Question of the Week: Do you ever go back over a family to double check and look for new sources?

+44 votes
Do you ever go back over a family to double check your sources, and look for newly available sources?
in The Tree House by Deborah Collier G2G6 Mach 3 (38.1k points)
..oops, meant to make it an answer, not a comment...
Sometime I procrastinate Fearful of what I'm going to discover.

Leave myself a little note that says ..Check on this.....I am always looking for new information and sources.  I get really tired when I have a dry run on a line, leave myself a note, so I will know how far I got when I revisit it later.
OK, by me
Yes, all the time
I am constantly reviewing sources and second guessing information. The trees are ever evolving.
Yes, I revisit the people in my tree often.  Sometimes I find a source that is new or changed.  Sometimes I find an error to correct.  And sometimes I just like to reacquaint myself with the ancestors.  I add pictures that I find and stories that I have remembered.  My tree is gift to my family..  I like to make it the best I am able.
Constantly. I have a system I use to meet goals. Every week I choose one familyname and try to renew everyone connected with it. I also do a double check wiith the trees I am privy to as I sometimes miss their updates.

34 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer

YES! WikiTree and the fact that new profiles and information are added all the time to the profiles I manage and to profiles I come look at daily, is the reason my life is in a shambles.

Ok - not really but Genealogy is my favorite obsession...I love sourcing and looking for sources and adding them. I EVEN like it when someone questions a source I have posted - it makes me go back over what I did to verify my own work. BRING IT ON! (this challenge is not real - any attempt to make it real will result in hair loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, loss of hearing and unreasonable experimentation in choicest hops, barley and malt)

Mags, WikiTree's Chief Humorist and Sometime Sourcerer

by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (561k points)
selected by Julie Ricketts
+17 votes
If someone does an edit on one of my watch list profiles, then I do spend some extra time on that profile ... not only checking out the edits made by the other person but also to improve that profile a bit ...

Also, with the new 'Research' link ... I use that quite a bit to re-verify dates, names, etc. and add some more sources.
by Bob Jewett G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+14 votes

I've had to do it countless times with the Garland family of Todwick and Devon.  One new source in the mix is [[]]

Over the years, I worked not only with genealogies, but I've e-mailed individuals working both with the Garlands of Todwick (Yorkshire) and with the Garlands of Devon.  In addition, I e-mailed a researcher doing work on the commercial history of the Garland family in the colonial period.  It has been both extremely frustrating and satisfying to work out the kinks in the system. Yet I know, I haven't worked them all out yet.


by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+22 votes
All the time! (And sometimes I get a false ray of hope when the precise family shows up in search results... just to turn out to be my question in a forum a decade or two ago!)
by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (474k points)
I found what looked to be a fairly well sourced profile of an ancestor the other day. Imagine my surprise when I saw that I was the source of the Bible record. Made me laugh. I had forgotten that's I'd ever corresponded with that researcher.
Ha! I have blocked WikiTree from my Google Search results because that is usually all I get and I. Want. More. : )
Cool.  How do you block WikiTree from the results?  I'd like to do so...
Roger, add " -wikitree" to the end of your google search (leave off the quotes). The minus sign needs to be right next to the w to work. That tells Google "everything except results that include the word wikitree."
+14 votes
Yes, all the time. You never know when new information becomes available so it's good to check every 6 months or so.
by J Murray G2G6 Mach 3 (35.2k points)
+11 votes
Absolutely, the daily wikitree feed also reminds me to do this.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+14 votes
My method is to first sort my watchlist by oldest edit date and go back and look for new sources for the ones I haven't visited for awhile.  I look at all of these that haven't been edited in the past year and add new sources as able.  Then I sort the watchlist by oldest birth date as these are always the most challenging.
by David Wilson G2G6 Pilot (102k points)
This is a good idea!  Might do this myself.  Thanks!
Same here.  I find it a good discipline to visit within a year's time.  Sometimes there is indeed new information somewhere.
+11 votes
Of course!  Though I've refined my style somewhat and bulked up new profiles as I've gone along, I know there are many more sources which need to be explored and added.  For the most part I'm still entering profiles from the Census period of the USA and many times I'm still missing one or more of them.  And right now I'm going through the profiles on my watchlist and pulling out occupations from the censuses.  I thought it'd be a relatively quick, but one thing leads to another and pretty soon I've spent an hour or two on just one profile.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (408k points)
+10 votes
Yes. I have gone back to review different family groups on my tree. There are so many similar names and intermarriages between people with the same or similar names that I have found that you have to backtrack on occasion to ensure you have the right person. Generally mistakes occur when you have similarly named people with close birthdates from the same town.  These people may or may not be family. Also, with Black American, you have White families with members who have the same names and similar birthdays.  Marriage was illegal between these groups prior to the 1960s so you must take care to attach the right families in the right family group.
+13 votes
Yes, it is an ongoing process. But when what you want is 1,000 BMD certificates it gets a little expensive!
by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
+9 votes
I try to work on the profiles I manage from the oldest edit date to the newest and search for information as well as update the biography and location names to reflect the changes in standards that have taken place since I joined. It is a slow process but it works on the ones that need the work most first.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
+14 votes
All great answers.  Some folks might also be interested in a recent trend called the Genealogy Do-over. That's where you literally start from scratch. There's a Facebook group for people doing it. Google it and you'll find more info. I haven't been able to choose that route myself.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (788k points)

