Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It doesn't rain, but it pours...

It's a curious phenemenon I've noticed with genealogy research... you'll go through "dry" spells where you won't be able to find any new information or discoveries, and then you'll go through periods where you'll get a bunch of things all at once.

In the past two days, I've gotten a record for my 2nd great-grandfather, heard from a distant cousin who is researching a mysterious common ancestor, heard from a nice lady who stumbled upon my blog and found that we have some common ancestors, and then I got a notification that a great-uncle's Find-A-Grave request I had submitted has been fulfilled. Not a bad week so far, I must say.

Meanwhile, I have "trimmed" my family tree-- had several branches, many of them questionable-- stretching back to the Middle Ages. Going to focus on my more recent ancestors-- Lord knows there are plenty of mysteries there to occupy me without getting into the (alleged) ones who were involved in the Wars of the Roses.

I found a fairly easy way of doing this: first, I arranged the people in my tree index by date of birth instead of name. This way I could just delete everyone from the 15th century back. The trouble came for people who did not have birthdates... just had to comb through those. Then I created an extended family chart, and checked the lower left corner of the chart for any unattached people that I had missed.

Also have renamed the files for the computer records that I have, so I'm in the long, painstaking process of re-importing and attaching said files to the people in Family Tree Maker (currently up to the K's).

FTM is the best family tree app out there, in my opinion, but it's not without its faults: while you can import multiple files at a time, you can link only one at a time to life events. Hope that the upcoming new version of FTM for Mac will address that.