A Blank Canvas

Personal experiences can influence your direction. It is important to try and remain neutral as you make your decisions throughout the construction of your ancestry tree. Base your pretenses on those pieces of evidence that will prove your next course of action.

If you sense that you want something to be true and reach out to make it reality the sources for validation may be too weak and your decisions may influence the results. It is better to distance yourself, at times, to treat each step as if it were a blank canvas to be assembled with care.

Sometimes I will take a copy of a section where there is evidence that supports a potential birth relative and I start a new tree. I build out the relatives and try to ignore the original source so that I can establish these individuals myself and not be too excited what they could substantiate.

If you take your private tree out to a distance relatively close to that of your source tree it began from, then compare the two, it is much more pleasant to find that they both match than to assume everything taken from hints and other amateur genealogists is correct. We hardly want to come back to this same location a month or two out after hundreds of other individuals are added to the tree to find out this addition was incorrect to begin with.

So take care when to trust your interests and when that turns into speculation justified by dwindling hopes of ever making progress. It is a much more difficult pill to swallow for the latter than a bad source and too much wishful thinking. Oddly enough it is when we least expect results that they tend to present themselves.