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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Saturday, January 7, 2006 - Sat, 7 Jan 2006

My troubles stemmed from trying to define by forward and backward links at the time the GEDCOM is read. The backward links, which were already implemented, can always be defined at that time, since they refer back to the structure that is currently being defined. But the forward links sometimes cannot be defined if their structure has not yet been encountered in the GEDCOM. I’m working to change the defining of the links to be done during preprocessing, which follows the GEDCOM reading.

Meanwhile, its always nice to make advances in one’s own genealogy. You never know how some information might come about. One particular thread on alt.genealogy was about Documenting Your Sources. Something made me pipe in and give my 2 cents worth. But someone saw the link I left to My Family Research page and sent me info from my mysterious Kessler family that they obviously got from the 1911 Canadian Census. Well, I had poured over the Census when it first came out and was unable then to find anything about them. Their source ended up being an a 1911 Canadian Census Index being compiled by volunteers. The index is far from complete, but it did yield a location and important clues for me that I had not known about.

Which leads me to a couple of “rules” I promote about genealogy research:

  1. Get everything you can from your relatives first (especially the oldest ones). The archives and online information can wait, and that info will mostly get better over time. One conversation with an older relative can be worth thousands of hours in libraries. If you still have some older relatives you haven’t talked to yet, do that NOW!
  2. The official word is that “primary” information, like civil records and registrations and certificates are best, whereas info from relatives is unreliable. Don’t believe that. Primary records have lots of errors and inconsistencies (notably spelling) and lead you on wild goose chases, especially when you have information that is actually about a different person than you think it is. But anything you get from an older relative includes clues and names and dates and places that, even though they might not be completely true, will guide you in your research and give you paths in all directions to follow.

And while I’m rambling, I thought I’d mention GPS-Photo Link. I don’t have a GPS (Global Positioning System) device myself, and this software is rather expensive to link up locations with your photos, but I can see lots of ways genealogists can use this for their research. Maybe in a few years, when I can get back to my own research, I’ll revisit GPS.

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