Friday, March 9, 2012

Trimming the Tree

As a follow up to the last post, I'm trimming my tree.  I.e., I'm removing a LOT of people from my currently 7000+ person database.  It got that big in the first place through Geni and some questionable "research" methods on my part.

By way of background, Geni used to allow you unlimited individuals in your tree even in the free version (I think -- or, it was that way during your "free trial.")  In any case, by "borrowing" research of others and glomming on to their trees, I acquired a lot of people in my tree.  When I left Geni for PAF first and then for Family Tree Maker (with a brief journey -- about 15 minutes -- through Legacy), I took with me a very bloated, unsourced tree.

Now, I'm trying to get rid of those people.  Let me say this -- its hard.  Deleting the wrong people at the wrong time gives you "unconnected" people who are then hard to find to delete.  And, once added, there's a "presumption" that they are there "for a reason" so then, you need to go out and find a reason to delete.

If you are like I was, I suggest this:  create one tree for S's and G's (that's sh!ts and giggles) that gives you the longest lines and the biggest tree possible.  Call it your "fun" tree.  Then, do a "real tree."  One that YOU assemble on your own research or by basing it on the research of others, which you are able to confirm was based on reliable sources.  Its easier to have a tree that contains only reliable information that YOU are confident belongs there.

Use the fun tree for fun.  Use the good tree for your good work.  There will obviously be some overlap.  But it will make your life a LOT easier down the road.

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