Cleaning of the Database (pt2) – Rootsweb and Ancestry

I have a new love – Rootsweb (my database) and my PAF software, two windows on my screen. Oh, a whole new world for cleaning the database.

I am not a big fan of Family Tree Maker. I have it, of course. And it’s connection to my Ancestry.com membership is handy. Sometimes. Still, I really prefer my Personal Ancestral File from LDS. It’s FREE. It’s Easy. And it works just the same as Ancestry Family Tree, which I’m still depressed that they discontinued. Btw, is that for real? Does anyone know if it’s Really, Truly gone? Cause I can’t find it on the web any longer.

Enyhoo… Ancestry has it’s place. It does. While I’d rather not pay for genealogical information, it’s not a soap-box I’m willing to rant about tonight.

So… My new favorite thing….
I upload my database to Rootsweb. Instead of having 10,000 pages on my personal website, it just makes more sense to have a link to a free family tree… Rootsweb is by far my favorite.

Rootsweb is also tied in with Ancestry, so each individual listing – if Ancestry can find it – gives you search results to Ancestry throughout the Rootsweb database.

This is the best help for cleaning up the database!
I open one window with MY database on Rootsweb. Which has the links to Ancestry.
And then another window of my PAF database.

I can look right at my notes and sources on my rootsweb pages, find oddities, old information, and of course, Ancestry links… and update in my PAF at the same time. It’s So much easier than having to click on the Sources and Notes for each individual person – not sure what I’m going to find – cause Rootsweb has it all listed right there.

Of course this means that I’ve been uploading new databases to Rootsweb every day this week.
But… I don’t have a job. And the baby is still taking two naps a day. I have time 🙂

If you have an ancestry membership and upload to Rootsweb, this is, so far, the easiest way that I’ve found to start with cleaning the database. It’s at least showing me the weak links, and immediate connections to cleaning up Notes and Sources. Ooh… I’ve got a long list to build on. But you’ve gotta start somewhere.

Cleaning of the Database (pt1 – follow up)

It was a busy weekend here with the delete key. I deleted over 3000 names of the Barwick and extended family. It felt very wrong in the beginning to be deleting names, but finally discovering that one far-distant DEKLE cousin married a BARWICK, which is what, apparently, originally sent me on my Barwick family research….. way far removed. Not connected. And Zero sources throughout.

I’m still at 23,000 names (a good portion of that huge number is the Royal Family), which is a lot to maintain and start “cleaning” in a whole new way. I considered reducing the Royal Family. But because I have two connections, Cy’s family has one connection found so far… it is a handy thing to have. At least I don’t have to do further research into the Royal’s, if another connection were to be found.

So, 23,000 names. I’ll say 13,000 are my families. Which is a lot. A whole lot. Lots to clean up. Lots to further research.
Which is awesome. Now that it’s a more manageable number, I can actually get to work on improving the Quality of my database. This is the exciting part!

Took about 12hrs, cumulatively, to delete the 3,000 names. 4 months to put in, 12 hours to delete. Yeah, it’s a little scary.

Cleaning of the Database (pt1)

Tonight starts my database clean. This is a project on my To Do list for some time (aka, years), but now that I’m finding a bit of a stand-still in my research, I can focus on hitting that delete key.

Back in the day, as previously mentioned, I was a young researcher. It was all about adding people to the database. And I have a few thousand BARWICK’s that are of no relation to me. It was simply an easy name to research at that time.

Now, they’re being deleted.

I’m a bit torn about this. It feels wrong to simply delete names. These were humans that existed and have histories and stories. But because I have none of that information, nor do I have any sources for their information, it seems wrong to be one perpetuating an unsourced databased, for the sake of Numbers in my database. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. I know this now.

So, I’m sorry to you Barwick family. If I got your information from the net, good chance is, someone else has it out there for you. My information wasn’t really that helpful anyway.

Off to cleaning! I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!