Monday, April 09, 2012

Things That Go Wrong

Gloomy Gravestone by midgefrazel
Gloomy Gravestone, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

Cleaning Up My Ancestors

For almost three weeks, I have been deleting "names" from my Family Tree that I keep at 

I am sharing this because I don't want others to make the same mistake that I made. Many years ago, before I became a professional, a person contacted me about one line of my ancestors because of the tree that I have at 

Yes, I know that this is commonplace now, but it was rather unusual then. This was before I began gravestone hunting and before I started to blog.

Being interested in how the genealogy databases work I was learning about the importing and exporting of a GEDCOM. As I was always backing up my work, I felt, at the time, that it was important to keep a copy on another medium. In this case, a floppy disk. (Yes, my database was that small!)

This "cousin" offered me his whole database to download from his Web site. I did bring it in as a separate database from the one I was working on but I was not sure how I was going to separate out all the names that were "mine". Somehow, it got mixed up with what I was researching. I always intended to clean it up.

I shared my database with Wikitree in the hopes that I could find out how some of those "ancient people" fit into my tree. I do think that some of my combined work is going to help others but I am hoping that others can add some sources. 

But, since I am retiring in December, I decided that my public tree at needed a major overhaul. I started with each letter of the alphabet and started deleting names that I knew I could never prove. Every night, I would spend two hours on my iPad, deleting people.

That's when I deleted God from my database. Yes, you read that right. God. Wow. This goes to show you that you should never take a GEDCOM from anyone else and add it to your work.

I hope all of you learn from my mistake.


1 comment:

Jo Graham said...

LOL - well, in the absence of the appropriate paperwork, I think God had to go ;-)