Sunday, September 15, 2013

Do You Think You have Finished your Family Tree?

I thought I had completed sections of my family tree decades ago - nothing new there.

I have never been so happy to be totally wrong!

Records that previously were accessible only in micro-film or rare books are now at the tips of my fingers, in online Google Books, Internet Archive and at Ancestry.com.  Old files previously mouldering in the basements of county courthouses are now only a mouse-click away, in online database files.

What an enjoyable week this has been - checking "completed" branches on my family tree and discovering new facts, documenting facts already in the tree with hot links to the data, and generally having fun, fun, fun.

Now, I understand that if you have not succumbed to family tree fever, as I have, you might think my definition of fun is very strange indeed. Well, I think people who enjoy pinning butterfly carcases to display cases strange so it must be each to his own obsessions.

Whatever your intensity of family tree fever, high or low, it would likely pay off big to go back and check your completed branches with what is currently available at Ancestry.com, or through a powerful  Genealogy In Time  search. If you have discovered early New England ancestors, take a look at what they know about them at NEHGS [New England Historical and Genealogical Society]. Although less extensive records are available if you check the "free only" box, I have found valuable information at NEHGS.

It is easier to quickly evaluate new data on people one has already researched, than it would be for a later descendant who is not familiar with the individual records. Don't let your grandchildren have all the fun - go get those freshly available facts now.

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