I’ve come to the point in my Family File Cleanup where I have to make a decision. Whether or not to enter the descendant report for John Taylor into my family file. I have two Taylor descendant reports, the other being the one for Bartholomew Taylor (pictured above). It was easy to use the Bartholomew report because it was easily backed up with record proof. Not entirely but for the most part. Now that I’ve come to adding John and the earlier Taylors in, it gets more difficult.
The reason there is a decision at all is it gets harder to verify the families are correct because I’m venturing past the 1850 census now and into the 1700′s. So I’ll only have a number count for the children in the census and birth records are less frequent and less accessible. I have to decide whether to add these next few generations in or to leave them off. The pros to leaving them off would mean a complete fresh start with the early Taylor generations. The downside is that I’ve seen enough of the parish records over in Salisbury, Maryland to know that having a guideline would be a tremendous asset. You see, there are a lot of John, William and James Taylors in those records. I’m also finding in this cleanup that my original trees were a bit more accurate then I originally thought. Which is a good thing. There are inaccuracies but they are quickly rooted out.
What I think I’ll end up doing is adding them into the tree but not adding them to the website until I’ve got more than just my descendant report as a source. I definitely don’t want my website information to get out of hand or inaccurate. I’ve noticed while getting my tree synced on Ancestry.com that a lot of my pictures are being added to people’s family trees. I guess I hit the genealogy jackpot with that picture of Jane Menzies-Love because it is a popular one in member trees. The only problem is that no one is contacting me to compare information or trees. Since I know that my tree is being used as a resource, I don’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. There’s no reason that adding them to the website can’t wait until I’ve got more information in hand. I don’t like to take family lore completely out of the loop, but I’m definitely learning more about what can happen with internet genealogy.
So for now, I add the descendant reports as unsourced family records and then try and find the proof in the actual records next time I’m over on the Eastern Shore. I know I say I’m going to these places a lot and then never go, but it’s just the way it goes. I’ll get there someday and I just want to be ready for it when I do. My biggest flaw is getting flustered and overwhelmed when I walk into the libraries. Not anymore, I’ll have a clear, concise list and plan in hand the next time!