Genealogy: The Family Tree

I will be the first to admit that dealing with the “family tree” is not an area where I have the greatest interest. The minute you get involved with undertaking this task it can acquire a life of its own. Depending upon the size of one’s family, it can become terribly complex and interfere with preserving the family archives. Few people have unlimited time to devote to this.

However, the process is important so I have learned to take a practical approach to this task. I do not let “missing information” become an obsession. In fact, the only reason I started to use genealogy software was to have an easy place to put “found information”. I specifically choose not to fret over an incomplete chart of family members or missing dates and other details.

There are a tremendous number of resources in books stores and on the Internet for becoming a pro at putting together one’s family tree. The process has evolved into a very specific practice with right ways and wrong ways of doing things. I did not want to devote the time and effort to becoming a family tree expert and the reasons for taking a modest plunge into the process were rather specific. I wanted to have a place to enter information as my work with the family’s images and documents yielded details.

I would occasionally get useful or interesting information about relatives and keeping track of that information proved impossible without some form of structure. My photo archiving was pretty good but specific “people” information had no real place to go. For some, that could simply be a notebook dedicated to family information but for me, software was a more dynamic solution.


Be careful to select software that adapts to your needs and that provides an ability to easily store associated information with an individual’s record. Being able to include images is also very useful though family tree software should not be relied upon to serve as a catalog for all photos, videos and documents!

One Response to Genealogy: The Family Tree

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