family history work

Learning about your ancestors can be a rewarding and intriguing experience, but there are negatives as well. The methods used to research one’s family history can be time consuming and tedious. Multiple people often end up working on the same ancestral line, unaware of others doing the same work. A single page in the census is often pored over by hundreds of people searching for their ancestors while skipping the rest of the names. A potential solution is to use computers to do the grunt work. A computer application could search for relationships among the raw data, producing a giant family tree. Then, instead of having thousands of separate family trees maintained by individuals, often with overlapping information, there would be one main tree that everyone could contribute to. Researchers would still need to validate the results and continue gathering information, but think of how much easier it would be to do research if more of it was searchable online. Instead of having hundreds of people review the same census page, one person could add all the names on the page to the database and hundreds of people could benefit from that person’s efforts. Even though the person doing the research wouldn’t be directly related to every person they entered, in the grand scheme of things, aren’t we all brothers and sisters?

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