It has now been six weeks since the start of my quest! I am still making progress but I did have a setback this week.
I can’t seem to keep myself from feeling the need to test out other methods so I took a couple of other genealogy programs for a test-drive again this weekend but after several hours of wasted effort I realized that I was happier with the setup that I have been using for the last few weeks. Yes, there are some things that I like better about other genealogy programs but the convenience of the Android app for my phone and the automated sourcing and information merging of FTM 2012 outweigh the features of the other programs. After only a few hours though, I am back to my system that I have been using for the past several weeks.
- 2959 People
- 2313 Photos
- 275 Stories
- 2704 Records
I know that many people think that the ancestry tree hints aren’t a good thing for genealogy but I have come to appreciate the hints. No a serious researcher shouldn’t just indiscriminately add the information for each hint and assume that if the hint appears that the information belongs to your family. However, these hints can be a real time-saver and can lead researchers to search record collections that they might not have otherwise explored!
Also, I am getting a little tired of everyone assuming that all information on the family trees are bad information but any information done the old way must be more correct. Does anyone remember all those books that were written to make the prominent citizens look good without much regard for the actual truth! There are errors in every family tree! Last I checked none of us are perfect! WE ALL make mistakes and get incorrect information in our family trees! We should be more appreciative of the effort to get the right information and not concentrate so much on the wrong information that someone might have in their tree.
I am going to get on my soapbox on another thing for a minute or two as well. Researchers who primarily use online sources aren’t necessarily any better or any worse than researchers who spend all their time at the library or the family history center or the county archives. Some of us have family responsibilities and work responsibilities that make it almost impossible to get out to those brick and mortar facilities very often for research! That doesn’t mean that the information we collect is any less valuable or valued by us! We look for “original” record sources! Yes my family tree on Ancestry might have hundreds of sources to other family trees but it also has many records including draft cards, census records, passport applications, pension applications, newspaper articles and obituaries, funeral cards and photographs, marriage licenses, and many many other record types. Most of those records were obtained online. For most of my research, I have conducted my research between 8 and 10 pm and on weekends. I can’t go to the library most weeknights. By the time I would get to the library, it would be closing. So am I just supposed to wait until I retire and can go to the library or archives more often to do any research!?? Really!!
I also continually see the criticism that people don’t get back to the REAL genealogists who are correcting our information because we obviously have the wrong information because our research contains family tree sources and our research was done online. Maybe it is the presentation of that information that makes us not want to contact you! Have you thought of that? Try sending your information and an explanation of why you think you are right without automatically assuming that our information is completely wrong. Many of you criticizing the online trees say you are sure you are right because the online tree doesn’t have any sources while saying in the same message board posting or email that you don’t put all your information online because someone will “steal” your family history! Yet, the online tree you are looking is supposed to have all their sources displayed and ready for you to criticize!
Then you have the nerve to gripe that the people on those online family trees don’t respond to your message. Well I have been on the receiving end of some of those messages that didn’t get a response.
I try to respond to people who ask me for information or offer corrections with verifiable information but there have been many times in my life when my genealogy had to take a backseat to my life for months at a time! I have a full-time job and my parents have multiple health problems. Sometimes I just don’t get to my genealogy for a few days, a few weeks or sometimes it has been a few months! Then, I am some sort of irresponsible and unresponsive person because I can’t respond on the schedule you deem fit! You may be able to completely control your time and spend whatever time you wish on your genealogy but many of us can’t. I, at least, have to work! Then, I have other personal and family responsibilities and then I get to my genealogy! Which message do you think I am going to respond to, the person who asks nicely or the one starting off by criticizing? Which would you respond to first? Think about the next time you send information to one of the online researchers you are so quick to criticize in your message board posts and articles!