Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Have One Big "Tree" and a Lot of "Bushes" in my RootsMagic Database

No, not persons named Bush (well, I do have 4 persons with surname Bush in my tree).  I meant a small tree or shrub (no, I don't have any persons surname Shrub).  Or a nickname Shrub.

Occasionally, I will click on the Tools > Count Trees item to see if I have disconnected persons from my big connected family tree in my RootsMagic database.

The "Count Trees in Database" lists all of the "trees," "bushes" and "shrubs" that I have in my database, listed by number of persons:

down at the bottom, I see that I have really small "twigs" and that I have 143 different connected "trees" (or whatever):

I have 44,542 persons in my database today.  My "one big tree" has 39,854 persons in it.  That includes all of my ancestral families, the ancestral families of my grandchildren and several cousins, plus my Seaver, Vaux, Carringer, Auble, Dill, Buck, McKnew and several other one-name studies.

The other 142 "trees" are unconnected to the "one big tree" because I haven't found the connection yet.  Many of them are for Seaver, Richman, Newton, Vaux, Dill and other families (and groups of families) that might be related to persons in the "one big tree" for whom I haven't found the connection to date.

For example, one of the small "trees" is for William Lance Seaver and his wife, whose son's birth record was found in the Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 on Ancestry.com.  I don't know who the parents of William Lance Seaver are, but I have him in my database because I found the Texas birth record.  Maybe he will see the entry in my Ancestry Member Tree and provide information about his parents.  I have quite a few instances like this.  I hope to connect him to the big tree, or another Seaver/Sever tree at some point.

Another example, for the Thomas Richman tree:  His 1739 baptism is in the Hilperton, Wiltshire parish church records, along with his parents William Richman and Patience Wilson.  But I cannot connect the father to another Richman family, or Thomas to a spouse and children.

Then there are some of the larger Seaver/Sever trees.  I am descended from Robert Seaver (1608-1683) who came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634, and he is in my "really big tree" along with all of his descendants (over 4,000 Seaver names).   There are several other Seaver/Sever "trees" that are not connected to Robert Seaver because they migrated from another country or in another time, and there are some who probably are connected to Robert Seaver whom I haven't been able to connect to him.

The really small trees on the list - the ones with less than 5 or 6 persons, present a research challenge.  Most of them are from records in the 1950-2010 time frame, and I try to research the parent to connect them to the big tree.  Recently, I've had some successes doing this - I connected 4 out of 8 during this past week to another, larger, tree.  And for one of those, I was able to add more persons to the tree and make it bigger.

I have no problem having 143 "trees" in my RootsMagic database.  I like having all of my research included in one database.  I've toyed with the idea of bringing all of the research that I've done for clients and friends just to have it all in one place, but I know there would be a significant task to resolve places and add quality sources, so I haven't done it.

I would love to be able to make a chart showing all of the persons in my "one big tree" but such a chart would probably be really big (really wide, not tall)!

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/02/i-have-one-big-tree-and-lot-of-bushes.html

copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Finn said...

Randy, Try doing a search for William Lance Seaver on MyHeritage. I get a couple of hits on some newspapers. I can't read them but they might give you some clues.

SearchShack said...

Thanks very much for this tip - I had one tree of SHACKFORDs and way too many (823) "bushes". Because of your tip, I will now start reviewing the people in the bushes starting with the smallest ones. I should be able to merge many of the small "bushes" into the big tree and remove some potential duplicate people.

Mary Foxworthy said...

Yup, I have several bushes I'd love to connect.

My grandfather in St. Paul had cousins in Chicago. Problem is the connection is somewhere in Poland. Several of my bushes are in 19th century Poland. One of my 2015 projects is to try to locate living distant cousins who may help me graft these bushes to the tree.

Renee Zamora said...

Here's a tip Randy. Create a dummy person, I called mine Unconnected/ZZ Trees/. So it sorts at the bottom of my index list. Then add the start person on all those unconnected trees as their children. I sort them alphabetically. If you have too many "children" make dummy people with that surname and connect all the people with that surname off them. The goal is to have only two trees in your database.

Then color-code everyone in that tree. Gray is a nice color. It helps you spot them in your list as part of the unconnected trees. You will stay more focused on finding out how they fit in the big picture. When I find where the little bush really belongs in my big tree I unlink them from the unconnected trees and change their color.

If you ever want to share a GEDCOM with an online tree you probably don't want these little trees all connected to a dummy person. I will make a backup then right click on Unconnected ZZ Trees and select Delete>Family>Unlink Family Members. Just restore the backup after making the GEDCOM and your back in business.