I saw that a year ago or so, Jillaine. I thought it was a great idea, and then I realized I never got all the way through the first time! Ha! ;-)

It did, however, inspire me to basically start over with what I had to go back and start doing things the right way using what I learned from all you more experienced genealogists here at WikiTree.

+9 votes
Yes.  The new search features also help.  There should be a lot of new information available after's big week of transcriptions comes on line.
by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (307k points)
+13 votes
Definitely!! Sometimes I learn new information from my cousins, or find an obituary that I didn't notice was available before.

Since adding three (3) new "One Name Studies" for Taft, Fleming and Cavanaugh just this month, I reviewed my profiles before adding the category for the appropriate study.
by Dorothy Barry G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)
+8 votes

The availability of the 1939 Register on Find My Past has led me to go back and update many of my early 20th century (British) profiles.

Also the Error Report has led me to add additional information, as well as just fixing the reported error.
by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+9 votes

OH YESSSSSSSSSSS! :) As I joined WikiTree I was asked to join the Dutch_Roots_ Project, around my third week here.............Fully finding out the keys and rules of WikiTree. Not knowing a thing how to make a biography or adding a source. But focused on finding ancestors. After a week I thought mabey I should join they need my help LOL! 

The other way around!!! lol  I got so much help how to use WikiTree properly.......... hahaha if I look at the profiles I made the first weeks........ :) Thanks to all Dutch_Project_Members especially to Bea Wijma. What patience she had with me! And many others. 


To all new ones... give WikiTree a few weeks to make you look at some and then join a project that fits you. You will receive the benefits of help and in the end you will help the project and WikiTree! 


Bedtime at the Netherlands, 


by Astrid Spaargaren G2G6 Pilot (245k points)
+8 votes
Absolutely!  Especially for those ancestors with mysterious circumstances surrounding their birth, death, etc.  I tell myself that if I can't find the answers now, not to panic; just set it aside, take a look at it again later, and you never know... :)
by Vicky Majewski G2G6 Mach 7 (78.5k points)
+9 votes
Yes, I do this constantly.  As new records are released, I want to make sure that I have as much info on each ancestor as possible so that I can try to get an idea of who they were and what their life was like.  This helps me develop a mental picture of what kind of person my ancestor was and, as crazy as it may sound, how I might be like them.  Perhaps some trait has been passed down to me.  It makes me feel more connected to them as opposed to just seeing a name and some statistics.
by Amy W G2G6 Mach 1 (16.7k points)
+9 votes
Yes I do as you don't know what new resources have been uploaded
+8 votes
Yes. Almost daily. So grateful to expand and search more information with a site I can actually discuss with people. :)
by Kanemah Arnce G2G Crew (440 points)

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