Sourcing your family tree – the most important thing you can do!

I started researching my family history 9 years ago.  I was 20 years old.  I was young, naïve and useless at crediting my sources.

In the last 9 years I’ve changed family tree programmes; I’ve changed laptops and along the way I’ve lost sources I thought I had credited elsewhere.

I’m feeling very deflated at the moment.  I’ve started my family tree from scratch again with the exception of using an old unsourced tree to confirm the details I already know before moving on to any new facts I can find.

My problem now is, I have dates, places and people that I am unsure of.  I can’t remember the original source of my information and I’m hesitant to use the information in case I made a mistake in the past.

A prime example of this is my claim to fame… my possible relatives who wrote and composed the Welsh National Anthem.  Evan and James James.  I can’t remember where the information I have on them came from.  I can’t confirm, for myself, whether the dates and connections are accurate.

My latest family tree is still a little sketchy in regards to the sources I’ve credited but I’m slowly getting into the habit of sourcing my facts every time I find something new.

I suppose you could say I am older and wiser.  I’m a more experienced researcher and I’ve learnt a lot from the mistakes I’ve made in the past.  And, despite the fact that making sure your tree is fully sourced means that you spend a little more time on it, it is the most important thing you can do.  Not only for yourself but for anyone else who will ever access your tree.