Mining resources

Connecting with distant relations can result in genealogy gold. I managed to connect with one of Elizabeth’s distant cousins who has amassed an extensive family tree with tens of thousands of individuals dating back to 0966 in the Gregorian Calendar.

Tanguay Collection, Vol. 2, page 569.

Of course the problem for such massive libraries is documentation. It is often less-than rigorous, because you have to rely on many many different individuals who contribute small bits to the whole. Sometimes you are trusting solely to oral histories, or ever-fallible human memory. Sometimes there is an exaggeration or two, or an assumption or three.

But the worst case is when you gain access to a library where all the documentation is hidden. One cannot tell what is sourced, and what is not.

Yes, I know it is also true for our family tree without being logged-in. But if you register for an account, as soon as the account is approved you have access to all the documents, sources, and citations. And you can download a range of reports and outputs – including source reports by individual, family, source, etc. Most importantly, in my opinion, you can download the digital scans of documents (and, for that matter, the unwatermarked photos.)

Alice Anderson in her wedding outfit in 1903.
Alice V. Anderson, 1882-1919, m 1903 to Charles Ferdinand Ulysses Hokanson.

Still, when you have some data to start with locating the correct records can be simplified. Despite rather heavy driving duties this week, I have managed to add a half-dozen individuals with at least one element of documentation, as well as update a couple dozen already in the tree. (I have set myself a minimum hurdle that I will add no individual without at least one source ‘proving’ their existence.)

I think I will also start adding research tasks as soon as I see them, so if other contributors do not know where to start they can take on one of the tasks and clean up the back-log.