Saturday, September 18, 2010

No Short Cuts Allowed

I just finished one of my endless tasks. What an accomplishment! And it was one of those tasks I believed to be infinite. Oh happy day!

The task is related to my family tree research. When finds records or other information, a green leaf appears next to the name of that individual in the tree. Click on the leaf to see the hint. I've been obsessed with leaf-clicking for several months.

The leaves link to historical records, family trees put together by others, and trivia attached to various people by users of The family trees are the best sources for new people (usually the parents) which generates still more leaves to click. Tapping into the research others have done saves lots of time.

Last weekend there were 478 people with leaves to click. Every spare minute has been devoted to knocking people off the list. As of this moment, there are ZERO people with leaves in my family tree. Hallelujah!

OK. I cheated. This list is accessed via a shortcut. New leaves don't show up until I view the family tree. Easy enough. I quit viewing the tree.

My family tree is a mess. And for once, I'm not talking about the 1878 people in it. Turns out you can't trust the information in family trees put together by other people. Some show people living to be more than 200 years old and children born before their parents. Ooops.

I have to examine the records for each of the 1878 individuals in the tree. I can't work from the list any longer. Turns out, when you remove someone from the tree structure they remain on the list.

Since I worked from the list, I traced back the ancestors of people who shouldn't have been in the tree as well as those who should. Hard telling how many of those 1878 have no tie to my family at all. Dammit!

The only way to clean it up is to go through the tree viewing the actual records for each individual. Viewing the tree triggers new leaves. Sigh. It's enough to turn anyone into...

The Crotchety Old Man

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