Many genealogists have decided to start off 2015 with a push to re-examine their family trees. I’m not sure who issued the challenge, but many bloggers like Thomas MacEntee have accepted the challenge to examine and clean up their family trees. The goal is to retype their family tree in an effort to prune their tree, address issues of missing or poor sourcing and generally clean up their tree. Other genealogists, like DearMyrtle, have decided to not redo their entire tree, instead focusing on each direct relative and proceeding through their tree one person at a time looking at:
- Media files
- Identifying missing information
Personally speaking, I began this task two years ago when I got serious about joining DAR and proving my many DAR Patriots. I recently discussed tree pruning in Is It Time to Prune the Family Tree? Many of us at one time or another, set about gathering a lot of names. Sometimes we decide that we have a little bit of information about a lot of people, but not a lot of information about a few people, particularly our direct ancestors. I did prune my tree, however I did not throw out all of those “extra” relatives. Instead, I archived a copy of my tree and removed everyone from 3rd cousins (I kept the 2nd cousins & spouses) outward from my “new smaller tree”. Why keep all of those distant relatives? After reflection, I decided those relatives were valuable and may come in handy down the road. If I pursue any DNA analysis, now or in the future, I may need those relatives to complete my search for living descendants for comparative DNA tests. Why redo all of that work?
If you are participating in this genealogy challenge, these GenDetective reports may be a good place to begin:
- My Family View
- Sources & Citations in GenDetective v2
- My Research Progress
- What is the Multimedia File Listing Report Used For?
- My Maps View
- My Vital Documents
Over the coming weeks I will blog about one or two GenDetective reports each week that will help you improve your family tree!