I found some useful links today. It’s from a genealogy blog that copied verbatim one of my entries from a few months ago (but with attribution, at least), so turnabout is fair play.

For links to online passenger lists, see this entry in the Genealogy Blog. Looking through it, I see names of ships I know I’ve seen before but I can’t remember when.The genealogy software I use now lists anniversaries, so to keep my tree somewhat managable, when I don’t have a branch that I’m actively chasing down (or other stuff going on that keeps me from this stuff), I check the anniversaries. Since I have nearly 2,400 names in my tree, rarely a day goes by that isn’t the anniversary of something.

For instance, today was the anniversary of my great-great grandmother’s death. There’s a lot of controversy about her. I believe her name probably was Julianne Breeden or Julianne Breeding. My grandmother’s living brothers and sisters insist her last name was Breeden. It may very well have been, and it could be a transcription error in census records.

At any rate, researching people on anniversaries makes it much less daunting. At times I’ve found myself rushing to enter as many names as possible, which meant I didn’t record much in the way of dates or other details that I need now. If I tell myself I’m only going to check a handful of people, I’m much more likely to enter everything I can find. And if I record all the dates, then that means I will probably see that record three times a year–on the anniversaries of birth, death, and marriage.

So my records end up being a lot more complete and accurate. Sometimes I find typos and I fix them. Sometimes I just document sources. (Sources are important, but a lot of people, sadly, neglect them.)

And you know what? My tree still grows. By following a person’s branch forward and backward a couple of generations on his or her anniversary, I almost always find a couple more names I didn’t have before. I think I entered 10 names yesterday and today.

That sounds wimpy compared to those first few days when I probably entered several hundred names per day. But this is a much more sustainable rate of growth.