07 March 2014

Bill West's A Week of No Ancestry.com Challenge

Bill West posted his "Week Without Ancestry.com Challenge" yesterday on his blog. It was done with a little prompting from me after I saw some of the conversations he was having in social media regarding the permanent switch on Ancestry.com to "new search."

Underlying my challenge was the belief I have that most genealogists have significant amounts of material untranscribed, unorganized, and unalyzed in their paper and virtual files. Clues just sitting there for the picking. Leads that never get noticed.  I also perhaps vainly thought Bill needed a diversion from Ancestry.com.

And many researchers have people in their "trees" that they've never looked for in actual records, either microfilm or digital copies. FamilySearch has growing numbers of those materials every day.

I am one of those genealogists myself who occasionally spends too much time "fiddling" around on database sites not getting anything done. One more search turns into three hours with nothing to show for it.

I'm not certain if I'm taking the Ancestry.com challenge. But, I bet if I did, I'd have a long list of things to search for on Ancestry.com the minute the week was up---all because I spent some serious time analyzing what I already had.

Instead of trying to harvest more search results and more hits.

Give it a thought. If you let go of some of your online sites for a week and got really into what you've already got, what discoveries would you make?

Maybe it's even time for a "Week Without Facebook."


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