Genealogy Gives Back: Genealogists for Families Project


Genealogists, family historian and the genealogy community are known for their generosity on many levels: the hours of volunteer work with libraries and societies; the willingness to help others with their research; and let’s not forget the many indexing projects to help bring more and more research resources to light.

In this vein, I want to bring your attention to a new initiative called Genealogists for Families.  The project uses the Kiva platform to make small entrepreneurial loans to families all over the world so that they can succeed economically.

Australian genealogist Judy Webster  has organized this project based on her own family history: “For as long as I can remember, my father set aside a small sum of money that he would periodically lend to a hard-working person in need of short-term help. We called it his ‘Do Good Money’. Dad passed away last year at the age of ninety, and I want to continue the tradition in his memory.”

At press time, the Genealogists for Families team has made more than 38 loans totaling $975 US to a variety of projects. Read more at GeneaPress about this community effort ( and click here to sign up with Kiva and get involved.

Here is a chance to help make family history for another family. Wouldn’t it be great to have a descendant of one of the loan recipients one day write: “Our family business got its start back in 2011 through the generosity of the Genealogists for Families project  . . .”

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About 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, online community builder and more. 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. He also 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 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.


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