Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Say's Who?

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Genealogy Do-Over the last couple of weeks. And that is really the point isn't it? To take good hard look at what I have. Should I do it over or should I review it? Either way, I become a better genealogist. Back and forth, back and forth.


  • I've read most of the posts on the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook group. Everyone makes a good case for a fresh start.
  • I've read several of the blog posts that have been mentioned. Lots of good opinions and suggestions.
  • I want to leave a product that is accurate, informative, and helpful to my children.


  • I have a lot of information. 8883 individuals, 2231 surnames, 2235 locations and 2469 master sources. It's amazing what one can find in twenty years.
  • I'm really too tired to do it all over again. See above.
  • I don't have a lot of time left. 68 may not be old but it sure isn't young.

The votes are in, the Cons have it. All in favor? I'm going to Do-It-Better.

So with apologies to Gibbs, here are the rules for my review.

  1. Say's who? I will be skeptical. Memories fade, details are lost, legends are born. Trust but verify. 
  2. How good is the source? I will analyze the source material I find. Is it from a clue bucket/index? A scan of an original document? Aunt Gertie's family story? See rule #1.  
  3. Save a copy. Digital collections can and have left the building. I will make a digital copy of every document I find when I find it. The url wouldn't hurt either. Since this has always been part of my process, it won't be hard, I have a filing system I'm happy with and I have multiple backups. Because without the copy I'm back to rule #1. 
  4. Sourcing is not just for the pros. Who, what, when, and where. I will leave a road map for my reader to follow. They'll need it to follow rule #1.  

I've decided to start the review with my great grandparents and move forward with their descendants..I'll rework my source citations, add photos to Legacy Family Tree, do some historical research and make sure my location names are historically correct and accurately mapped. 

In order to do this, I've taken the elements of several basic research plans and modified them into one I like. A combination plan/log/chronology that puts all my information in one place. Since I work in Evernote, I can add links to each document in the plan. I can link to parents and siblings as I create each sheet. This is not a replacement for my Legacy software. Just a better way for me to analyze my data.

So, thank you Thomas MacEntee for starting this discussion and all the commentors and bloggers who have weighed in. 

I think this just might work.

Photo credit:, By Superchilum (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons