Genealogy Deep Clean

Up until last year I was entirely self-taught. Though I never checked for sources within it, I thought the book I treasured and drew up my first family tree from was just as good as collecting birth and death records. I didn’t even see all the value in census records. I’ve already owned up to it, but as I said in my first blog post, I also downloaded other trees. Shameful, I know.

I had a grand idea of a “Genealogy Do-Over” before seeing Thomas MacEntee’s post. It began last year, that magical year, I discovered a genealogy conference hosted in my own little town. I learned so much about primary sources, citing sources, and just how much I was discarding when I only glance at census records. I kicked myself repeatedly over all of it.

The blog post of a paternal great-grandfather is my first attempt at using what I learned. That post alone had more sources cited than the rest of my entire database. You can’t see it, but I really am hanging my head in shame as I type this.

I’m not going to toss out my database, though I am considering a minty-fresh new database. I may use the old one as a guide of sorts. If I get some of the things I added to my Christmas list I may even do it with some new software. The move I’m going to make probably isn’t considered a “do-over” more like a deep cleaning. A very thorough scrubbing. But I’ll be following Genealogy Do-over. I’m very interested in learning new techniques. I tend to bounce from limb to limb of the tree, so setting goals and tracking research are of particular interest to me now.

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