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On 15 December 2014, Thomas MacEntee posted on his blog GeneaBloggers: Announcing the Genealogy Do-Over

Starting January 2nd, I’m setting my 20+ years of genealogy research aside and starting over. From scratch.

Seriously. How many times have you thought about doing the same thing? Did you start your research the same way I did, by just collecting names, grabbing stuff from other online trees, or pasting text into your genealogy software? Lately, has the prospect of going back and citing sources and proving facts and evidence brought you down and ruined your genealogy buzz? Do you throw up your hands and say, “I give up!” only to return to the same review and edit process days or weeks later?

If you’re like me, you need a genealogy makeover. Better yet, a Genealogy Do-Over. That’s what I’m calling this journey upon which I’m embarking in 2015. And I want you to come along.

For thirteen weeks, Thomas will be posting and blogging about the week's tasks and his progress.

On 22 December 2014, Thomas posted his Genealogy Do-Over: Schedule of Topics.

For those wanting to track the progress of bloggers participating in the Do-Over, there is a bag at Bag the Web.

Thomas has a Facebook group for people who want to follow along in a group setting. I thought it might be fun to follow along Stack Exchange style, reviving our Weekly Chats and, where appropriate, with Weekly Topic Challenges. After Thomas' Do-Over is complete, we could revisit some of the Weekly Chat Topics from the past. Our newest members won't have had the opportunity to chat about them, and for the older hands, if we revisit chat topics from more than a year ago, we can see what progress we've had over the year.

Anyone else game for a Do-Over?


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  • I'm not sure how much I'll participate but I think you leveraging the Do-Over for a combination of Weekly Chats and Topic Challenges is a great idea.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Dec 23 '14 at 1:53
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I am not game for a do-over as I think the "Do-Over" is a misnomer / "poor labeling" as previous knowledge exists that you cannot forget or completely discard. I would say a 'rebuild' / maintenance reorganization seems more appropriate based on his schedule of topics vs. a "Do-Over".

There are other ways to do it though without starting over from scratch and doing a lot of time wasting data-reentry and information covered like family interviews may not be available to re-conduct.

A near term goal for myself, though not perhaps 2015 is to go back and source a lot of material of my material in my database that I have on paper, letters, interviews, photographs, or whatever and organize it better and associate it.

I have been otherwise cleaning up the names, flagging stragglers or relationships, locations, and other maintenance activities as part of a regular activity now every time I look at a record and working through them.

That all said, I think there is a lot of 'noise' out there and until I have some citation or sources I mark it as questionable or don't even add it until I have supporting information. I do need to be better about which searches I conduct.

None the less and it will be interesting to follow and see how true he can truly stick to his plan and other experiences.

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