The other day I posed my darling little Tika to tempt her decision making process. A Milk-Bone dog chew or a fresh cookie?? (And no, I do not give Tika chocolate.) She would have happily chomped down both treats but I posed this picture to illustrate a point: We all face decisions daily in our lives.
This is so true in genealogy. I've been working on a couple of projects for other folks and I've relied heavily upon Ancestry.com. Almost any tree you set up on Ancestry will have some waving green leaves to lure you deeper into the website and some of those leaves will point to good records and some will not.
Example: Surely, I thought, Fitzroy Chapin was the son of Paul Fitzroy Chapin, whose mother surely was a Fitzroy. The name was unusual enough that it seemed logical. BUT. Fitzroy Chapin was born in 1821 and Paul Fitzroy Chapin was born in 1824, so that hardly works out. But it looked so good! There probably is a family connection here but Fitzroy cannot be the son of that Paul Fitzroy. That was my "chocolate cookie" answer. I had to keep looking and that's not nearly as fun as chomping down the cookie right off the bat.
Most leaders in the genealogical community these days are teaching and touting proper research processes and procedures and documentation to the "enth" degree. And of course they are right. This is the "Milk-Bone treat" answer, ie, the better answer....... or path to getting the answer.
"Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made," said Wayne Dyer.
May I paraphrase: "Our family history is the sum total of the choices we have made."