I have been giving my new blog a lot of thought about how I want to proceed with these new seedlings from my main working tree that I use at Ancestry. The whole purpose of this journey is to make smaller trees for each main family that are more manageable and describe how I am going about that transition. I also want to avoid bright shiny objects (BSO's) and the infamous rabbit holes we all tend to follow from time to time. So I have come up with a few ground rules for myself.
While my main working tree is probably 75% sourced I can almost guarantee that many of the hand entered ones are probably (1) inconsistent and (2) not up to the standards of Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained. Now as I enter each person into the new tree they will be properly documented using Evidence Explained. This will ensure that my sources will be consistent. This will also allow for other researchers to quickly find the information from my source list and reference notes.
Many of the records and documents in my main working tree are from Ancestry. While that is a good thing I want to find alternatives to using Ancestry for every source. In addition to using Ancestry, I will also be looking to use more records from FamilySearch, Genealogy Bank, Fold3, local, state and national archives, libraries and historical societies. I also have a long list of cemeteries I want to visit, research and photograph to supplement my work.
Many of the photographs in my working tree are from my own personal collection which I have built over the years with the help of my Mom and Dad and my aunts, Barbara, Bonnie and Sally who have all graciously shared their photos with me, of their lives and the lives of my ancestors. As I build my little seedlings I will only be using photographs that come from my personal collection or which can be properly verified by me or another family member. I will also be "watermarking" all photos that I use. I have been doing this for a few years now with photos used in my blogs. If it is from my personal collection I will use something like "Dawn Kogutkiewicz, personal collection, 2017". If it is a photo from a family member's collection I will use " Photo courtesy of Nina W., personal collection, 2017".
Over the weekend I read a blog post by Donna Cox Baker of the The Golden Egg Genealogist titled What's in a Name? Conflicting Practicalities. It was perfect timing for me to read this post as I embark on this journey of building my little seedlings. In the post, Ms. Baker talks about the conflicting naming practices in genealogy and how it can effect the different genealogy software programs. If you have not read it I encourage you to do so. I will be implementing some, if not all of her suggestions.
I have decided that if there is a question about a person or if I have not been able to confirm particular details (i.e. military service, number of marriages, number of children) then I will be making some type of profile picture that will encourage people to contact me to exchange information and ideas. Something that says "Caution, some information may not been confirmed. Let's talk & work together. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org".
I have decided on how I will break down my trees, however, the final outcome will be merging my work together to combine individual families together. I am not setting any type of time table for this project at this time due to the fact some of these trees I have researched extensively and double checking my facts and sources will take longer. Here is the schedule I plan to follow:
1. The Williams family (my paternal line including my Aunt Sally)
2. The Rueff family (my maternal line including my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Kenny)
3. The Crenshaw family (my Aunt Barbara's maternal lines)
4. The Elbert family (my Uncle Jim's paternal lines)
5. The Hoback family (my Uncle Bill's paternal lines)
6. The Kitts family (my children's paternal grandfather's line)
7. The Plowden family (my children's paternal grandmother's line)
8. The Bowman family (my daughter in law's maternal line)
9. The Young family (my daughter in law's paternal line)
Savage, McKay, Wikipedia (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AVietnam_08_-_142_-_baby_coconut_trees_(3185934892).jpg : 2017), "File: Vietnam 08-142-baby coconut trees," Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.