The good stuff
Whether you are participating as a do-over, a go-over/review-over/do-better, have pressed the pause button, or are a spectator, I think you cannot deny that the lively discussions, sharing of tips and resources, and learning something new are all good things. I can't even begin to keep up with the volume of traffic of the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group. I am pleased to see Thomas MacEntee has created a Genealogy Do-Over Bag-the-web page to bring together the now over 200 participant's blog posts, and Pintrest board but am not sure he has everything.
There has been some very interesting assessment and documentation of research processes going on:
- Jenny Lanctot shared her process map in Genealogy Do-Over: Prep Time, which involves using Dropbox, Evidentia, RootsMagic, and Wikitree.
- Claire Butler advocated using a research report template rather than traditional genealogy software in Genealogy Do-Over Week 1 or Why I’m Abandoning my Genealogy Software.
- Yvette Hoitink explained how she uses research reports as mini Do-Overs and argued against the full blown Do-Over in Why the Genealogy Do-Over is not for me.
- Sue McCormick converted Thomas MacEntee's research log spreadsheet into a database in Spreadsheets and Databases.
- Carrie Norwood compared the checklist capabilities Legacy Family Tree, Gensmarts and Google spreadsheet in Genealogy Do-Over - Week Something - Research Checklist. She decided she preferred her own spreadsheet.
- Louis Kessler proposed the Source-Based Incremental Genealogy Fix in To Do- or Not To Genealogy Do-Over. He lays blame at the door of traditional genealogy software, which makes source citation and documentation of reasoning onerous.
An indictment on the genealogy software industry?
Have you noticed the variety of tools used by authors of the above blog posts? There has been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with traditional genealogy software for some years now. Back in 2009 I posted Data entombed in Family Tree Maker in which I described difficulties in transferring data from one program to another. The outdated and unsupported GEDCOM data exchange format has still not been replaced.
As genealogical education becomes ever more widely available, it is not surprising that many researchers strive to do quality research. Paradigms have shifted toward the Genealogical Proof Standard and source-centric methods. Genealogical software lags behind the thinking of genealogists.
Tony Proctor's Hierarchical Sources explores how software might support research processes, which is much more than just a source citation.
Is your head spinning? Yes - excellent, you have been thinking. Welcome to the thinking person's pursuit - genealogy.