Tag Archives: Thomas MacEntee

March in Review

It was not a stellar month for following what I set out to do. So, I will recap what I have done and move on with April…

March Goals:

Research: Finish putting together my research plan for the ACPL, notes are started on all of my great-great grandparents lines. Quite a few of the lines are from the Midwest (IL, IN and OH). I am hoping to find some new information on them.

I put together a 2.25 page list of books I wanted to look through at ACPL and went through them quickly. Now that I have been there and seen what they have to offer, I believe it will be easier to put together a research plan for my next trip.

Writing: Continue blogging. I wrote 10 posts for the month of February, to me that is not enough. Especially since 4 of those posts are my goals. I need to blog about substantial research and findings, at least one post per week.

For the month of March, I wrote 11 blog posts. That is one more than last month. Without looking into what I blogged about, I know I need to continue working in this area. I have started another writing project that I am not ready to discuss yet. But, I believe it will really have me focus more on writing altogether.

Organization: Still need to get the last of my magazines into my book shelf and filed by the correct month/year. Then, I will work on cleaning up my family file folders.

While going through some file folders, I came across more magazines and I also picked some up, courtesy of Thomas MacEntee while we were in Ft Wayne and they all need to be filed. However, I spent some time this month organizing all of my bookmarks on my computer. It took me an hour or so, but now they are all separated by subject and easy to find. 

Education: Continuing ProGen, I feel good about our first month. Assignment for this month is to read another 2 chapters and and assignment, an optional assignment and of course the discussion questions.

ProGen is going well. I finished my assignment on time and even submitted the optional assignment. I was not able to read ahead in the book, but I hope to change that in April.

It’s the Final Countdown

In just one week (and a day) many Geneabloggers will be descending on Fort Wayne, Indiana. We will be researching at the Allen County Public Library and having a get together at the home of fellow geneablogger Tina Lyons and her husband. We have a great list of people coming, some from Illinois, Ohio and Canada. Yes, you read that right Canada!

The Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page has been listing the blogs of those attending, but I thought I  would put together a post here for everyone to read. That way, you will know who’s blog to read for updates on our weekend and to see if we get any research done. Plus, this will be a first time trip to ACPL for many, so I am sure there will be some posts about that as well.

Here is the list, in no particular order:

Tina Lyons of Genwish List

Jennifer Holik of Generations

Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana of The Last Leaf on This Branch

Stephanie Pitcher Fishman of Corn and Cotton Genealogy

Derek Davey of Genealogy - Northwest Ohio

Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers

Patricia Desmond Biallas of Genea Journeys

Linda Swisher of Round Tuit Genealogy

Diana Ritchie of Random Relatives

Jen Alford of Jen-Gens Family History

Susan Clark of Nolichucky Roots

Diana Biddle of Adventures in Brown County History & Genealogy

Kathryn Lake Hogan of Looking 4 Ancestors

Brenda Leyndyke of Journey to the Past

Shelley Bishop of A Sense of Family

Lisa Ellam of The Faces Of My Family

Lisa VonLanken of The Shy Genealogist

Karen Bennett of Karen’s Chatt

Margel Soderberg of 2338 W. Washington Blvd

I apologize if I missed anyone. If there is someone you know that is attending, please leave a comment so I can add them to our list.

That is a total of 20 bloggers all together. What a group. There are many bloggers listed that I have not met, yet. I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you. If you have spare time in the next week (because you are super organized and have a research plan completed already) take some time to stop by these blogs and introduce yourself. See if you have any common surnames or areas to research. Maybe we can break a brick wall down together.

Motivation Monday: Week of March 12

Its late in the day and I wanted to update where I am so far this month. I have only moved forward a bit this week.

Research: I have not worked any further on my research plan for the ACPL. I did listed to Thomas MacEntee’s webinar, Navigating the 1940 Census, which set me out looking for where I will be able to find my family. I have noted on my set up of all my 2nd great-grandparent files where I should be looking for a few of the families.

Writing: have not really written anything since last week. Enough said!

Organization: If our weather stayed the same, I think I would be organized by now. I have not worked in my office because it is too cold there. Now that spring is here, I am slowly moving back into the office to take care of things.

