Tuesday, 13 September 2016


I've been researching my family history data for around 15 years now and so have accumulated a great deal of information about my various family lines. I've sometimes seen posts on social media etc. about family historians sometimes becoming a bit 'overwhelmed' by the amount of random information becoming available to them via sites like Ancestry and Find My Past (...also known as 'the shaking leaf syndrome'!).

Don't get me wrong, this feature can be very useful as long as the researcher carries out the proper checks they need to verify the data, but well I know that it can sometimes feel like you are just 'grabbing' at the information as it shows up on your tree.

One way around this is to use the filters on these hints to show only certain family surnames to look at. The other hints can be kept to one side until all those associated to one line have been dealt with.

Thomas SEAMAN - Descendants - Progress so far...
But another way to conduct your research in a more organised fashion is to try and track down the descendants of a particular individual. I'm currently doing this with my g(x3) grandfather, Thomas SEAMAN from Mold in North Wales; checking each family associated with him one generation at a time. The graphic above shows details of where I'm currently up to with this.

Using this method, I've found this an ideal way of both reviewing the data I already have about the individuals connected to this line, but also of finding and reviewing new information and individuals in a more organised and structured way.

So if you're beginning to feel an information overload hurtling towards you - step back a bit, take a deep breath, and give this a try. 

I'd recommend it to anyone over alcohol or headache tablets!