29 April 2009

Get Started! ...part 3

Clean Up Your Files and Database and prepare your data for submission to TempleReady, new FamilySearch or any of the various web sites that host family trees.

Cleaning up your data is vital.
Many pedigrees have been created over the years that contain many, many mistakes. Unless you do the research and source your data, you are only perpetuating the errors. Family stories handed down can be just that...a story! Memories fade and people can misinterpret names, locations, and dates. Sometimes analysis is based on only one source that was found many years ago. Today there is so much more information available to us that we can research a variety of sources and better determine the correct pedigree.

Eliminate the mess!
Is everything you have "just too messy"? Well that's okay. Just get started. You can gather all your materials and sort them into plastic boxes, create and utilize a filing system that works for you, make lists of what you have and begin the process.

And most of all, remember to back up your electronic files! I just hate to hear stories of people who have worked on their family history for many years and then one day they wake up and find their hard drive on their computer had died! At that point all you can do is START OVER FROM SCRATCH! Not a comforting thought!

Eliminate duplicate records.
If you are like me, you may find that you have duplicates of books, pedigree charts, internet bookmarks/favorites, photographs, or even genealogy program files. Just make a list and get started by sorting, weeding and documenting what you have. It will make the whole process so much simpler and your data will become much more accurate.