Back in July, I was pondering uploading my family tree from my Reunion software to Ancestry and trying to decide whether to make the tree public or private on Ancestry. I invited comments on that question and was really thrilled to see a robust discussion about it, with advocates on both sides.
So I uploaded my tree, making it private initially. I was disappointed to see that the sources didn’t update as hyperlinks, so while my facts are sourced, others don’t have easy access to the sources.
After careful consideration, I decided to make the tree public. For me, the good of helping others with their research and potentially attracting connections with distant relatives outweighed the risk of my data ending up in incorrect trees.
The decision was made, but then I stalled. The perfectionist in me didn’t want to make the tree public until the source problem was fixed. But I haven’t made fixing that problem a priority. (It kind of overwhelms me.) Today, I decided to not let perfectionism get in the way of progress and I pulled the trigger and made my tree public.
Having done this gives me the impetus to do several things:
- Create a checklist and schedule for systematically going through my Ancestry tree and hyperlinking the online sources included in the tree (and simultaneously making sure I’ve saved them on my hard drive).
- Add the information and sources I’ve found offline in recent my recent trips to my Ancestry tree.
- Come up with some sort of schedule for updating the Ancestry tree. (I keep the Reunion software on my hard drive up to date–it’s my primary database.)
- Check out Family Tree Maker for the Mac, which I’m told automatically updates to Ancestry, and consider switching to it from Reunion.
I’m hoping that making my tree public will help others and, potentially, lead to some fruitful interactions. I’m looking forward to seeing where this might lead!