Documenting sources

Properly documenting sources is really important to me as I explore my family history this time around. I want to be  confident about every fact I enter into my genealogy software.

I just read the article , “Genealogy GPS” in the current (October/November 2012) issue of Family Tree Magazine. I hadn’t realized that there’s a Genealogical Proof Standard (how great is that?). Reading the article added to my resolve about having high standards for the data I include in my family tree. In fact, I now think I want to go back and try to find a second source for any information I’ve already entered that has only one source.

I had a private conversation on Facebook with an old friend recently, who excitedly told me that he’d traced his roots back to the 12th century. He’d done so via clicking on family trees on Ancestry. When I mentioned that my own family history research involved using only confirmed data, he replied, “I resolved that sourced reference is terrific, but the speed and excitement of is far more satisfying.”

Here’s the thing: My friend is having a great, satisfying time researching his family history this way and that’s perfectly okay. But I have to tell you, I get such a thrill when I track down a document that verifies the unconfirmed data I tracked down ten years ago during my own spate of that speedy and exciting Ancestry research. That’s what’s working for me.

The “Genealogy GPS” article is really terrific–chock full of resources. If you’re a subscriber, don’t overlook it. (And if you’re a newer family history researcher and not a reader of Family Tree Magazine, you really should consider subscribing. I love it.)


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