Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday - April 3rd, 2015

As I do every year, I shut down and disconnect from work and the world by noon on Good Friday. Growing up in the Roman Catholic faith, as a child we would sometimes go to church and follow the Stations of the Cross. Or we would stay home with no radio, no television and sit and recite the rosary. It was also a day of fasting.

There was no music and NOTHING would be on the altar. In fact, the Altar Ladies (known as the Altar Guild in some churches) would clear the altar of the usual Holy Bible, altar cloth and other regalia right after the Holy Thursday service. Often there would be a single red rose placed on the altar which would remain until Easter had arrived.

I also knew it was Good Friday since church bells did not play their recorded tunes at the regular 12 noon and 6pm times. All music at the church stopped right after the Holy Thursday service and would not resume until the Easter Eve service at 10pm on Holy Saturday.

As I've gotten older I find I don't keep all of the Catholic traditions I grew up with. I now have this routine on Good Friday: I get up early in the morning to get as much work done as possible. Then I post a video of my favorite gospel song "Were You There" sung by Johnny Cash and the Carter Sisters, and then I just sit, pray, remember by ancestors and contemplate the Crucifixion.

This year I'm also focusing on the message that Jesus brought: a message of change. I'll focus not just on changes I've witnessed over the past year, but changes needed to improve my life. I will also look at changes we as humanity can make in terms of how we treat each other and how we experience life.

For me, Good Friday is more than a holy day. It is a day of change and offers the chance to understand that change both 2,000 years ago as well as each and every day.

© 2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 20, 2015

An Alzheimer's Journey via StoryPress

Many readers of Destination: Austin Family know that this site started back in December 2006 as a way of coping with my mother's early onset Alzheimer's Diseases diagnosis in 2000. My main goal was to capture the many family history stories that I heard growing up.

Over the past eight years I've expanded the posts to cover genealogy and family history as well. An important element of many posts is the concept of "storytelling" and conveying the power of a family story with all its facets.

The written word can only go so far. So I've been working with a new platform called StoryPress ( to create video stories using photos and text narrated in my own voice. Here is my latest video, My Mother and Alzheimer's Disease, based on an annual post entitled "Our Family's Journey to Remembering."  Here is the video and look for more video stories in the future:

© 2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My New Book: 500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips

Thomas MacEntee's latest best-selling ebook - 500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips - 2015 Edition - is now available in PDF from Legacy Family Tree.
My latest ebook - 500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips - 2015 Edition - is now available in PDF format from Legacy Family Tree! And to celebrate, Legacy has created a special coupon for my fans and followers! Click here and use promo code 500best10 to get 10% off your copy today! This coupon is good through Sunday 15 March 2015.
500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips was released on 25 November 2014 as an Amazon Kindle ebook (click here if you want to buy the Kindle version). It has frequently been on the Amazon best-seller lists in the genealogy category and has helped many genealogists with their research.

More About 500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips

500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips could best be described as a “brain dump” of me, Thomas MacEntee, and my many years of knowledge about genealogy and family history. Basically what I’ve done is to extract my favorite tips and tricks from over 85 presentations, 10 books and numerous articles. In addition, I’ve reviewed the social media posts and conversations from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to highlight those issues most important to today’s genealogists.
What will you find in this “best tips” guide? Everything from practical ways to use Google, advice on protecting your privacy online, information about secret or little known resources for genealogy research, and more. The best way to use this guide is to browse the Table of Contents to find a topic of interest. Also simply search the book when trying to find a solution to a problem, such as how to cite a source or locate an app to generate bibliographic information.
500 Best Genealogy & Family History Tips covers a wide range of topics including:
  • genealogy research methodology and strategy
  • how to use websites such as Google and Internet Archive to find your ancestors
  • realizing the power of Facebook, Evernote and Pinterest for genealogy
    preserving family photos and stories
  • staying safe using social media
  • how to secure your genealogy data on your computer and in the cloud
  • and more!
©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.