Monday, August 9, 2010

Update on My Super Duper Family Tree

This weekend, I scheduled a significant block of personal genealogy time to work on my own Super Duper Family Tree. Last year I started building a family tree from scratch, with each and every fact backed up by a reliable source and citation.

At this point, I have 301 people in this database. It's mostly compiled of great-great grandparents and descendants. I'm trying to bring all these lines as far as I can into the present. Then I will work backwards again, making sure I've examined and used facts from all the records in my semi-organized pile of papers.

It's a slow process, but the results are starting to look awesome. When I look at individual records, there are check marks by each fact. That means there's a source that you can consult, should you want to verify my research.

I've been patiently building source templates, one at a time. Each template has information about the repository as well as the pertinent citation information. RootsMagic, my software of choice for this endeavor, has a set of ready-made templates in the style of Evidence Explained. So far, I've been able to use these for most of my citations. The trick is to take the time to fill in all the blanks, including repository information. For the times when I have to create my own templates, it's slightly confusing, but I always figure out a solution.

Now that I have more people in my tree, when I print up mock reports, there are actual facts in them. I'm starting to add head shots (cropped out of other photos) for people as well.

In the spectrum of family tree databases, mine is quite small. However, it grows a little each time I work on it. In the future, it will look great.

Slow and steady wins the race. It also provides great satisfaction in knowing I have all my ducks in a row and all my citations in order.

[Note: I have not been compensated to endorse RootsMagic or Evidence Explained. See my disclosures page for further details.]


  1. You sound like me. I've just started over: every fact has a citation, etc. It's SLOW... and I look with envy at those with GEDCOMs that have hundreds of thousands of individuals. But, I know my database will be as accurate as possible... I hope!

  2. Good for you Amy. Now you will really know your family too. Can't wait to hear you say, "I'm done."

  3. Amy, You give this slothy one hope --- now if you would just drop in for a cup of tea, we could get to work unslothing me.

  4. Amy,

    I had forgotten you were doing this, but I am very interested and glad you gave an update. As I am trying to decide about updating my current software or purchasing new, I think this would be good time to follow the leader.

    Good for you!


  5. Glad to hear you are making steady progress on your tree. Keep on truckin'!

  6. Cool! I am doing this as well. Well, I have been doing it for about 3 years now. My only problem is that I keep switching software. I started the database from scratch in September 2007 when I switched from FTM to Legacy. In the fall of 2009, I switched from Legacy to RootsMagic and transferred my new database from scratch. Now I just need to finish cleaning up some sources that transferred incorrectly before I can move forward with it. I keep getting sidetracked by moving forward, though.