Monthly Archives: May 2014

TGP 26 Thomas MacEntee – The Genealogy Ninja

Featured Guest

Thomas MacEntee

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 who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more.
Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started building his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He Thomas MacEntee, Genealogy Ninja, on the Genealogy Professional podcastalso created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”

Thomas is a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics and I’ve finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. He believes in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

He sees things differently than most in the genealogy field; He is almost never content with the status quo. That doesn’t mean he chases after change just for the sake of change; but when he sees an opportunity to improve something and to bring more people into the genealogy sphere, that’s where you’ll find him.

Contact Links

The Geneabloggers website

High Definition Genealogy

Hack Genealogy

Thomas MacEntee on Twitter – @tmacentee

Other Links

Adventures in Genealogy Education blog by Angela Packer-McGhie

 Hubspot blog

MakeUseOf.com

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Check out the great educational opportunities that you can find on the Adventures in Genealogy Education blog.”

Recommended Book

The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Productivity Tool

Excel Project Management spreadsheet available at Hack Genealogy (there’s a video to help you get started).

Advice

“Do a lot of reading and vary your reading lists.”

Action Item

Thomas MacEntee’s career benefits from his habit of seeking expert sources of information for the topics he follows so he can keep up on the latest developments. He then curates and shares the cream of the crop with the genealogy community so that we all benefit. Our own businesses could benefit from seeking out information from outside experts in areas where we need more knowledge, know-how or expertise.

ACTION:

Choose an area of your business where your knowledge of a subject or skill is weaker than you would like. That could be social media, website design, using mailing lists, filing taxes, or any area where you could use more help.  Then spend some time on the internet searching for experts on blogs, websites, YouTube videos or podcasts in iTunes or Stitcher.  Find some reputable sources and then spend some time diving into the topic. Better yet, add a new folder to your RSS Reader and start following some of the sources so that you can keep up-to-date on a regular basis.  If you find some great sources, share them in the comments.

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/thomas-macentee

TGP 25 Yvette Hoitink – Dutch Genealogy

Featured Guest

Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. Her company, Dutch Genealogy Services, specializes in helping people from all over the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Most of her clients are descendants of emigrants who left the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th century but she also helps people find their New Netherland roots. Her services include doing research, interpreting documents for English-Yvette Hoitink - Dutch Genealogy on the Genealogy Professional podcastspeaking clients, preparing visits to places of origin for clients and giving lectures.

Genealogy has been her favorite pursuit for over twenty years. Yvette started doing genealogy in 1991, when she was just 15 years old. Two years later, she created the first genealogical website in the Netherlands (probably one of the earliest in the world). This got her in touch with descendants of Dutch emigrants all over the world, which made her realize how many people were searching for their Dutch roots.

Yvette studied Computer Science and Management Studies at the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. For ten years, she and her partner ran an IT company that specialized in consultancy and custom software for cultural heritage organizations, working for archives and libraries throughout the country. Since 2006, Yvette has worked for the Nationaal Archief, the National Archives of the Netherlands, where she currently works part-time as a project manager in the IT department. Through her own company and her job at the National Archives, Yvette has been involved in the development of the largest genealogical websites in the Netherlands so she has been a genealogy professional for over fifteen years. She started taking clients two years ago.

Yvette Hoitink writes about Dutch Genealogy on her blog (in English) and her weekly newsletter and has a column in Gen, the quarterly magazine of the Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie [Central Bureau for Genealogy, the largest genealogical repository in the Netherlands]. Together with Jeroen van Luin, she wrote Internet bij Stamboomonderzoek, a successful book about internet genealogy. She also gives lectures in Dutch and English about topics such as Dutch genealogy, 19th century emigration, internet genealogy and local history.

Contact Links

Dutch Genealogy Services website

Dutch Genealogy Blog

Dutch Genealogy on Facebook

Yvette Hoitink on Twitter – @DutchGen

Other Links

Roberta Estes Blog – DNA Explained

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Treat yourself like your first client and create research plans, create research reports and pretend.”

Recommended Book

Dutch Roots by Rob van Drie  (2012) Kindle Edition

Productivity Tool

Trello – Organization tool

Advice

“You may think you know your stuff and you may think your an awesome genealogist and you probably are but you’ll grow so much if you start taking on clients. Just working on other people’s projects is going to open your mind to new ideas. “

Action Item

Yvette Hoitink talked about how she had researched her father’s entire village and how many of the residents had emigrated to America.  She has put all the information online for free on her website. Not only does it provide valuable information for people looking for details on that village but it also drives people searching for Dutch ancestors to her website.  While they are there they learn that Yvette is a genealogy professional who can help them with their research.

ACTION:

Providing valuable free content on your website is a great way to attract new visitors to your site.  For this week’s action item think about what valuable information you can provide for free to drive people to your website. Perhaps you are an expert in an ethnic genealogy group or in a geographic area (like Yvette). Can you provide content on your website that would be valuable to a first time visitor and would also demonstrate your expertise?

Your action item for this week is to think of some valuable information related to your niche that your can share on your website which new visitors will find via search engines. If you are feeling very ambitious go ahead and put it on your site and then wait a month or so to see what kind of results you get. Make sure that people can easily see that you provide research services on the same topic!

