Friday, February 5, 2016

25 mistakes you can make in Genealogy from Josh Taylor at Roots Tech 2016

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it s committing another mistake

Learn from every mistake
mistakes can "change"
My mistake is not always yours

PAF - del*.* - erased the entire hard drive

Undelete?  Didn't exist in the 1970s.

Someone's father is also his son - don't merge the wrong people and make a continuous loop of inaccuracy.

1.  Software
One program? 
Features - Data sync - Changes to software

One software can't do it all.
Try different options and upload your GED to them.

One mistake - one big file?  problem  - you can get lost very easily.

Project/Family/Surname based trees
Each grandparent
Specific family project

Easier to sync
Multiple programs
Online trees.

Nothing goes into your tree without a proper document and documentation should verify the link.
This is a great rule. 

2)  Wrote my first book
Printed pedigree charts, Family group sheets, Narrative reports....

Mistake was no documents, no pictures, no stories.Think beyond the charts, names and tates.
The analysis and citations and the unconfirmed theories are crucial.

3)  Photo editing software

Extremely expensive
do we really need to spend the extra money?
Invest in education to learn how to do it properly.

Wrong idea was if it costs more it must be good.    Few examples are or go to a college to learn .  Adobe offers a free 13-hour Photoshop course for beginners.
Work with the manufacturer of whatever your new camera is.

4) Audio and Video

Why wait?
Start with YOU
Extended relatives
Why not hit record -  mobile devices

Take as many video and photographs as possible - don't miss the moment - don't miss the story.
Google Hangouts, periscope, skype, smart voice recorder, iPhone recorder

5)  Having a sync plan

Laptop, desktop, tablet and phone?
Cloud computing?
Google Drive
Online tree offline tree

What is your plan to sync all the options - Duplicate file system - sync folders, cloud based, consistency, timing and naming.  nameageyear

6) Apps are for everyone

Business technologies applied to genealogy
Solutions to organize and share data
A few examples
Trello:  task management filters and tags, shared tasks project management

Glorified to-do list
Priorities, projects and more
Share with Others
Mobile World
Internet Browser

7)  User Reviews

the "Yelp" generation - I should have used the ones with 5 stars -
Examine the reviewer
Other reviews
Social Media
General Google

Best review I've seen has 3-4 stars - more objective
Actual look at the reviewer to see if they always give all 5s or all 1s

8) Online trees as storage

Caveat:  I love online trees
Family Search

However I can't put it all on one tree - Benefits are Sharing, automated searching, Central repository.
Drawbacks:  negative evidence, analysis automated linking

My solution was - project should be family based, Genealogy alerts,  Use a research tool vs a permanent storage option.
Are Trees really the best way to keep our family history?  What about scrapbooks? Bound books?

9)  email addresses

I used to use the same email addressed for everything suddenly my private public and genealogy life.  Online orders and subscriptions, Protect security and privacy
Same email service.

Personal email, genealogy email - alias accounts for a domain name or

Orders email

10) Online research logs

The breadcrumb trail - tracking your progress, planning your search
Use it as a to do list.

Expand your research log
Databases, JSTOr
Archive finder

Avoid duplication,analyze your approach, evaluate progress, create new searches.
Use a spread sheet with Excel - incude domains website subscription level date
log your logins and passwords - easy to forget

What to include
Search details - keywords, quotations parenthesis Asterisks, Auto-corrections

11)  One online subscription
Newspapers, scholarly publications, historical context

12) Too many subscriptions
Research focus, usability, other means of access, public library, family history center
Set a budget - consider current research need - evaluate from research log

13) Ebay
Online auctions - treasures for genealogists - books, family bibles family artifacts photographs
set up alert - swiping tools - watch your spending.

14  Your own website
Terrific idea if you have the skill set and the time to keep it update

Use online message boards and other ways to - check out internet archaeology behold the most hilarious abandoned sites.

Use Social Media, store it all in multiple locations online.

15)  The public Library
 More than books, digital collections, newspapers, databases - we forget about them.  Need to re discover them.

Cleveland necrology file - obituaries - great location
National Library of Ireland

16) State Archives
Resources at state archives,
online goldmines
not typically indexed.   see Mary Refugio Carpenter diary 1861 - Civil War Collection Items

Georgia has a virtual vault and a Microfilm Collection.  Virginia has a lost Records Localities Database from missing and burned reconstructed documents
Maryland - has all of the early land records and probrate records 1707 to 1710

TRY google search digital collections
New Jersey State Archives
Ohio public Records Index

17)  Search Engines

Beyond Google?  Database wall - Societies - Private archives Other Institutions.
It might just show you the way to find it but doesn't take you right to it.
Archivegrid - might not be google-able.

18.  Changes

Don't waste a lot of time complaining about changes - we are the minority, roll back?  Longer timeline? 

Solution - Don't wait too long to upgrade - technology will move past you - watch for workarounds, favorites and bookmarks, appropriate feedback, social media, direct contact.

19)  Old Technology

Throw out - user manuals - floppy disks - older computers

Solution - recycle and or reuse - dontate - copy and migrate - digitize and preserve

20)  Converting file formats

We all do it
Frequently used files - word documents - genealogy software and easy to forget

Solution - develop a system - keep every;thing in sync

21) labeling pictures
 - at import/ save - be consistent
DSCN006.jpg - wrong
Develop a system
Label and Tag
Meta data

22)  Preserving email

"Sent" items and attachments
Automated backup
Condense to save space
Organize "sent" folder
Save attachments separately

23)  Backups

Need to be consistent do it one day each week
Check automation
Backup the backup
Multiple spaces

solution - go beyond the files - installation files too - codes, manuals, software, software and hings, product keys,

24)  L O C K S S

Lots of copies keeps stuff safe
Paper and digital life
External hard drives
friends and family

25)  Desktop Computer
To keep or not to keep?
Multiple Monitors
Processing speed
Other features


Try to avoid these things.....

Looking for the Wife:
If you have your name as Cindy Jensen 1880 (maiden name) and you don't know her father.  Do not just put Jensen 1860, as "something to fill in the blank" until you can find the real date for the father.

Instead, look in the same area for a 1890 census with Cindy as a 10 year old daughter.  Find the right father name and then put it into your tree.

Guessing and propelling you forward into inaccuracy for pride....
If you do not know the name for Mr. James Jones' wife, and you are just itching to put at least something instead of nothing so you can brag that you went back one more generation.  Avoid it.

How do databases work?
The way databases work is they keep looking for information until they have some viable options to present.  If the first name field is filled with Mrs.....and the last name is filled with Jones, that is INCORRECT.

First of all Mrs Jones is really  "a first name" _________ "a last name - maiden name" ___________.
Better to leave them BLANK and watch for Hints than to also say Mrs. James Jones.  Same problem.
Just avoid doing this please.

Don't just click on a name without looking at these things....
When is the mother's birth?  Was she in birthing years? (12-45)
Was the mother born before the child -  wow - you have no idea how many people just click without checking this -

Many times we will come across Mother was born 1835 - died 1735  Daughter was born in 1820.
Really?  Just jot it all down and look at it to see if it all makes sense. 

Don't rely on Family Lore. 
Aunt Ethyl may have been a terrific story teller, but genealogy without proper documentation can be a lot like the telephone game.  As the story progresses beyond the years, it changes subtly each time it is told.

Use:  Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Milennial Records, Census Data, Probate, Wills, Obituaries.  Each of these have a paper documenting the life that you can attach to the record.

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