Monday, July 16, 2012

Climbing Someone Else's Tree

First let me say - BACKUP YOUR WORK!  - my computer's hard drive crashed over the weekend. (yes, I'm asking for sympathy.) On the good side - I have a current back-up. On the bad side - It's going to take hours for the recovery. So, in the meantime, I've been working on a friend's family tree. Lorie and I sat down and created an online family tree at when she came to visit. 

When Lorie first arrived she and her family had been watching this season of "Who Do You Think You Are" and were fascinated with the process and what the stars were able to find. It was a real treat to explore her family history using the online tools at and my membership. 

After a few phone calls home, Lorie and I created a tree with about 35 known people and now, just one week later, we have over 95! When Lorie went home she and her family spent more time exploring their family history and I've spent time killing leaves.

Killing leaves is what I do when I have a few minutes in between other obligations. I just open the online trees I have at and search for shaking leaves and research the hints. Because I have the online trees synchronized to my computer based trees, it is a very productive use of time. So, when my new hard drive arrives, my family tree will not have been sitting around dormant for the week.

As I've mentioned before, working on someone else's tree is rewarding because it reinforces my practices or challenges my assumptions. It was a real treat working with a friend and explaining how we genealogists put together evidence and what things work and what things don't. 

I also had the chance to get to know Lorie better by working with her family tree and that was the real gift from our time climbing her tree.

So - help someone else get involved with genealogy and ...

Happy Hunting!

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