Sunday, January 15, 2017

A GREAT Seminar by Thomas MacEntee

Yesterday the San Diego Genealogical Society was pleased to host Thomas MacEntee for a full day seminar.  Thomas is a professional genealogist, author, educator, blogger, social media connector and much much more.

Thomas MacEntee at SDGS Thomas MacEntee and I 2017

Thomas presented information on the 4 following topics:

“The Genealogy Do-Over™: A Year of Learning from Mistakes”
Thomas talked about doing a “Genealogy Do-Over”.  The group he is starting will be working month by month to help us all become better researchers.  The program Thomas is setting up will help us look at all the not so great habits we’ve developed as researchers, like being sloppy at times when we are doing research.  By ‘starting over’ with our research and committing to doing our research in a better way we can all improve our research habits and learn more about our ancestors.  Be sure to check out Thomas’ website and join in the Genealogy Do-Over challenge. 

“Facebook: A Tool for Genealogy Research”
Many of us use Facebook on a regular basis for checking out what our friends are doing and showing off what we have been doing, etc. but have you thought about using it as a source of genealogical research, a place to look for family, a place to ask questions and get help?  Thomas gave us some valuable information on how to do more valuable searches on Facebook and how to best use Facebook Groups to find information and people.  I thought I was using Facebook but I learned there is a lot more I can be doing and will need to do to enhance my research.

“Can I Use that in My Genealogy?  What You Should Know About Copyright”
A very important topic for all of us who gather information from a variety of sources.  Since I blog I am always wondering if I am using information I have gathered from a variety of resources correctly.  Citing information and obeying Copyright laws is something I am always concerned about!  I ALWAYS want to be sure I am documenting my information correctly and giving others the credit for the work they have done.   Thomas gave us some good examples and valuable information about Copyrights.  Following Thomas’ presentation I will remember to continually ask myself ‘Is this information in the public domain’?  I want to continue to work on and improve my citations of resources and think about Copyright laws when I publish any information.

“After You’re Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research”
Most of us rarely think about what will happen to our research after we are gone.  Thomas prompted us to think about this now.  Make plans now for who will receive our years and years of research when we are no longer here.  He talked about the best ways to transfer our research to others and what we should be doing NOW.  Thomas certainly gave us a lot to think about.  I know I will be taking his advice and working on a plan now.  There was a lot I hadn’t thought about before hearing Thomas’ presentation.

Thomas is a great speaker with a lot of valuable information regardless of your level as a researcher.  Thomas is also an enjoyable speaker to listen to.  I appreciated Thomas taking the time to demonstrate how to do certain techniques he discussed when audience members had questions.  I was also very pleased that Thomas was very open about sharing things that he has created such as his Research Log Templates and encouraged all of us to do the same.

I look forward to attending sessions that Thomas will hopefully present at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in June.  I’ve been keeping a list of speakers that I would like to hear again because of the topics they speak about and/or their ability as a presenter.  Thomas is at the top of my list of great speakers.  He also does many webinars on a variety of topics-check them out if you can.

Thank-you Thomas for an enjoyable day that was packed with a lot of learning.  It was a pleasure to meet you.  I also want to thank Thomas for the opportunity on GeneaBloggers to be featured in the May I Introduce to you… on 4 April 2016 section about bloggers.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. It was certainly a fun day and filled with learning. Hard to beat that. You summed it up well Debby.

  2. Thank-you Diane. Certainly was an enjoyable day.