Thursday, 19 June 2014

I Can Testify

Wednesday, I was talking with a new genealogy researcher at the Family History Center where I work. He has never created his own data base, instead he has just gone with FamilySearch trees.  Poor baby, he got an ear full.
Never only have an online tree only, especially not a shared "world wide" tree!  To have a clear view of your family, you must have your own data base.  People are always clicking on the wrong thing.  If you don't have a data base, you might end up with someone else's Aunt Georgia.  I still find problems in my online tree that other's have added to, but I am busy sourcing so easy to pick up right now.  When picking your software for your data base, do your own research.  Try out free trial software, and choose what is right for you. Do not purchase one based on someone else's choice.  Take charge of your data base.
 When researching, whether at the library, or online, if you find information on your ancestor.  Copy it, or download it and the source right then.  Don't plan to go back.  Heads up.  The information could be gone tomorrow.  Experience...  In the past, I have copied down URL's to go back to... Not there any longer.  Pictures can be removed, if you capture a picture also capture who you got it from and give them credit if you use it, ask for permission if you are going to publish it.'s changes and then their dilemma this week, for me, was another proof, things can go poof.

Books... Now this is a sad one.  People can abscond with books, even from a genealogy library shelf. Personal experience.  Went back to get more information from a book and it was GONE.  
 I am a walking talking testimony of the above.  I want others to think in terms of "I am in charge of my data for my ancestors".  I don't mind sharing a tree, and I am more than willing to change something if you can show me the source of the information. Evidence Explained  has been a wonderful help to me for this learning curve.
He thanked me for the information... No, he didn't run out the door.
Just thought I would share with everyone. J


  1. True! ALL TRUE!

    Thanks Fran for the good reminders.

  2. Well said! Important and very timely.

  3. We often learn the hard way - when it's too late!

  4. Hooray for you! And if he is really intelligent, not only will he put your advice into immediate practice, he'll send you a big THANK YOU, too. Smartest advice for the beginning (and continuing) genealogist. I, too, learned the hard way about immediate downloads. The Historical Newspaper I used for YEARS on (and garnered enormous amounts of info about my ancestors) suddenly disappeared from Ancestry's databases. Poof! No warning. At least I was smart enough to transcribe the info / article(s) I wanted (along with the exact date, page, and column it appeared), but I didn't always save the newspaper page to my computer hard drive. Too worried about 'filling it up.' Hard lesson learned. Thanks for your blog article!

  5. This is all so true! I never used public trees other than to provide hints of where to take my research next, but, oh my, I wish I would have done a better job sourcing information from old books, other websites, newspaper articles, and so on. I've spent most of the last three months re-researching all those sources so I can source them. I can also testify to how frustrating it can be to "re-find" those sources.

  6. Thank you Mark, PonySwimgal, and Schalene. Good to have added testimonies, so other's dropping by will see not just my thoughts. :-)


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