Proofreading something you have written is a matter of checking for spacing, punctuation, spelling, grammar, and clarity. Proofreading your family tree is more complex than that.
I have some paper records for my family trees but most of my information is in Family Tree Maker and has been about 6 years. Somehow (little gremlins using my computer at night) errors have crept into my records. I’ve noticed the same problem with other family trees that I’ve seen.
What problems? Well, I have an ancestor that had children after she died and one that had a child before she was born. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are mistakes in there, somewhere! I also have one family that I created from some census records and now that I have more information from some online resources, it looks like I’ve combined two families with the same name. The clue was that the children were born in very diverse areas that did not make sense. Yes, some families move around a lot but not every 2 years into 3 different states without some further proof.
What do I plan to do about it? Well – I tried breaking it down on the computer but what really ended up working was to break out the paper and create manual family group sheets and correct the entries. I even had to delete a few people! That’s a tough decision, though, so I documented my thought process and am keeping that along with the family group sheets, in case I have to go back. I will also keep notes in my software.
I’m sure all YOUR family trees are not subject to these errors but you may know someone else who could benefit from a little family tree proofreading.