02 December 2012

Thoughts on unwieldy offline personal genealogy databases and online trees

Disclaimer: This blog post consists of a few thoughts about large unwieldy databases, the benefits of online trees, and managing it all. It is not meant to teach the right way, but to share some general feelings of my own.

As I was going through some older messages which I never answered on my Ancestry.com account, I came across one message that asked why a name was missing from one family group on one of my Ancestry.com family trees.
  • "I notice that you have not included ____ as a child of this couple (see 1860 Census). Is there a reason?
I'm sure this response I sent was  little more than they bargained for.

  • "Sorry for taking so long to reply. I'm catching up on a few older messages. I really appreciate all the work you do on the genealogy.

    There is no reason. Although my trees might give the impression that they are thorough because I add sources and photos, they really aren't anywhere near complete. I don't really have a complete file anywhere. It is more like a bunch of trees in progress. Thanks for pointing out ____. When people like you point out things it sometimes gives me motivation to do a little work on a certain family and sometimes leads to fun discoveries.

    I usually try to make sure I get data I have typed into FamilySearch Family Tree little by little and in the process I sometimes learn new things. Back when I started I began to put everything in PAF. I know there are syncing programs that work with online and offline. I have used Ancestral Quest 12 and RootsMagic with new.FamilySearch. Most recently I have considered getting Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and using my Ancestry.com McCormick Family Tree as a starting point to pull all my research of interest back into one master tree. That is another project though so I am putting it off currently. My old PAF/Ancestral Quest and RootsMagic files are so huge with so many thousands of people that are only in there because of the times I imported whole files from RootsWeb.com... Cleaning those up isn't even something I want to do because of how out of hand they are.

    I know you didn't ask for this big of a reply. Thanks for humoring me.


  1. Hi,
    Sounds a lot how I work. I have several different files with various amounts of documentation. I use both Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com to gather sources and then I am in the process of transferring all my sources from Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic and Ancestral Quest to the FamilySearch Family Tree. I like all the programs. I will also try to keep a master file on my iMac in Reunion 10.

  2. BlueHost is definitely the best hosting provider with plans for all of your hosting requirements.


Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.