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Interview with Thomas MacEntee, ISGS 2019 Fall Conference Speaker

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional based in the United States who is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas has over 42 years of experience researching family history.
Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. Currently Thomas shares many of his articles and videos for free at Abundant Genealogy and also runs the popular Genealogy Bargains and DNA Bargains websites!
Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.
ISGS is thrilled to have our friend Thomas return to our Fall Conference for two exciting lectures that are sure to help you improve your research skills- "One Touch Genealogy Research: How to Handle a Record Just Once," and "Genealogy Pit Stop: Research in 15 Minute Increments!" Thomas took the time to talk to us about his genealogical interests...

·    How did you become interested in genealogy?  How long have you been researching?     I was 14 years old and watching the mini-series Roots on television with my great-grandparents when I got hooked on genealogy. I started when there was no personal computer, genealogy software, or Internet. I remember using microfilms, Soundex, and pen and paper.

·    Who is your favorite person (ancestor or otherwise) to research? Why?     
My favorite person is my 9th great-grandfather Hugo Freer who was a Huguenot that settled in New Paltz, New York. The house he built in 1699 is still standing and I am always looking for new information on how he lived and created a life here in North America.

·    What has been a defining moment in your career as a genealogist?     
When I graduated from the Boston University online program and received my Certificate in Genealogical Research in April 2010.

·    What are you most looking forward to at the ISGS annual fall conference?     
The best part of ANY genealogy conference is networking and connecting with both colleagues and attendees. I love sitting down and talking to attendees to discuss their research problems. This is where I get ideas for my new lectures!

·    What should conference attendees look forward to at your lectures?                 Hopefully attendees for my lectures will understand that solid genealogy research methodology doesn’t have to be tedious or boring!

·    Is there a genealogist or a historian that you look up to? Who and why?     
There isn’t any ONE genealogist or historian I really look up to but I love to follow those who are tracing the history of people and societies that have historically been marginalized in the US: African-Americans, Latinos, LGBT people, etc. Research in these areas have many hurdles and there is a vital need for these stories to be told.

Can you tell us about some of your recent or upcoming projects?     
My latest area of interest is DNA and privacy and in general the historical concept of privacy. How did our ancestors handle privacy and what were their expectations compared to how we feel about privacy today in the digital age. 

Registration is OPEN for the ISGS 2019 Fall Conference, October 25-26- learn more and register HERE!

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