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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2012-06-23 08:10 am
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How far back do you go? And on what authority?

Got an email this week from a very helpful person who found my family tree online and gave me a link to several message board postings he made regarding a family surname found in my tree. Most of the threads date from 2006.

The postings take this surname back to the 1600s, and have lots of words in them, including multiple probables, i.e., probable son, probable daughter, probable wife. There are also a number of connections of the probable people to probable fame.

I've read through them and have not found the connection to the man listed in my family tree, born in 1852, and married to one of the women in my direct ancestral line.

I have over 20,000 people in my GEDCOM - and as it is, it needs some cleaning up. I've weeded out dupes - mostly of wives for whom I had no maiden name at first, but later discovered who she was. I still have a lot of MNUs.

I replied to this man when I got his email, thanking him and saying I would be reviewing these posts this weekend.

But I don't see a connection. And I'm not going to hang a bunch of probable people on unconnected limbs of the family tree and cite these message board posts as my authority.

And I'm pretty certain this man will watch my GEDCOM to see if they appear in a new update.

And probably contact me again.

Anyone got a polite reply I can give him when he asks why I haven't included all his probable ancestors in the GEDCOM?

[identity profile] 2012-06-23 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Something along the lines of "You've given me great leads for further research. Right now I'm focused on other lines and don't have the time to research back to Charlemagne." You could probably skip that last sentence.
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-24 12:41 am (UTC)(link)
i think i'd probably be upfront with something like "i appreciate the pointers for future research but i generally document via primary and 2ary sources before adding people."

some folks might take it amiss, but most folks do understand that there's having fun and seeing what you can find and then there's documented research, and they aren't the same thing.

[identity profile] 2012-06-24 11:24 am (UTC)(link)
Easy ... ask him for his sources. You will probably never hear from him again. (And if you do, it will make your research that much easier). Win-win, in my opinion. You can always follow-up with the Charlemagne comment if all else fails :)
rainbow: drawing of a pink furred cat person with purple eyes and heart shaped glasses. their name is catastrfy. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-24 05:42 pm (UTC)(link)
that does sound awkward. *vibes offered*

(Anonymous) 2012-06-25 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
Really. . .20,000! And yet you keep it interesting and personal. That is amazing. I bet I don't have more than a 800-1000, but I don't tend to search for too many new ones. I am so consumed with finding more out about the lives of the ones I have. I find that is where I spend most of my time. Who ever takes this up after I am gone (and I hope someone does) will still have plenty to work on. But I will have had all the fun!