Family Historians “Pin” Their Hopes on Cluster Genealogy at

Share Article, a new online virtual pin map will be highlighted in a Webinar this week at Family Tree University. Discussing 'cluster genealogy', expert Thomas MacEntee will include the social and geo-location elements of as one of the tools that help family historians locate those hard-to-find ancestors.

The virtual pin map at is a good tool to help find those hard-to-find ancestors is pleased to announce that they will be featured in an upcoming webinar about researching and recording Genealogy by renowned genealogy and technology expert Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers. The Webinar will be conducted at Family Tree University on Thursday, July 12 entitled “Using Cluster and Collateral Searches to Beat Brick Walls.” MacEntee will share his secrets on cluster genealogy research and how to use sites like to visualize family history data.

Recently, genealogists and family historians have discovered the ability to visualize their research data through’s various virtual pin map-related functions using a genealogy ‘pin’. The mapping tool aids in visualizing the concept of “cluster genealogy”; MacEntee will be explaining how the concept can be a key to locating those hard-to-find ancestors.

“Our ancestors did not live in solitude. They were part of a community, a network. This network, built over many years and generations, included social groups, civic and fraternal organizations, business alliances, and religious life. Each of these networks left behind records that can now be used to learn more about our ancestors”, explains MacEntee. “Basically you need to tap into the F.A.N. club of your ancestors. F.A.N. club stands for the Friends, Associates and Neighbors who lived in close proximity to your ancestors”.

Cluster genealogy relies upon knowing who was a part of that F.A.N. club, what they did as well as didn’t do together, who they knew, why they encountered each other, and more. According to MacEntee, genealogists need to “snoop” on these folks even though they aren’t direct relations – and see how their lives interacted with those of ancestors.

By pinning events to locations on a map, researchers can get a better idea of where people lived, worked and played and how they crossed paths with one other. Once these locations are pinned to a map at, they can be shared with family and other researchers to make even more connections.

Thomas MacEntee is a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. Utilizing over 25 years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas writes and lectures on the many ways social media and technology can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. As the creator of GeneaBloggers he has organized and engaged a community of over 2,500 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors. is a start-up web application designed as a social pin map. Genealogy is one of the many uses for the pin map platform and has garnered recent attention from the genealogy community.

To register for the webinar and participate in this unique learning event, visit Family Tree University

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Leslyn Kantner
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