A Genealogy Do-Over Ah-Ha Moment

I have been slugging away at the Genealogy Do-Over that is being hosted by Thomas MacEntee which is why I haven’t posted in a while.

There are days when it seems things are progressing well, scanning documents that have been tucked away in binders for a very long time. These documents haven’t been properly analyzed, sourced or digitized. This is my goal, and I estimate it is going to take me at least a year.

Although it is a lot of work there are those moments that make you pause, like when I saw this today


A card from my dad to his mother.


He was only 7 months old when this card was given to his mother.

One thing I didn’t anticipate from re-doing my family tree was a new researcher in my family. My daughter (age 8) was passing by my chair last night when I had my laptop open, assessing what new content I had added to my family tree. She stopped and asked me a couple of questions and then wanted to know where on the tree she was. I had to explain that I was redoing the tree and she hadn’t been added yet. (This is one of those moments that the light bulb appears on top of your head). An idea struck me and I asked her if she would like to add her name to the tree.

Quickly agreeing, she began typing in her name, birthdate, and where she was born. I asked her if she would like to pick a picture of herself to add to the tree. Thrilled we hunted through shots that were on my computer. I was amazed to see her level of interest and how much she enjoyed it. I just found acfamily member who liked something about genealogy! My next thought was how do I proceed?

I sent my daughter off to bed. My mind was racing trying to find a way to keep her excited and interested. I considered letting her do data entry on my tree and I quickly discarded that idea for many reasons, the main reason is I want this NEW tree to be well documented and sourced which probably would not be fun for an 8-year-old. Then it dawned on me – make my daughter her own tree. Create a tree that she can add as much or as little information as she wants, photos, stories she can decide and I won’t need it to be ‘just so’, which will keep the experience fun for her.

I explained to her my plan, and her reaction says it all, “Mom, can I stay home from school tomorrow to work on it?”

Thank you to all the Do-Over people but especially to Thomas MacEntee for helping me get it right!

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