De-cluttering And Updating My Workspace

In February 2020 I posted about working across two windows on my laptop and it was suggested that I get another monitor. At the time it wasn’t possible but I recently got a new table through the trading group I help to run, Adelaide Local Exchange Trading System, so I now have room for two monitors, my printer and a spot for another person to work also.

As well as helping me when I’m researching alone, I’ve been doing some one on one training in genealogy research and this set up is working very well for that too.

I don’t play many games but one that I enjoy called 0AD is great to play on the larger monitor. It’s also good for watching tv or movies, I purposely don’t have a television so I watch a lot of Youtube and Netflix on here.

What is your home office or research nook like? Does it serve multiple purposes? Sometimes Gets A Bad Rap

Please note: I don’t have any affiliation with and I don’t receive any money from them at all I simply like their product.

I feel that sometimes gets a bad rap and it’s not necessarily all deserved. I’ve used over the last eight or nine years of researching my own and others’ family trees and yes I’ve fallen for beginner mistakes however I like to think I’ve learned from those mistakes and found a way to make Ancestry work for me.


I have some basic rules which I stick to:

– I don’t use Ancestry’s tool for merging someone else’s tree with mine because this is how errors are copied from one tree to another. I write down any information I didn’t have before and then click on Ignore Hint. I can always go back and look at it at a later time because Ancestry keeps a list of your ignored hints. The things I’ve written down from other trees I can then investigate for myself.



– Birth, death, marriage, census and electoral roll hints. I try to remain sceptical, and look for any inconsistencies in the information provided and what I already have. Ancestry gives you loads of hints but remain sceptical and research the hint before accepting it. I use other websites such as,, newspapers eg. Trove or the Gale News Vault, local libraries, history centres, visiting cemeteries, books etc. to either prove or disprove the information.

Two of these hints are about a lady in New Zealand instead of Australia.

Two of these hints are about a lady in New Zealand instead of Australia.

– Cite your sources. This is a general research rule which is largely overlooked by people using and I’m not really sure why as it can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. You can use the Add A New Source Citation button (as in the picture below) or use the description field to add source information.




– If you’re not sure then don’t do it.  If it’s information you’ve gathered and you’re not sure whether to add it or not then keep a record of it and you can return to it later.  There is no rush to add new information to your family tree.  I have a pin up board on the wall near my computer and sometimes I will pin notes there and as I do more research I will often go back to those notes and find out that they either do or don’t fit with the new information I have.

In January, Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame suggested a Genealogy Do-Over .  I’m not doing a do-over but I am, when I have time, revising all the branches of my family tree to root out my errors which have crept in along the way.