When I first started my genealogy research in 2003, I created a family tree in Excel and kept dates and places. After a bit, I purchased the genealogy software for Mac, called Reunion. I had quite a tree at this point, which lacked any sort of sources. I've played catchup ever since, and still come across "facts" in my family tree that lack a good source.
I've thought before about starting over - but that's just not practical. Instead, I need a method to verify my research and root out the areas that lack sources. Learning how the DAR reviews applications has given me the method to do so. I learned about this process by working with my Registrar on my mom's application, as well as a supplemental application. So, here's the method:
So, what all's going on here? First, I've highlighted the facts that were in the DAR database. I did this purely for the application process, but would not necessarily do this when verifying my family tree.
Otherwise, I put check marks on each piece of information. Each. Individual. Piece. So for a date, there's one check for the day, one for the month, and one for the year. And I do not put any checks until I can point out exactly where I got the information from. This method has helped me uncover a few typos and a few places where I have no idea where I got some pieces of information from. You can see in the image where I've made a few corrections or adjustments.
This method, regardless of whether or not I'm working on a DAR application, will be very helpful for catching the errors in my database.