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/yvette-hoitink

TGP 24 Helen Smith – Medical Research & Genealogy

Featured Guest

Helen V. Smith

Helen has been researching her family since 1986 when her mother lamented the fact she had never known her grandfather, George Howard Busby. Helen found some information and a newspaper photo of him, was hooked and has been addicted ever since with research in Australia, England, Wales and Ireland.

She is researching the surname Quested anywhere, anytime and has registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies.Helen V. Smith on the Genealogy Professional podcast

She is the author of Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms and has written for a number of publications including Inside History, Australian Family Tree Connections, Forgotten Times, family history journals as well as scientific publications.

Helen has spoken to a wide variety of audiences nationally (every state/territory in Australia) and internationally at Who Do You Think You Are? Live London, New Zealand Family History Fair, on four Unlock the Past Cruises, and will be speaking at the “Harvest Your Family Tree” Conference, Kelowna, BC, Canada.in 2014.

Helen is President of Southern Suburbs Branch of the Genealogical Society of Queensland.
Currently Helen is a part-time professional with lecturing, writing, client research in Queensland, health histories and a part-time position in conference organising with Unlock the Past Genealogy and History cruises . Professionally in her day job, she is a Molecular Epidemiologist specializing in Public Health Microbiology and has a strong interest in infectious diseases and Public Health through the ages.

She has a Graduate Diploma in Public Health, Bachelor Applied Science: Medical Laboratory Science and Associate Diploma in Clinical Laboratory Techniques and is currently studying the National Institute of Genealogical Studies: English Certificate and the Professional Development Certificate.

Contact Links

Blogs by Helen Smith

Helen Smith on Facebook

Helen Smith on Google+

Helen Smith on Twitter – @HVSresearch

Other Links

Unlock the Past Cruises

Gould Genealogy

Guild of One-Name Studies

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Educate themselves about professional genealogy by buying and reading the book Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills.”

Recommended Book

Health and Disease in Australia: A History by J.H.L. Cumpston (1928)

A history of health & medicine in Queensland, 1824-1960 by Patrick, Ross (1987)
available as a PDF

Productivity Tool

Drop Box  – file sharing/storage service

Skype – free voice and video communication

Dragon Dictate – computerized voice dictation

Advice

“Education is never wasted. Invest in yourself. Never stop educating yourself. “

Action Item

Helen Smith talked about how “selling herself” ie. promoting herself to build a following was hard and not natural. This is a difficult action for many people to take yet it is important to building your career.  This week we’ll take a first step toward understanding what it means to build a reputation and an audience.

ACTION:

To get started with promoting yourself as a genealogy professional, this week we’ll take a look at those who have been successful at the task. Choose a highly visible professoinal (perhaps Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, Lisa Louise Cooke or Chris Paton) and then explore how these people make themselves visible as genealogy professionals.

Do they have:

  • a website
  • a blog
  • a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc)

Do they do:

  • Public speaking
  • Write articles

Make note and learn how they have positioned themselves for success by using promotion as a tool.  Think about which aspects of promotion you would feel comfortable adopting.

 

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/helen-smith

TGP 23 Kathleen Brandt – Military Research

Featured Guest

Kathleen Brandt

Kathleen Brandt is a Professional International Genealogist and Consultant and is a published freelance writer for genealogy magazines and columns. She is the author of the Kathleen Brandt on the Genealogy Professional podcasta3Genealogy educational and skill building blog that explores various cultural and ethnic folk life, traditions, history, and genealogy research tips.

Utilizing twenty years of experience as an international corporate executive and five years of teaching college level Spanish, French and English writing courses, Kathleen offers workshops and lectures, and is a consultant for various international corporations, colleges and universities conducting historical, cultural, and genealogical projects. She has also researched for television episodes of NBC and TLC: Who Do You Think You Are?; and appeared in 2011 presenting to actor and singer Tim McGraw. Her work and research may also be seen on the Chris O’Donnell, Reba McEntire and Ashley Judd episodes, as well as on The History Channel: How the States Got Their Shape, and PBS: Finding Your Roots. She most recently appeared on CCTV America: Asia America Biz.

Her complete Experience / Qualifications CV may be reviewed at the a3Genealogy.com website

Contact Links

a3Genealogy.com website

a3Genealogy on Facebook

Kathleen Brandt on Twitter – @a3Genealogy

Other Links

Association of Professional Genealogists

The Federation of Genealogical Societies

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“Write a complete business plan with your financial goals”

Recommended Book

 Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

WWI and WWII books by Shelby Stanton

Productivity Tool

Drop Box, Evernote, Google Drive and Hootsuite

Advice

“Most businesses aren’t lucrative, not because the person doesn’t know their craft, we normally do, but because they fail to attend to their business affairs. I encourage everyone to write a business plan.”

Action Item

This week let’s focus on what’s unique about your business and your services. What do you do that separates you from other genealogy professionals? Secondly, what separates you from other professionals in your niche?

ACTION:

Make a list of two to four items that makes you and your business unique within the genealogical community. Next make another list that demonstrates how you are different from others within in your niche. Now look at your how you are projecting your business on the internet and in your business materials.  Does your current visual presence reflect your unique qualities?

Direct Link to this post:

http://www.TheGenealogyProfessional.com/kathleen-brandt