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Monday, February 27, 2017

Tree Pruning

It's Family Tree pruning time!

It's a task I've been putting off for FAR too long.  I've known for a while that my Ancestry tree has a LOT of unconfirmed branches.  Since I've learned more over the past few years I've discovered I need to prune that unconfirmed information out and add it back in again if I can confirm with sources.

This is mostly the result of being "young and silly" when I first joined Ancestry and you get so excited with the little green leaves and other member's trees that you go a little...crazy.
And that craziness has led me to where I currently am.

So, I didn't want to completely lose all of the work I have done so I made a GEDCOM copy of the tree I had and saved that as a private tree (I don't want others copying off that tree since it's not confirmed - it's more my giant tree of hints now).  And I'm seriously pruning back my public Ancestry tree to those things I have some sort of sources for.

It's been a big pain in the rear (because I had a TON of branches that I couldn't confirm a link to) but doing this will give me a much cleaner base to run off of and I can use the private tree to help me with hints to hopefully find the source documentation to make the tree grow again.  :)

So, a few tips for new genealogists just starting out:

  • Think before adding to your tree (I know this seems basic - but sometimes we get a little too excited and we need to slow down and really think if we just need to make note of a source to investigate further or confirm some other way to make sure they are a relation before adding to the tree)
  • Remember that the little green leaves (or the hint features of your chosen family tree software/website) are HINTS.  They might have nothing to do with your ancestor.  Use them as a jumping off point for further research.
  • Download a copy of the documents to your computer at home (don't just have the online link) because if you drop your subscription you might not be able to view that original document again until you subscribe again and that can be frustrating.  Plus, crazy things happen and the website might go down or out of business and you want to have copies of these documents.
  • Other member trees - my personal belief now is to NOT add to your tree from other member's trees.  I will use them on occasion as hints to use if I am looking for sources for my ancestors but adding to my tree from other trees made my tree into the mess it became (duplications, unconfirmed info, misspellings, and just plain wrong info).
Good luck and enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2017

RootsTech 2017!

Goal #1 for 2017 - Stay out of the hospital (they're starting to recognize me there, that's not good)
Goal #2 for 2017 - more family history research & blogging about it

I had the opportunity this year to attend RootsTech in Salt Lake City, which was such an awesome experience!

I won a free pass to RootsTech which got me off my butt and travelling to SLC.  Thank you Shannon at the Trials and Tribulations of a Self-Taught Family Historian blog!

I had such a great time, was so inspired, and learned so much it's unbelievable that happened all in one place.

There were great general sessions including an incredibly moving speech from LeVar Burton.  Seriously, by the end of the speech everyone was crying.  Everyone.  It was beautiful and moving!

I attended a session on starting Scandinavian genealogy and did a hands on workshop with ArkivDigital.  I feel much more comfortable with diving into some of my Swedish ancestry now (I actually looked up my first household record for one of my ancestors).

There were so many great sessions I attended but I'm also really glad I attended the "100 Days to Better Family History" session so I could take all of the energy from the conference and make an organized plan.

RootsTech Selfie!

RootsTech Exhibition Hall

So, now I'm all motivated and one of my top goals is to regularly blog about what I'm doing with my family history research!  Stay tuned!