The beauty of starting your family file over is that you know everything in there will be correct. The dilemma I have is I would never delete my old file. It’s been the file I’ve edited for many years now. I could never throw it away like a used shopping bag. (Actually I use the reusable bags now so that was a bad metaphor.) The problem I’ve come across is how much of my old file and the original (not entirely trustworthy) family tree to use.
It’s easy to say I’ll just use it as a guideline and I’ll back it up with documents as I go. Sure that’s the obvious choice. What about that first time I come across something that isn’t documented though? Kentucky was pretty sporadic in their death records before 1911. So what do I do about all those infant children that passed away in the Taylor family? I can’t immediately back them up, but surely they existed. I can look up cemetery records, and newspapers when I’m in Kentucky but what about now? If I just say I’ll go back to it later, that’s the old me talking. I always say I’ll do it later, and then I forget and never go back. My family file will never be restored that way.
So my solution for now is to source it as the Undocumented Family Tree, and make myself a list of records I need to find. This list is a start, but that could become quite crowded quickly. So maybe an Excel file will be my better option. One for the documents I need, and one to keep track of cemeteries I need to visit.
This may seem like rambling to you, but if I don’t hash this out now, I’ll never come to a decision…
Oh, and for those that remember or read this blog post I made? Yeah I’m going to be making a private family tree on Ancestry.com for each of the lines, just like my website. I won’t be doing it right away though. Most likely when I hit the inevitable brick wall.