If you were to start over, where would you start?

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In my current tree's I am stuck mostly due to limitation imposed on what I know is available on the internet whether it be free or paid services.  I am unable to travel to the places of my family heritage at this time, to see where my family lived, or t to look through the local records.   As I was pondering this I wondered to myself, if I started from scratch right now where would I start from.

Thinking back to about 15 years ago, wow guess it has been a while since I started looking into my family.  A lot of things have changed from say 2000 to 2015, records were not readily available on the internet, and if they were they were sparse at that.

The first time I got interested in genealogy was when someone said we were related to StoneWall Jackson and then President Jackson.  I never had heard this before so I was curious.  I can tell you 15 years later that mystery has not been solved.

I guess based off what I had known back 15 years ago as my original starting point I would have to assume that I would start there again.  There could have been something different that set off the genealogy bug later, like my Czech and Slovak lines, when I heard that one of them had photo's from Mussolini's execution (which were thrown away), but still history there.  Or the first time I heard about Sister Cecilia Kondrc the nun who helped priests and other nuns escape communist Slovakia. It might have sprung on the birth of my first daughter.

But where would I start, on the mothers side or my side?  Would they have wanted to know where they came from?  Would they be interested in their family history?    I guess looking back there are many times where I could have "started" my research based off what I know now.  At a minimum there are a few things that I would be doing differently if I started now.

First would be documentation.  I would make it easy to read, easy to connect the dots. I have so much information all over the place that ties connections together, but they are my notes, my ties.  If someone else looks at it they might not get the connections that I saw, or was able to verify.    In this aspect I have gotten a lot better then when I started but I should have started that way.

Second would be to use one genealogy program and stick with it, import all my media.  Now this does not mean to not use any other programs because the all have their own merits but switching companies and recreated or correction after moving from say FTM to MyHeritage or back to FTM is not an easy thing.  I still have media files that need to be connected back to the person.

Third would be to talk to everyone and anyone with any ties to the family no matter how frail.  I might have been able to make connections better, or there might have been someone who would have been able to connect that elusive dot.  I could have said I wish I started earlier but I am going from today not from 15 years ago.

Last would be not so different, but I would make sure I have all my electronic documents backed up to multiple sources. I currently have about 90% of it backed up but I believe (cant believe I am saying that)  that I have about 10% on one of my hard drives when the computer crashed that was not being backed up anywhere because I let my Dropbox get full.  I would use double back up, say Dropbox and Google Drive (just naming two different sites)




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