I’m not talking about the activist saving trees in the ecosystem or about a skin disease that makes the skin look like tree roots. Yet, I am talking about saving and preventing disease in my trees. My Genealogy Trees, that is!
Recycling, creativity and imagination in my Family Tree is not allowed. That is how the tree becomes diseased.
Recycling other people’s family tree information without verifying the original source, whenever possible, is not a healthy approach to creating a Healthy Family Tree for our descendants.
Creativity by passing on those family traditions, may be an entertaining story, can lead you down the wrong branch in your Family Tree. Those stories usually have a foundation in fact. Find what that fact is. More often than not, the true story is more enjoyable than the tradition.
Imagination can be your friend or your foe in your Family Tree. Keeping to the facts, not letting your imagination take hold when you find “John and Mary Smith living in Sutton, New Hampshire in 1860,” will guide you to your family. Check to see how many other John and Mary Smith’s live in Sutton. Who else is in the household? Check the census several years before and after. Are they still there? Are the same people in the household? Are they your people? Keep in mind before the 1850 census, only the head of household, usually male, were listed with age for the family members no names. Your imagination can easily allow you to think John and Mary Smith are your family. Check other sources for them; tax records, land records, news stories, church records society records, family diaries or letters are just a few places to check. Using your imagination to think out of the box for records to verify your family is your friend. Assuming your first find is your family can be your foe. My old Nursing instructor quoted, “Assume, makes ASS-U-ME,” Don’t assume, research exhaustively for your family.
Tree People love to find what is hidden in their branches. Secure their deep roots. Share what they find with others. Enjoy your search for your branches and roots while providing the healthiest Family Tree for your descendants.