Saturday, February 18, 2017
Fishing in All Three Ponds
Anyone who has attended a workshop on using DNA testing for genealogical purposes has certainly heard the advice, "Fish in all three ponds." Especially those who are addressing issues of unknown parentage, such as adoptees.
While I'm not an adoptee, myself, I consider that sound genealogical advice—and not just for DNA testing. Couldn't that same advice be applied to any type of cousin bait? After all, we post our family trees online in hopes that someone else will notice a mutual ancestor's name and think to reach out and connect. So wouldn't it benefit researchers to put that tree out there, not in just one place, but in as many well-traveled sites as possible?
The bulk of my research work has found its public home at Ancestry.com, but before that, I had posted my tree at Rootsweb.com. Since that has long since become part of the domain hosted at Ancestry, it's virtually like having my tree in only one place, but at least at one time, I had made the attempt to secure two locations to hang my pedigree shingle.
There are more places than just that for posting a tree now. The main site many people think of for an alternative is the tree-building capabilities added at FamilySearch.org. But there are others, too.
A while back, I took up the sales offer at FindMyPast for a limited access subscription, always meaning to upload my GEDCOM there. Procrastinator that I am, I never did get around to posting that tree. This three day weekend would be an excellent opportunity to get to work on that project. After all, that would be the equivalent of putting my cousin bait out in an entirely different pond. Why not?
I'm still somewhat undecided about whether to proceed with one other type of tree-posting service: the kind in which other users can publicly "correct" my information. A universally-linked tree, like the one at Geni.com, scares me. I'm quite proprietary about my research. Not that I don't want to share, but I work hard at confirming my discoveries with the data to back them up; I admit I'd take it poorly if someone just waltzed in to proclaim it incorrect.
And yet, even a site like that is another "pond" in which I can do some cousin catching. I'll probably come to a decision on whether to utilize that resource after completing the task at FindMyPast—after all, I'm already paying for that subscription, so I need to attend to that one first. But afterwards, hopefully I'll take a good look around and come to a decision as to what to do. Perhaps by Monday, I'll have yet another tree up and ready to be viewed—and critiqued—by the world.
Let the cousins c'mon in! I'd love to connect.