For the last few months I have been contemplating what the parameters would be for this study. Where and how I would collect my data once I moved from spreadsheets. I know that currently my data is still small in numbers, especially the family tree I have. But, I wanted to get this decision made before I was inundated with huge amounts of O’CONNELL data.
To do this, I had a few decisions to make:
- Besides spreadsheets, where would I house my data?
Specifically, family trees. One goal is to try and combine the different branches of the O’CONNELL family tree. I have a few family tree software programs, Family Tree Maker and Reunion (both old copies and both for the Mac). Plus, I also have my trees on Ancestry. Numerous trees… I wanted something new and something easy to work with. I decided upon RootsMagic because I have heard so m any good things about it, and I like the idea of all the options it gives you. Plus, you can create a to do list for every person in the tree, which is connected to them (if you have the full version).
- What data was I going to collect? How far was I going to take the tree forward?
These questions are important. For my personal family tree I collect everything. Blood is blood and that makes you a relative, so if I can find the information I will record it. For the One Name Study, not so much. My goal is to collect the individuals with the O’CONNELL surname, and the names of who they married. If the name does not follow the family, I will not include them in the study. For example, if an O’CONNELL woman marries and is now carrying her husbands name they will both be in the study. However, their children will not (though if there is a personal connection to me, they will be in my personal tree).
I also had to trim my family tree. Not a fun job or an easy task. I created a gedcom of my tree from Ancestry. I uploaded the file to RootsMagic and began to trim out those that do not fit into the parameters set in question # 2 above. I had to look at each person to see who they were married to, or who they were children of. Once that was done I was able to delete the individual or the whole family. I thought this job would take forever. Luckily, it only took a few hours over three days.