Getting started - using written family tree


Dave
 

I have a family book that dates back to the late 1700's and has all my ancestors documented - perhaps 100-200 people. If I am about to begin entering this tree into FH software, can I start with the oldest ancestor and work my way down, or do I need to start with myself and work my way backward?  The book is laid out from the oldest ancestor down.

Once I have all my data in the tree, what are my best options to find missing elements and connect with other family trees?


Trevor Rix
 

You may enter people in any order you wish.

For dates 1837 onwards use FreeBMD as your first option. During this pandemic many county libraries are providing free access to Ancestry library edition and/or Findmypast library edition from your home.

Come back in here if you have specific questions.


Victor Markham
 

I think it maybe best to start with your name and work backwards as you may find some missing names as you go back

On 11 Nov 2020, at 10:44, Dave <dcc@...> wrote:

I have a family book that dates back to the late 1700's and has all my ancestors documented - perhaps 100-200 people. If I am about to begin entering this tree into FH software, can I start with the oldest ancestor and work my way down, or do I need to start with myself and work my way backward?  The book is laid out from the oldest ancestor down.

Once I have all my data in the tree, what are my best options to find missing elements and connect with other family trees?


Adrian Bruce
 

As Trevor said, you can enter the stuff in any order, but I would suggest that you first think how you can enter the data and be sure that you haven't missed anyone. That might mean that you start with page one and go through, making a note elsewhere of where you're up to. Somehow I find that sequence, front to back, more natural. Others may think differently.

Don't forget to record the source of your information both in itself (probably one source record for the entire book) and against each person and fact that you enter. That's probably quite easy to do - just set FH to repeat the "citation" for the book, each time you enter or update something. I'd advise that you don't omit that step, because sooner or later, you'll be adding someone in because you know that they exist and if you have no sources recorded, you won't know whether it's from the book or not, later on.

Feel free to set up something, enter a few to get the hang of it, and then delete it all once you know what you're doing.

When you come to check, that's when I'd definitely start with what you know - yourself.

Adrian


Lorna Craig
 

As others have said, you can work in whichever direction you prefer.   As the book is laid out "from the oldest ancestor down" and you think it contains 100-200 people I assume a lot of these people are not direct ancestors of yours but great-great-uncles/aunts and cousins several times removed.  So whichever end you start from there will be some 'diversions' when you record branches from which you are not directly descended.

Also, it sounds as if the book deals with just one of your ancestral lines, starting with the earliest known ancestor in that line.  So it might cover (at a guess) 8 generations in that line. But don't forget that these are not "all your ancestors".  If you count yourself as generation 1 you had 128 direct ancestral branches 7 generations further back (assuming there was no intermarriage between cousins) so there are a lot more ancestors to discover!

Lorna

On 11/11/2020 02:53, Dave wrote:
I have a family book that dates back to the late 1700's and has all my ancestors documented - perhaps 100-200 people. If I am about to begin entering this tree into FH software, can I start with the oldest ancestor and work my way down, or do I need to start with myself and work my way backward?  The book is laid out from the oldest ancestor down.

Once I have all my data in the tree, what are my best options to find missing elements and connect with other family trees?


Bob Hunter
 

I must reinforce what Adrian is saying here. It is critical that you create a source for your “Written Family Tree” and include as much information about it as you can, who created it, when was it created, how was it created, where is it now, a note about how reliable you think it, is also useful (may be even breaking that “reliability” down to each fact or event as you enter it.

If you have supporting evidence that you are entering at the same time, source that separately.

 

Bob H

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Adrian Bruce
Sent: 11 November 2020 13:23
To: Family Historian Groups.io mailing list <Family-historian@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Getting started - using written family tree

 

As Trevor said, you can enter the stuff in any order, but I would suggest that you first think how you can enter the data and be sure that you haven't missed anyone. That might mean that you start with page one and go through, making a note elsewhere of where you're up to. Somehow I find that sequence, front to back, more natural. Others may think differently.

 

Don't forget to record the source of your information both in itself (probably one source record for the entire book) and against each person and fact that you enter. That's probably quite easy to do - just set FH to repeat the "citation" for the book, each time you enter or update something. I'd advise that you don't omit that step, because sooner or later, you'll be adding someone in because you know that they exist and if you have no sources recorded, you won't know whether it's from the book or not, later on.

 

Feel free to set up something, enter a few to get the hang of it, and then delete it all once you know what you're doing.

 

When you come to check, that's when I'd definitely start with what you know - yourself.

 

Adrian


Chris King
 

Dave, 

You are extremely fortunate to have this book. I won't comment on entering the data as others have already done so adequately.

I advise that you don't initially look for what's missing, but rather seek to verify what was written in the book first by checking against actual records (parish registers, wills, etc.), otherwise you may find that mistakes or assumptions were made in compiling the book, which you don't want to perpetuate. Even those of us who have many years of experience get things wrong

Enjoy the journey through your family's history. Good luck! 

Chris

Sent from my Huawei phone


-------- Original message --------
From: Dave <dcc@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2020, 10:43
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: [family-historian] Getting started - using written family tree
I have a family book that dates back to the late 1700's and has all my ancestors documented - perhaps 100-200 people. If I am about to begin entering this tree into FH software, can I start with the oldest ancestor and work my way down, or do I need to start with myself and work my way backward?  The book is laid out from the oldest ancestor down.

Once I have all my data in the tree, what are my best options to find missing elements and connect with other family trees?


@Lincsman
 

On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 07:31 AM, Chris King wrote:
I advise that you don't initially look for what's missing, but rather seek to verify what was written in the book first by checking against actual records (parish registers, wills, etc.), otherwise you may find that mistakes or assumptions were made in compiling the book, which you don't want to perpetuate. Even those of us who have many years of experience get things wrong
I agree with this, many years ago, I was given a huge leather bound bible, it had lots of pages of family tree information but as I was to find out, many names were "alos known as" names, birth dates were sometimes a year or two out, it is easy enough to check these out but please do so first.

Regards,

Dave,