06 September 2012

The Great Genealogy Clean-up

I am stuck in a rut. I feel like I have so many options and people to research that I just don't know where to focus next. So, I'm deciding to not focus on any one person and instead focus on ... everyone!

Yes, I will be cleaning out my entire database. In preparation for "The Great Genealogy Clean-up" I've read various posts that have been helpful.
  • James Tanner of Genealogy's Star posted Clean up your Genealogy Database where he talked about looking at place names to make sure there aren't duplicates. I will definitely be doing this, but probably towards the end of the process since I think the method I've come up with will solve most of the issues.
  • Tina Lyons of Gen Wish List has a whole series of posts dedicated to Cleaning up My Genealogy Database. I started using her system, and even printed out 60 pages of names! But after about 10 minutes, I knew this wasn't the method for me. Her process, however, was informative.
So, I made a plan that I think will work for me. My process is more focused on "creation" rather than "deletion." Just as a reference, as of today here's what I'm starting with:

 The Plan:

  1. Create a new database that is blank. To this database I will add people one at a time and work on updating them before moving on to the next person. RootsMagic makes this so easy because I can just drag and drop people into the new database.
  2. Only people who currently have sources associated with them or with a fact will move to the new database. If I can quickly find something to support the fact/person I will do so. Otherwise, they get left behind.
  3. To be "complete" and included in the new database all of the following must be true: A. Each fact associated with the person must have a source; B. Each source must have a complete citation, including a image of the source and transcription/translation; C. Relevant notes must be included with each citation or fact, as needed.
  4. Additionally, I will also be updating all file/folder names as I go along and scanning/filing all originals following my "Family History Filing System" (a 4 page description of my system which I've included with my physical files). I have so many original photos and documents still to scan...I know those will flesh out a lot of the facts that are missing citations.
I am starting as any new genealogist should, with myself. I'll me, my husband and kids then move on to our parents and siblings working my way back.

I'm expecting when I'm done to have far fewer people in my database, but only "real" and verified information will be recorded. I will of course keep my "old" database as a guide when I continue research. Just because great-great-grandma's birth date is not verified (yet) doesn't mean I can't use the "alleged" date as a starting point in my research. As Reagan would say, "Trust, but verified!"

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