Genealogy Ninja, Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy Ninja, Thomas MacEntee

Press Release

The Western Michigan Genealogical Society (WMGS) announces its 2013 GotAncestors?! Annual Seminar entitled Are You Having Fun Yet?!  The event is Friday and Saturday, October 11th and 12th at the Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids. The cost is $59.00 per person for the entire two-day program if registered before September 22nd. A light dessert reception Friday, lunch, and refreshments Saturday are included. The Genealogy Ninja is fun. Thomas MacEntee engages, energizes and entertains his audiences. Even if you are already having fun with your genealogy, be sure to register, come, and hear Thomas. You will not be disappointed and you are sure to learn more. Find seminar details and registration instructions at

Program Highlights

Friday evening, October 11 opens with an engaging talk that will resonate with any family researcher entitled Internet Killed the Family History Star: How Technology Has Changed the Face of Genealogy. A light dessert reception follows with an opportunity to mix & mingle.

Four additional talks by Mr. MacEntee are on tap for Saturday, October 12, with lunch and refreshments included.

  • Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching: Researching non-direct relations as well as those friends and neighbors in your ancestors’ network.
  • Blog Your Ancestors: Read ’Em, Write ’Em, Find ’Em!
  • Mind Mapping Your Research Plans and Results: Creating a diagram or flow chart of ideas and concepts.
  • 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Genealogy: Energize your research and be ready to hit the ground running.

A vendor’s area will be open all day on Saturday. This is the sixth consecutive year the WMGS GotAncestors?! Seminar will be at the Prince Conference Center, 1800 East Beltline SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan on the campus of Calvin College. The venue is handicapped accessible and smoke-free.

Youth & Student Scholarship Program

WMGS is again sponsoring a limited number free registrations to people aged 15 – 25 who wish to attend this year’s Got Ancestors?! If you are interested in learning about genealogy from a great expert, you will be able to attend the Friday and Saturday sessions at no cost if you are among the first 20 qualified people who register. You MUST register online to receive one of these sponsorships.

Genealogy Ninja?

We’re excited to welcome Thomas MacEntee from Chicago, the speaker at this year’s Got Ancestors?! Thomas is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community. When he is not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 3,000+ members of GeneaBloggers, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas MacEntee is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.”

Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry. After being laid off from a 25-year career in the tech industry in 2008, Thomas has been able to “repurpose” his skill set for the genealogy community and loves to see other genealogists succeed, whether it is with their own research or building their own careers in the field.

Born in the Catskill Mountain region of New York, Thomas was introduced to his ancestry in 1993 when he discovered a published copy of his family’s genealogy from 1916. Working with a detailed accounting of his Dutch ancestry, Thomas has continued to trace the other roots and branches of his family for 20 years.

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

The Western Michigan Genealogical Society was founded in 1954 with the purpose of preserving and making available for genealogical research the records of our ancestors; encouraging and assisting members in genealogical research; promoting the exchange of knowledge and encouraging the deposit of genealogical records in established libraries and archives. WMGS was the second organization dedicated to Family History and Genealogy in the state of Michigan.

Free genealogy meetings are monthly from September through June in the Grand Rapids Public Library Ryerson Auditorium. All meetings are open to the public. The Annual Seminar is held each fall.

Membership is $20.00 per year and includes a subscription to Michigana, the Society’s 40-page quarterly magazine. It includes original and unpublished material, helpful hints, book reviews, ancestor portraits, and “how to” suggestions.

For more information, contact Don Bryant at or 616-283-4256.

Western Michigan Genealogical Society
c/o Grand Rapids Public Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3268

Society Website:
Annual Conference Website: