The past couple of weeks I have been working on my paternal direct line making sure that I had recorded and attached as many sources, documents, photos, images and notes for each person for 5 generations. That was my 14 day challenge to myself.
As is the case with most genealogist, that plan went awry half way into my own challenge as I began to re-evaluate my sources and collected files. To my horror I found long ago made errors, *gasp*, what did I do?? Was this one of those 2 am 1992 mistakes of not fully following the leads, was this in fact a “lazy add on” as I call them?
I do not know for sure how this particular error occurred, it was decades ago that I added this line, but I found it just did not work, the evidence disproved the attachment to that particular set of parents (or even the family), I hesitated for only a moment and then used the “delete button” taking away 30 people from my file. I did not throw the information away, they are instead now housed in a little file on my computer so that if evidence ever does appear that I can connect one or more, to the Batts family in the future, the information is still there.
As I have learned through 25+ years experience the two best things to rely on are pencils and delete/undo option. Do not be afraid to use either.
When I start researching a new twig, I use a print out of a family group sheet and use a pencil to begin recording information. I use a pencil at the archives, libraries, court houses, cemeteries, etc. I have my pink erasers that travel with me and are well used. On my computer, I have learned the delete button or undo option are truly convenient when trying to keep your research as clean and true as possible,
It is not about collecting the most names, the most sources or the earliest known man to your file. It is about being diligent in your efforts to compile and document the best evidence available, and when it becomes apparent that what you thought was right, is not, that you do the right thing and erase and begin again.