When I first read about Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over on his GeneaBloggers Blog, I thought why in the world would I ever want to start everything over again? But over the last few months a few things happened that made me reconsider. First, I have gotten to the point where I had set up three trees so each time I did any research, I had to update all three which was not very productive, and at times it was challenging to make sure I consistently updated everything with exactly the same information. Second someone who had matched with my DNA, but not closely enough to make the name of our common ancestor obvious enough, asked to go through my tree looking for matches. But because my tree has my adoptive, bio, and marital families all together, it is difficult for anyone to know which is the biological line when just looking at surnames. And finally, when I was working on a friend’s tree, I overwrote one of my trees which just happened to be the one that I believed had the most information compared to the other two. I was able to recover most of it, but there were at least a few months of research I had missed. I knew it wasn’t much, but it still bothered me knowing that little bit of information was most likely missing.
So a few weekends ago, when I was at a local genealogy weekend conference, I listened to several presentations by Thomas and realized, maybe the Do-Over is the best way to fix all these issues and at the same time better organize my resources. I asked him about separating my trees, and he advised me that it was best to keep them in different trees. He also mentioned the Do-Over and that it would start the first week in April. So while I was waiting for it to begin, I decided to follow some additional advice he shared with us and create a Genealogy Research Toolbox. I embedded my Toolbox below so you can see what one looks like. To create it, I copied into a Google Sheet on my Google Drive some of the links Thomas had in his Genealogy Research Toolbox site then added all of my own links that I had saved over the years in a variety of places. It was good to be able to get everything consolidated in one place. Now when I research, I just open up my toolbox and have quick access to all the sites where I regularly research.