As Many As You Can or Doing as Much as You Can?

Very early in my research, I gave up on collecting as many names of relatives as I could. The goal of the biggest set of names, to me, seemed like a frivolous chase where there would always be one more ancestor, one more cousin, or one more in-law to track down in an attempt to gather the largest set of names I could.

It wasn’t about getting as many names as I could.

It was about finding out as much as I could about an ancestor, their family of origin, the family they created, their locality, their time period, and their culture. That was enough, but it gave me a better picture of that individual and that individual became more than just a name and few dates and locations in a database. Completely researching them also meant that I reduced the chance that I made errors in determining relationships between individuals and that I jumped to wrong conclusions about things my ancestors experienced.

It also means that I will never have as many names in my database as others do. That’s perfectly fine with me.