However, I did receive an early birthday gift of an external hard drive. It started out with just asking some questions about updating my Mac Book Pro to the new OS Lion. Turns out that since my Mac is so old, it is not really worth it to do so. While discussing updating the memory on the computer as an option to change to Lion, I was told I would lose everything on my hard drive, 1000′s of pictures and all of my family records I have collected through the years. I think my heart stopped. Well, a very nice family member decided I needed to have an external hard drive right away and went and purchased it. I moved many of my files and a bit of the photo’s over that night. It feels great to be able to have things backed up and off the computer, in case something bad happens here. Plus, with moving things over to the hard drive, I have opened up 5GB of memory on my Mac already!

Education: I read 1.5 of the 2 chapters for ProGen already. Starting to formulate my plans for the homework.

Non-Tech Vendors Not Allowed

No books allowed. Is that our future. The past few years has brought many changes to the world we live in, and not all are for the better.

We witnessed the electronic library on Amazon’s Kindle (and I do love it) and then Barnes and Noble brought out the Nook. With the change in technology we are now seeing the closing of our favorite book stores. Borders was my favorite, we went a few times a month. The first year they had the Borders rewards card, I earned over $75 in free books. I was a happy customer. Sadly, they have closed. My daughter lost her job of over 5 years, our friend Bill West of West in New England lost his as well. I will not even talk about the economy and how hard it is to find a job now.

Magazines, I cannot even tell you how many magazines I ordered that stopped production. My favorite was Everton’s Genealogical Helper. I could not wait for that to arrive in my mail box. I devoured every word in it. I refuse to get rid of the issues I have.

Libraries are having difficulties remaining open. Many have cut back their hours. As genealogists we do what we can to bring these issues to the attention of our friends and anyone else that can help. We have succeeded in some cases. What worries me the most is the libraries that talk about going all digital. Yes, I agree that it is cool to download a book. I have read many this way and not sure what I would do without the Kindle on my Iphone. But, I still love to pick up a book and turn the pages. Smell the paper. Even better is to pick up a book that is over 100 years old and feel the history that is in your hands. I remember being at the Newberry library holding a book from the 1800’s, there was nothing better!

Blogging books for the beginners.

As most of you have heard by now, Rootstech has decided they will not let certain vendors in (crafts dealers, book vendors and other non-tech dealers). Absurd! As genealogists we read books. We love books. I understand that this is a technology conference. But sometimes even technology needs a reference book. Seriously, there are so many of the For Dummies books out there because not everyone understands it. I have never been to Rootstech, I do not plan on going this year but I would like for my friends who are genealogy writers to be able to sell their product. We have many friends that write books, Megan Smolenyak, Drew Smith, Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee, Cyndi Howells and James Tanner, are you telling us that they are not important to the field of technology and genealogy?

From the posts on Facebook, I do not see one person who was happy with this decision. All I can say, is that I hope they reexamine their position on this soon.

Chicago Genealogy Society and Thomas MacEntee

On Saturday, 11 Nov 2011,  I attended a meeting of the Chicago Genealogy Society at the Newberry Library. This was the first time I have attended one of their meetings. And, to be perfectly honest, I attended because I wanted to turn in my membership paperwork. Yes, I finally joined. I had planned on joining since September when I met a few of the members at the FGS conference in Springfield, IL.

This month, Thomas MacEntee (of GeneaBlogger’s fame) presented They’re Alive! Searching for the Living. I truly figured I would not learn anything new at this lecture because I have successfully located living family members. Cousins of my maternal grandfather to be exact, cousins he never met.

Once again, Thomas proved me wrong. He has a list of many websites that I have not heard of and I will be going through them soon. Since this is a lecture that Thomas give’s I do not want to give out his information.  I do recommend that if you have not heard Thomas present that you put it on your list of things to do. He takes any topic, adds a bit of humor and a ton of great resources. Well worth the time and as I said earlier, you should attend even if it is something you feel you already have all the information you need. He always has another outlook and much more information. I have seen Thomas present twice in the past month and feel as if I am becoming a groupie.

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