What a mess! I knew it was a mess and, up until now, I have just ignored it. No longer! I have finally tackled the long boring job of going through my source list in Reunion 9 and setting it straight!
How did it get to be such a mess? I have death certificates linked to people who are not even related to the named person! Multiple families, living in numerous locations, are all sourced to the same census record! I even found sources that not one person in my huge database is even linked to! Like I said, "What a mess!"
Part of the problem stems from the fact that when I began this genealogy journey many, many years ago, I had no idea how to really cite my sources. They were hit and miss; never following any one format. Of course, as I accumulated more and more paper and became better read in the subject of sourcing documents, I realized what a mistake I had made. I vowed to be better organized and, even went as far as to purchase the software, Clooz, which helped, but was a bother to use. Maybe it is better now, but it required entering all the data that I had already entered into my Family Tree Maker software which I was using at the time. Where was the fun in that? However, I diligently did it and was much better organized. Until...I switched to RootsMagic.
RootsMagic was great! It has a source wizard that helped me source all my documents, census data, and other information that was piling up faster than I could file it. I said, "good bye" to Clooz, and hello to the wizard. I felt pretty good about my sources as I used RootsMagic. Until...I got my Mac a year ago.
Unfortunately, RootsMagic wouldn't run on my Mac so I reluctantly gave it up for Reunion 9. I really like Reunion 9! Like RootsMagic, Reunion 9 helps me cite my sources correctly, but there was just one huge problem. When I made the GEDCOM file to transfer all my data from RootsMagic to Reunion 9, my sources did not transfer so well. Fields that I had used in RootsMagic weren't available in Reunion 9 so some of the end notes in my new reports were, shall we say, a bit strange. Then, at times, when I checked my sources to see where I had found certain pieces of information, I ended up mystified at what I found.
What did I do? I ignored it. The huge task of fixing everything just didn't sound as fun as researching and discovering new family members. I fixed things as I ran across them, and of course, I sourced new information correctly but what I didn't find, wasn't hurting me. So, why, do you ask, have I finally decided to sit down and actually do this monumental source list spring cleaning? Well, you see, our Internet service went out the other day. I couldn't research. Ancestry.com, Family Search, Newspaper Archive, all my favorite cyberspace haunts were all out of reach. Here, I had set aside a couple of hours to spend working on my family history and was thwarted. I guess I could have cleaned out a closet or two, but instead, decided to do what I have known for a long time needed to be done. I opened Reunion 9, clicked on the Sources button and started with Source Number 1. It's not as bad as it seemed and I still have a long way to go, but I am feeling quite satisfied with myself. I just hope I don't break the promise I made to myself about not researching until the task is finished. We shall see!