The Indecision Monster is Back

I’m having indecision problems again. The problem is I’m never sure I’m doing things correctly. I’m sure the most important thing in my family file is that everyone is documented and well sourced. I’m sure that I’ve tried to do that. However, it gets very hard the more information you gather and learn. I say that because every blog or article I read all have different opinions! There doesn’t seem to be any 100% correct way to do it, which isn’t bad but what are beginnings and newbies supposed to do? I’m a perfectionist, so it’s inevitable that I’ll start second guessing myself and my methods. That’s why I’m writing here today.

If you are like me and you eventually start second guessing yourself, I have some advice. Take a break from what you’re worried about. Take a whole day off from the computer for example. Heck, I’d take a week if I didn’t think it’d trigger an apocalypse. I’m sorry for the over exaggeration, I’m addicted to my computer.

Tell yourself that it’s all going to be alright! The important thing is that you are comfortable with what you have. I’m not saying forget all rules and just merge to your hearts content, but really if you aren’t sharing your tree with the whole internet, if you are still in the process of learning and understand that… Just relax. You’ll figure it out and you can’t please everyone, so find a method that works for you.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to step back and acknowledge that I’m not going to do everything perfectly the first time. In hindsight, I probably should have started rehabbing my original family files instead of completely starting over. (Note:  I didn’t delete the original file, just started a new one, with proper sources.) The deed is done though, and I’m really not sorry because I have found a lot of errors in the tree on my Moms side. Some things I want to try and verify in Kentucky the next time I’m there, and some things that I realize now are completely and utterly wrong. I did realize today that I got a little lazy recently. I was trying to keep up two different databases, one Family Tree Maker and one Roots Magic. Somewhere along the way, I just focused on the Family Tree Maker file. So now I’m out of balance. I also stopped entering occupations from the census. So now I’m going to have to go back and add those in.

This is where my step back advice comes in handy for myself. I’m not going to worry about what I’ve missed anywhere in the file right now. I’m very methodically getting the rest of the family in and I’m almost done with one of the biggest sections, the Mays side! So to stop now and go back through to see where I missed something would probably put me months behind.

So I’m stepping back, taking a deep breath, and realizing that I can come back to that. It’s not 100% vital to get every fact entered right now, and that’s okay. This is a big step for me. I am the worst kind of perfectionist. It has to be 100% right or it’s going in the trash bin. Well no more! My plan is to continue on my current path, as scheduled. Then once I have the groundwork in and verified, I’ll go back through and fill in the gaps so to speak. I’ll make sure to enter occupations and other things in from now on, but I won’t stop my forward progress to go backwards. Besides, I’ll probably find more later with a fresh mind! That and I want to learn more about the different things you can find out from a census. I’m pretty sure I haven’t figured that all out yet.

Okay, I think this entry ended up being a pep talk of some sort. ha. I guess I better get back to it then!

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  • Claudia

    March 16, 2011

    My biggest problem is when I started on Ancestry I kept adding trees for each section of my family. BIG MISTAKE I am so frustrated with myself because I keep getting “matches” with my own trees.

    I called them and there is no way to merge the trees.
    each entry will have to be entered manually. I have not done any work on the five trees. I am frustrated and procrastinating. I wish I had started differently at the beginning.

    You are not alone in your frustration.

  • Kathleen

    March 16, 2011

    Oh my, that does sound frustrating! I can’t believe there’s no way they can merge them. I know how you feel to an extent though. I had uploaded one of my earlier (wrong) trees when I first started, then the tree got merged into the One World Tree and now there’s no way that I know of to get it out of there. What’s worse is I’ve seen people using that as their source in the new Family Tree section. I can’t believe they would add a One World Tree entry with no sources at all! I eventually just turned off tree suggestions in FTM. It’s better then always seeing the wrong information.

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