Monday, February 27, 2012

Family Tree - Weighing The Best Documentation

The benefit of Family Tree will be a combination of the forums for discussion, the ability to link to a source, and the sharing of the documentation for analysis. Relatives can discuss the details of what is posted. One can look at mulitiple sources to determine which is the most reliable. New facts can be determined from a combination of sources.

For example: below is a copy of my cousins funeral program. If this were the only record it would be valuable in the decision making process. However, one would prefer official death and birth certificates.

Ray was in this database and the information it had was not documented, it was different in: Full name, birth place and date omitted, death date was different, and no place or date of buriel. All of these I was able to update based on the funeral program.

Another benefit, is that what I have here in this program may not be the best proof but may provide something factual a relative might want and it may be they are glad to be able to copy the program. If you only had this program there are some things it might be a clue to. Why was Howard Cragun conducting? Was he a Mormon Bishop? He was. We know where Ray was buried by this. Who knows what a program would mean to a descendant!

I also began watching Ray and his parents activity in Family Tree. This provides me an email when anyone makes a change, comment, or document to their file. Currently the email's come weekly, they hope to eventually make them immediate. This service connects you immediately to those who are working on that relative.

Pretty cool.

Raymond E Spalding Funeral Program

This brings up another point. Where do you place the document so you can link to it.  Family Tree won't let you upload the document, there will be millions of subscribers, and the service is going to be free. The server farms being built are already very expensive, can you imagine the costs to store everyones documents?

This is one of the reasons I started this blog. Every post has a unique link ID. For example, this one is:;postID=1726049901124148798

This link can be placed in family tree as access to the source. Doing it this way provides another benefit: my unknown cousins can find my blog and see my charming personality - and my vastly extensive knowledge about family, technology, and culture. :)

I would allow relatives to post documents on my blog, shall I say send them to me to post but don't let the concept be intimidating. As wildly technical as I might appear, starting and writing a blog is so easy anyone can do it. It takes so little time to setup and your 5th grader can do it. OK, your 1st grader then.

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