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High-Definition Genealogy High-Definition Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee provides various services to the genealogy and family history community including market research, consulting, education, and more.

02 January 2014 ~ Comments Off

A New Year and New Beginnings

So what will 2014 bring for me as I continue on my quest of building a genealogy business? What about personal goals? Any predictions for 2014? It’s all here . . .

Business Objectives

One sign of a successful business, in my opinion, is one that is adaptable and can deal with change as a means of growth. In 2013 I spent quite a bit of my time – up to 50% – providing consulting services to clients. This advice was mainly focused on marketing and reaching the genealogy community.

In 2014, I’ve restructured my offerings to get away from hourly billings and more towards “products” that focus on content marketing. Examples include blog posts, articles, marketing copy, and webinar development.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I love to write and many of my clients agree that I write rather well. So that’s where the focus is in 2014. In addition, writing is a good partner to the goal of “more passive income” which means “write it once and wait for the royalties.” So where I can I am willing to forego an upfront payment and instead take an author or editor royalty on the sale of the finished product.

Publishing

I’ve been fortunate enough to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing over the past year; to the point of having nine of my own e-books available for sale at Amazon. And I’ve translated my skills and experience in using the Amazon Kindle Publishing platform to edit and publish the entire Legacy Quick Guide series in Kindle format.

Look for more e-books from me and from other genealogy authors on the Kindle platform as well as other formats in 2014.

Travel

A big year for travel including trips to Australia, Burbank, Indianapolis, New York, Palm Springs, Richmond, St. Paul, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sandusky, Southern Illinois, and local Chicagoland cities. Much of the travel will be related to genealogy conferences and speaking engagements. Given that I traveled over 50,000 miles in 2013, I may come close to doubling that amount in 2014.

Presentations

Having delivered over 80 individual lectures in 2013, mostly in-person, I’m looking forward to about the same number for 2014. I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to greatly increase the number of webinars offered, especially to genealogy societies across the United States. This is an indicator, at least in my eyes, that more and more societies are comfortable with the concept of webinars and are using them to bring more speakers to their members at a better price point.

In terms of topics, I now have close to 80 different topics from which to present, with many new subjects. I’m excited about some of the new lectures such as 7 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists and the new “super powers” series.

Personal Goals

I’m not done putting together my personal goals and some of them, frankly, are too personal to put in a blog. Taking better care of myself is an overarching goal which encompasses reducing my weight, getting more exercise and staying on top of chronic medical issues. Last year was a real eye-opener for me in terms of medical issues and I count my blessings each and every day that I can get up each morning on my own, dress myself, feed myself and earn a living.

One Word: Gratitude

Well maybe more than one word but I am so thankful that I’m pursuing my dream of running my own business and helping others learn more about genealogy and family history. Other words and phrases that I’ll be using as my mantras for 2014 include:

  • Gravitate towards good
  • Stay glad
  • Go big and go home (you can do both)
  • Get out there
  • Go far

And I’ll focus on putting the “gee” back in genealogy. I hope that 2014 brings you all that you want and more not just in terms of genealogy but life in general!

© 2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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01 November 2013 ~ Comments Off

New E-Book: Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories

preserving oral history thumb

I’m pleased to announce my newest e-book just in time for the holidays!  If you’ve struggled with how to capture and preserve all those family stories told around the dinner table or at special family events, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories.

Here is a description of what you’ll find inside:

Many of us got our start in tracing and preserving our family history based on a story, perhaps one you heard as a child. Do you remember how engaging that story was? Was it the story itself or how the storyteller presented the information? Whatever the reasons, the story had an impact and if not preserved on paper or in an audio recording, that story is somehow preserved in your mind.

Fast forward to the 21st century and it seems that “what’s old is new again” with storytelling one of the hot buzz words. The fact is that oral history and storytelling as it involves family and ancestry has been around ever since humans walked the earth. Before writing forms existed and even as recently as the early 20th century with a lack of vital records, family history was preserved as oral history.

Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories provides you with all the information on the latest methods and tools used to capture and preserve those family stories. In addition, once you’ve learned how it easy it is to build a family archive of stories, you’ll want to share them with others using the tips and tricks provided in this book.

Bloggers and reviewers interested in a review copy can contact me at hidefgen@gmail.com for more information.

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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31 October 2013 ~ Comments Off

New Article: Bring Out Your Dead: A Look at Mortality Schedules

Archives.com Expert Series

My latest article entitled “Bring Out Your Dead: A Look at Mortality Schedules” has been posted at Archives.com.  This is one of many articles you’ll find as part of the Learn from Experts series at Archives.com – check it out and you will see some familiar faces among the genealogy blogging crowd!

The most recent article discusses how deaths were tracked in the Non-Population Schedules of the US Federal Census as well as in some state census returns. Most of these censuses took place from 1850 to 1900 and tracked deaths as well as causes of death for the year prior to the Census Day. Since many states did not formally track vital records until even the early 20th century, the mortality schedules offer lots of information to fill in the gaps of your geneaogy and family history research.

Visit the Articles page here at High-Definition Genealogy for my other recent and past articles on genealogy.

Disclaimer: this was an assignment for Archives.com in which I was paid to produce a an article on the subject of genealogy webinars.  In addition to payment, I also received a complimentary membership to Archives.com.  See the Disclosure Statements page for a list of all material connections I have with genealogy vendors.

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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