Sunday, September 29, 2013

Genealogy Regrets - I have a few

While working on edits and repairs to my Yoho, Baker, Rine genealogy file I've been reflecting on how I got to this point and what it all means to me.

If my recollection is correct, I started working on genealogy about 1987 when I got a personal computer and installed the LDS program Personal Ancestral File (PAF).  Has it really been twenty-six years?

Staying With Personal Ancestral File Too Long

Now, as I am learning to use RootMagic5 for my genealogy, it's more and more evident that I stuck with version 2.31 of PAF too long.  The PAF program wasn't designed to produce a genealogy.  It was designed to support the LDS goal of gathering ancestral information for church purposes.  There was no provision for producing a Register report for example.  Another short-coming was the fact that, for no apparent reason, it was possible to develop a file condition called "cross linked notes."  In my experience it was never evident when this serious file corruption crept into a file.  LDS provided a standalone program to check file integrity and another to correct the cross linked notes.  My success with correcting this issue has been disappointing.

Failing to Document And Maintain Contacts

Over the years of doing genealogy I made many new friends.  Some graciously exchanged genealogy information with me.  I corresponded via telephone, snail mail and Email.  Without the willingness of others to share it wouldn't have been possible to compile information about thousands of people.  I regret that I haven't done a good job of documenting the contact information that would allow me to stay in touch.  Because I failed to cultivate and maintain the contacts it's difficult, in the Fall of 2013, to contact someone if I have a question or want to share information.

Dick Henthorn
29 September 2013

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