But it occurred to me this morning as I was doing some research that it is REALLY easy to fall into what I call the "Date Trap"
Let me provide an example. I have a person in my tree named Milton P Fried (not his real name). Milton is the second husband of the sister of my Great Uncle by marriage. No where near a direct descendant. I don't really have a research plan for Milton because he isn't that closely connected to my direct line of descendants.
But - Milton stands out in my list of birth, marriage and death dates because I do not have a birth or death date, or locations for those events. So those blanks stare out at me when I browse my genealogy software database.
What do those blanks do? They SCREAM out at me to get filled in, even though they don't really matter. I am not doing any FAN research (Elizabeth Shown Mills' famous Friends, Associates and Neighbors research) on Milton's wife or even my Great Aunt and Uncle.
But those pesky BLANKS need to be filled in dammit. So I spend time trying to find Milton.
Yes everyone, that is a trap and a time suck spending any time on Milton, or those of his ilk. (Sorry Milton - I am sure you were a nice guy).
I am not saying that one shouldn't find event dates for ancestors or important folks connected to your direct descendants, but just because someone is in your tree doesn't mean that you need to spend any significant time filling in every blank.
I only have a certain amount of research time, as I am sure is the case for you also.
Don't fall into the DATE TRAP!