Genealogy Wise

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How do you decide where to draw the line with your research? I am talking quality research with sources and documentation. It seems to me that at some point or another most people would like to present their research in a written format, whether it is in book form or presented on the internet.

With the abundance of information available today, it is easy to lose control of your research. I have been working on my research for about 30 years now. If I tried to write a book on what I found, it would be cost-prohibitive.

My thought is to limit the search to each generation, but only go down to grandchildren in each generation. Is this too limiting?

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

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I haven't written a book or published anything but I would think, when you are satisfied you have proven your point, or connection. Perhaps you could include 3 sources within the body of the work (footnotes or however you decide) and then have a list in the back for 'further reading" associated by page or chapter and then just list the book title, or url, etc.

Money and space would probably be deciding factors. You could have 1 vol. for the family history/genealogy and the 2nd vol for the sources... ;-)
Personally, if I was going to do a book in the first place, I would limit it to one or two main surnames (that are connected in some way of course). That way, the book isn't so monstorous.

Or you could do a descendency book where you pick one couple (preferably one that had lots of descendents, and therefore, will be meaningful to someone else). Then you could document only your direct line, making notes of the collateral line. In the notes, you could maybe include a website where the person could find more information.
You never are required to have more in you family tree then you really want. If your only desire is to have it down to the grandchildren, then that is fine. Just have enough documentation that others can check for proof.

I tend to go overboard with my research. I like knowing all the families and their children and so on. I use the most documentation for two or three generations out, or my direct line, the brothers and sisters, and their children. I document the farther out family's with mainly census records or records that are easy enough for others to proof but will not break the bank for me to get.
I have been concentrating on my first five generations so that I concentrate on sources and documentation. This keeps me mainly on the west coast. I mainly interested in my family history so this works well for me. I like to see how far forward I can go with each branch hoping to find more living relatives that might have another piece of my family history. I didn't have a close family and most of the members of my direct line have pasted. Another one of those I wish I would have cared about my roots while my family was still alive regrets.

I would at some time like to publish a page online on my family history but I think I would keep it to my direct line or close around.
I have been trying to limit my research to what I can 'prove' by research and documentation. I have been fortunate to have several books on my lines, but I have tried to research even those lines that are 'documented'. Which means I may not get back as many lines as I wish, but at least my work will be as well documented as I can make it.
Tech Danger Zones: Quality and Quantity

Now that you have access to an overwhelming amount of historical information –original and secondary and tertiary- I pose some more questions:
= Are you more quickly regurgitating the genealogical garbage which is inundating the Internet?
= Are you more quickly coming to the dead end on your pedigree?
= Are you neglecting the siblings of your direct-line ancestor as you automate and share your pedigree?
= Are you focused on the quantity of ancestors or the overall quality of your family history?

My first answer is that quality comes first. As far as limits go, make sure that what you produce will be attractive to your posterity. Will you have an heirloom if no one ever looks at it?
Unknown -- You are absolutely correct. Those are my concerns. I am irked by the garbage that is found on some of the lines of mine that is on the internet. I think a lot can be said for researching the siblings in a family, as well. That is why as I go back in my pedigree I go down to the grandchildren of not only my direct ancestor, but siblings as well. I have solved a brick wall on a Volga German line, by looking at the collaterals and identifying them. I would like to think that whatever I produce, book or website, will be of value to another researcher. I don't think quantity trumps quality in that I think it would be cost prohibitive to do a good job researching your lines if you are collecting names. Thank you for your response.
I usually try and go for whatever I can find, I myself go as far back as possible with my ancestors, adding only my ancestors and their siblings to my tree, unless more information is presented too me, such as children of siblings of ancestors on censuses, and then trace the lines of my ancestors siblings down as far as I possibly can.

It isn't too limiting, maybe limit it to great-grandchildren, though if your tree is like mine and dates really REALLY far back, to the 15/14/13/12/1100's and farther back, then try to avoid the way way far back side and stick more to the later, closer sides, than the earlier ones.
hi there
When I do my genealogy work know a days. I always try and get the documents on the parents back going back though all the grand parents as far back as I can get the documents. Then I go and get the siblings and who they married if possible. I don't mess around with getting all the cousin's etc too much work. You can always go back and pick up the sibling childern if you want too etc.

I get carried away too and have to becareful when gathering up the sibling information etc. I get to much on that family as to who they married etc. Then I want there parents etc. Which is a good thing because sometimes you will find out information that might or not help you out with your research.

Ask yourself a question how much do you want to put out there on the net for people to see and if you dont have the right codes in place in your HTML program they can steal it and calm as there own research work. When do a book you can always do the generations like parents back though all the grandparents with the siblings and who they married but dont list the kids. and put your sources at the end of the book just like when you did research papers back in school. That way people can see them and have something to go on etc for there research work.
I have no idea! I did put in one of my kids names and "made" a book from one of the programs I have-I didn't print it out though. So it had everything in there on his ancestors and it was almost 300 pages long. I think I used the My Family program. They did the tree version and the text version (I forget the name-ahcental--shoot kwim?), it put in all the notes, had seperate areas for sources and who was from what states and so on. AND since then I added tons more names! It was very neat and detailed.

I could see doing that for him, mine would be less pages since I wouldn't have his father's info in mine (at least I don't think it'd print that out).

As for proof-if I cannot verify things by census or what other valid proof I usually just let it go and make notes in the comment sections. Sure I'd like it validated but if I find numerous different sources all seem to say the same thing then that work for me. I haven't tried to do anything like the DAR. My mother and grandmother did alot of leg work before me and validated as much of it as they could or often we found the work already done on the internet and much of it says it's validated. I take their word for it which is probably not a good thing to do.

eta: I do put in as much collateral info as I can. It can be very time consuming and lead to nowhere, but you never know when those collaterals will lead you to your main line or dead end. I just might not print out all that stuff when it came time to the "book" and maybe the program won't print out that collateral stuff anyway.
I look for every piece of documented evidence I can find. If I can't find any, I noted it and return later. Interestingly, some ancestors would take in their orphaned grandchildren or nieces and nephews and call them "son" or "daughter". So one needs to take special care.

I find some of my information online "google", but I make sure that I myself document any relations.
That's about as different with each person-as there are persons. I have been at it over 20 years, and have no huge desire to write a book. However I have my name in and on a few, because I have shared a lot over the years. I think, as with most addidictive people-there is no stopping place! Ms. Gerry Hill-Albany Ga

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