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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In A Perfect Genealogical World

In my former career, accuracy was a must.  It was so important, not as a life or death situation, but because it impacted the bottomline.....That being MONEY.  I can't tell you how often that topic came up.  In the world of insurance, numbers, facts, figures, and the bottomline is what it is all about.  The numbers, facts, and figures led to logical conclusions and sometimes a final decision.  

What I do recall though is the part about decision making with your gut or even with the "heart".  Conscience business decisions were made all of the time which may have seemed somewhat contrary to the numbers/facts/figures but still in support of the "bottomline".  Those decisions that were seemingly rather contrary were, in fact, judgment calls using that gut feeling or the "the heart".  How logical was all of this decision making?  Well, there were reasons that justified the means to the end.  Then, there is also "jumping out of the box" for some creativity.

The logic part of this world carries over to many other things in life including genealogy.  While, I don't have a "bottomline" that is profit driven related to my family tree, I do have people, dates, locations, and other facts associated with the logical side of "treeing", as I call it.  My own trees may not be perfect as I progress and learn the process but there is a means to an end.  I could certainly go on for days and days fixing minor typos and nuances on my four major tree lines but then how much fun would that be?

Sometimes, I find that genealogy carries me in different directions out of curiosity driven by the elation of discovery.  With a network of other researchers out there online, you never know what you might find if you trail off a bit down a family line that may be a little distant in relation.  There are communities of people in the past and their stories can live on if they are discovered.

I am interested in the communities of people in locations like the ever so popular Havana, Township of Aurora, Steele County, Minnesota.  Popular, you may ask?  I am not sure what it is really like there.  I would imagine it is cold in the wintertime.  What I have found is a bit of a mecca of German immigrants circa late 1800s.

Yet again, I've stumbled upon a few locations where people and communities gathered to build their lives.  They were neighbors, friends, and even married each other.  From Borchers', Jackel's, Fett's, Wuertz', and a few others, you can find the families "sticking together" to form and continue their commuity, culture, and religion.  I love those connections.  Figuring them out can be a fun hobby too!

So is my family tree perfect?  Not exactly.  I do continue to edit, proofread, and clean things up as I find time.  It would appear that rather tedious job can be spread out over weeks and months.  I do want my final product to be accurate.  For now, it is a work in progress.   As I've said before about the 34 page document of the Descendants of Thomas McLaughlin, let's not let perfection be the enemy of all that is good in pursuit of excellence.

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