Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thoughts on Thursday: Logical approach to geneaLOGICAL data

I found genealogical treasure at the weekend.  But at the same time: why don't people look at their data?  A GEDCOM was passed to me with thousands of ancestors, yet one man was married 30 years before he was born, and had his first child 130 years after his own christening.  It took me several hours to unravel all the other errors, working from the parish records that I have, and when I did, it became obvious that this particular line came from one small town in South Devon.  Obvious only when tweaked (sigh). 

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee and his recommendation to clip things to Evernote, I was able to go back to the South Hams website  with an online transcription of baptismal records dating back to 1602. 
* Genealogist's Happy Dance in living room*  

Margery BEERE (chr 1640) is my 8th great-grandmother, and she is a new addition to another of my lines which became unbelievably tangled over the years, where each genealogist thought they were right, even if their data didn't actually make sense (boys being sons of their own grandfather, who was in turn married to his own great-grandmother, and so on).  Because I knew it was in such a terrible state, I kept shying away from doing any research at all on this particular line.

But then I gathered up my courage along with my skirts, sat down with the parish records, and added my own logic, and I have made sense of my ELLIOTT line, into which Margery married.  It was nice to have my common sense/logic confirmed by the knowledgeable FamilySearch elves; when the site had a technical glitch, preventing me from entering all this yummy information into new.familysearch, they fixed it by putting the children in the right order with the right parents and linking the right generations without me making suggestions!  So although some might think that I was just another "genealogist who thinks she's right", I had a second opinion who came to the same conclusion completely independently.

Although I am hugely grateful to have received the initial GEDCOM, I can't help thinking: Why couldn't people have thought through their data logically in the first place?


  1. Thanks for the Evernote explorinar shoutout Ros! Here is a link to the free recording of the session on Evernote:

  2. Thanks, Thomas! Unfortunately, I often miss your Explorinars due to timezone differences, but I shall be sure to revisit this one. My family history research has come on in leaps and bounds since I started listening to your pearls of wisdom.



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