I have been researching many branches of my family for over 3 years: Blackwell, Bolick, Bost, Carter, Forney, Goode, Henry, Keese, Mercer, Reed, and Williams.
My tree is not kept like a tiny bonsai. It has grown into a mighty oak, and keeps growing! I have learned that a family tree has to be tended regularly. There are always new leaves, and new branches being formed. An occasional weed is found and needs to be snipped before the tree grows off course! My trunk is Adam and Eve. My best friend aways asks if I have found Adam yet. No, but I do keep searching!
My grandfather started research on his family back in the 1960s. I was lucky to have inherited all of his obit clippings, birth clippings, letters from his great aunts, etc. My grandmothers both told me stories about their families when I was young. Those names stayed with me. Now I am still working on my grandfathers work, and all other grandmothers, and grandfathers. The one gift I can leave my children and future grandchildren is their heritage.
I truly believe in a Hebrew saying "Know from where you come. Before you know who you are and where you are going, you must know from where you come."
We may find inlaws and outlaws, but we cannot change who they were. Don't ever burn records like a great aunt of mine did almost 100 years ago! No family is perfect. We have to learn to laugh, as well as cry about some people we find. But they should never be forgotten.