Thanksgiving Day for 2008 is now part of our family history and I hope that each of you had a wonderful day with your family. Between baking pies and cooking the traditional bird, I had time to work on my family tree on Ancestry.com. I spent this time adding supporting documentation to each person listed.

Ancestry.com searches their records and databases for any records that might be applicable to members of your tree. These are given as hints and the owner of the tree has the option of attaching that record to the individual in their tree or they can choose to ignore the hint. It is my practice to check each record to ensure that the individual listed is a member of my tree. After verification I will attach the record if applicable or ignore it. Other family trees are offered as hints if an individual is listed on both trees. I can compare my data to that tree to see if they have information that my research has missed.?

Being able to view another researcher's work on your surname is good, but you must verify the accuracy of their work before you include it in your tree. So many times mistakes are carried on continuously because no one has taken the time to check the supporting documentation.?

For each individual on my tree I am attaching every census record available, including those where they are listed with their parents and those when they are married and have children of their own. Hopefully, I will have all these records attached before the 1940 census is opened (2012), and I have to start all over.

Other records? available are the Social Security Death Index, and death records for many states. The World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, and the U. S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, will usually provide the birth date and place of birth, where they are employed,? and names the next of kin. The physical description is also to be noted. Many times we can learn a middle name from these forms. I remember finding my great-grandfather listed and learned that his middle name was Anthony and I had always assumed it was Aaron, his grandfather's name.

Verifying and adding all these records to each individual in your tree is time consuming, but imagine when someone views your tree and notes that the records are there. If they have questions about the data they can verify my information by checking each of those records.

Once all the records available on Ancestry.com have been added to each record, I have the option of loading pictures, stories, death certificates, obituaries, marriage records, funeral records and any other records that is applicable. To date I have 1007 Individual Records, 108 Photos, 14 Stories and 231 Records (census etc....)

There are 198 hints that still need to be check and numerous other family members to be added as my research continues.?? The problem I have is knowing when the tree is perfect enough to let others view it. It is the same thing as knowing when you have enough data to write your book. I could have a private viewing by allowing all those who have shared pictures and data to see it first.?

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Thanks to those who have taken the time to share information.

Robert? D. McLain (Major, Ret USA) writes, "For those folks looking for photos of relatives in the U.S. Army in Europe? in WWI, and they know the unit the relative was in, they should contact the National Archives for a copy on the unit photo. I got one of my father's unit (his name was misspelled -- I got that corrected). My lead for this came from a notice on the front page of a post-WWI copy of The Stars and Stripes which said that every unit from company size and larger would have their photo taken and that individuals could order a copy."

Anita has found rice paper (tombstone rubbings) in Hobby Lobby at a cost of $15 for 50 inches versus $15 for a 50 yard roll of sketching paper.

When sending in queries or sharing information write to:? Relatively Speaking, P. O. Drawer 1058, Norman, OK 73070 or email Darlene at Djshawn636@aol.com.

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