Clean Slate

Am I the only one who wants to start huge new genealogy projects whenever I’m stressed out with other responsibilities?

Lately, I’ve found myself resisting the urge to start new, clean family trees for my four grandparents in Ancestry. My main Ancestry tree has some people in it who I’m not sure are my relatives. I plugged some ancestors whose relationships to me are theories into that tree because it’s connected to my and my parent’s DNA tests. Then, the theoretical entries will pull up shared DNA matches with others who have taken the DNA test, and those matches give me a good idea that my research is headed in the right direction.

Here’s an example. Say I have three couples who could be the parents of my ancestor. I plug each couple into my family tree one at a time, give it a day or two for the Ancestry algorithms to notice the change, and if Ancestry populates my DNA results with shared matches to one of the couples I know that if those folks aren’t directly related to me then they are relatives at least.

Also, my Ancestry tree is my oldest tree. It has tons of connections I made very early in my research (read in: rookie mistakes). So I wouldn’t mind revisiting all of the relatives I found early and using my experience to build up more evidence that I have the right people.

For the past year or so, I’ve been researching two specific ancestors with laser focus—-making timelines, expanding their FAN club, checking less frequented genealogy sites—-and I figure starting with fresh family trees would help me keep track of who I’ve researched in this way. This could codify my new approach to research, and help me feel more confident when I start looking at international records.

But it’s always been my nature to want to start things fresh. As a kid, all of the pages in my coloring books were half finished. When my parents asked me why I never finished a page, I’d say I didn’t like a color I used or the brush strokes in two different segments didn’t match. Some might call me a perfectionist; I think I have a strong sense of vision.

Probably I’m wanting to tackle this now to distract me from everything that’s going on in the world. It would give me a sense of order and control that the world is not giving me. But I know my priorities lie with relationships, work and school right now. So I’m writing it here to remember it and maybe I’ll get to it when things calm down.

And I didn’t even mention the exciting new genealogy blog idea I had last week.


All in good time.