A few years ago, I got to that same place. I had started genealogy like most people started – just name collecting and pulling from online trees all over the internet. But around 2008, I started to learn about analyzing sources and data and research methodologies. So I began adding sources to my database and sometimes changing my conclusions based on the new sources and analysis I had done.
And then around 2009 and 2010, I came to the conclusion that my database was a mess. I didn’t really have source citations included and there really was no consistency for place names or notes. Most of my citations were a mess – not very clear and not in any sort of consistent formatting. I was discovering that more and more of my previously copied “work” was not right. And being the type-A personality that I am, the mess got to me.
So I started over. I put all of my binders aside and all of my digital files in a holding folder and started over. I started entering information in a consistent format and attempting to put my sources in Evidence Explained format (not always done perfectly, but close enough). I was more consistently downloading the documents I was finding online and trying to really build my database and digital filing system without any major holes.
Has the size of my database shrinked considerably? Oh yes. I generally don’t spend a lot of time on collateral ancestors anymore unless I am trying to break through a brick wall or feel like I have already gotten all the easy, low hanging fruit stuff.
Is my database perfect? No. Not even close. But it is a lot better than it was and it is always a work in progress. As my genealogical expertise improves, so does my database.
So for me…. it was worth it. What about you? Will you be joining in the genealogy do-over.