and genealogy.
1. How and when did you become involved in the field of genealogy?
Growing up in upstate South Carolina, it was difficult not to be aware
of the importance of knowing about one's family and how everyone was
related. But as a child I was easily discouraged about working on my
family, given such common family names as Smith, Martin, and King.
When my favorite aunt passed away in 1991, I decided that her
generation was nearly gone and that I needed to get serious about
2. What is your main genealogical focus?
I have written and co-written a few books, written a large number of
articles, and have done speaking at national and state conferences
going back many years. I am especially known as being the co-host of
The Genealogy Guys Podcast.
3. Please tell us more about this main focus.
Because I have a technology background, I am most interested in how to
apply technology to solve genealogical problems.
4. What are your website(s) and blogs?
I podcast at The Genealogy Guys Podcast (genealogyguys.com), and blog
on occasion at Rootsmithing with Technology (rootsmithing.com).
5. Do you have a Social Media presence?
I'm on Twitter at @drewsmithtpa, Pinterest at drewsmithtpa (haven't
had much time to spend there), Facebook at drew.smith, and Google+ at
6. Do you believe a Social Media presence is important?
I think that Social Media provides the best way to be visible to other
genealogists, especially if you're engaged in professional activities
and you want people to be able to find you and see what you're doing.
7. Are you a member of any genealogical societies or
I'm a member of APG and NGS. I have previously served on the Board of
the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Florida State
Genealogical Society. I am currently the President of my local
society here in Tampa, the Florida Genealogical Society, and I'm the
Chair of the Family History Information Standards Organisation
8. What does genealogy mean to you? Why do you believe it is important?
I think genealogy connects us to our history and to each other. It
makes history come alive and it enlightens us about our ancestors and
9. What do you believe is the most exciting development in genealogy today?
The two most exciting developments in genealogy today are the
increasing number of original records being digitized and put online
for viewing, and the availability of DNA testing.
10. Do you have a prediction or hope for the field of genealogy in the future?
I hope that genealogy will continue to fascinate each new generation
as it tries to understand the world and how its ancestors' past
decisions led to the individuals alive today. It is an affordable
hobby that remains personal and intriguing. I estimate that we'll
continue to benefit from future digitization efforts for decades to
11. Please feel free to add anything you would like to say that
hasn’t been addressed by the questions above.
While genealogy isn't some sort of panacea that will lead to world
peace, I do believe that those who engage in it come away with a
better appreciation of humanity, both the good and the bad.