How To Organise Your Family History Genealogy Research
Information ~ Part One
This video has some great ideas – watch part one here:
Here are some tips to keep you organised whilst researching your Family History Genealogy Research Information.
1. Collect all the supplies for your project.
Whilst you may start with a computer and suitable software package [a topic I will cover in another blog] you will probably find that you will need some filing boxes with a secure lids [archive boxes are ideal], coloured suspension file folders, and the standard green suspension files, inside these you will need manila folders, it makes it easier to find all the pieces of paper that you will accumulate.
Then don’t forget your pencils, pencil sharpeners, pencil erasers, pens, highlighters, coloured tabs for marking those important paragraphs in all the books that you will be reading, labels for the folders, I use both white and coloured, star or dot coloured stickers, lined paper [I use notebooks that I can rip out the pages to put into the files after my research sessions], additional archive boxes are useful to expand your storage as your research increases.
For all the research sessions I do, I use a carry case to hold all these bits and pieces, which keeps it all neat and tidy. A large wall size pedigree chart is great for seeing the overall picture or story of the family as it develops. A pedigree chart is available in my $1.00 offer [see the tab above]
2. Complete and file your family pedigree charts.
Once you have gathered your information it is time to print a complete set of all your pedigree charts. Starting with yourself and working back. Label one of the “green” suspension folders “Pedigree Charts” and place all of these charts in it. A good idea is to have a copy in each of the folders as they are established.
3. Put the 16 suspension folders in your Archive Box.
Place the 16 suspension folders into your main Archive Box. You may need more later on but these 16 are the basis in which you will need to start with all of your great grandparents. Have you found them all yet???
4. Label the coloured suspension folders with your family surnames.
Label each of the folders with the surname of each of your 8 great grandfathers, and the maiden names of your 8 great grandmothers. If you don’t know the surnames (last names or family names) of your great grandmothers, do as many as you can and try to contact family members who may know the names.
5. Put a highlighted copy of your 5-generation pedigree chart in each of the coloured folders.
Print 16 more copies of your 5-generation pedigree chart with you as 1 on the chart.
On one of the pedigree charts, highlight the names of all persons with the same last name using the colour assigned to that last name. File the highlighted pedigree chart in its last name hanging file folder.
Repeat the process of highlighting a last name line and filing the pedigree chart in its hanging folder for each of the 16 last names of your great-great grandparents. This may seem tedious, but you will appreciate how much easier it makes things later. Especially when you are first starting out. It makes it a bit easier to work out who belongs to who.
6. Set up a file for each family on your 5-generation pedigree chart.
Set up manila folders for each of the families by putting a coloured labels on the file tab. Match the label colour to the colour of each family group record. Be sure to use the sticky labels that you have. Sticky labels are great because if you have to change something, you just place a label over the existing one. They help keep things organised.
7. File the manila folders.
Place the manila family folders in suspension folders, matching the colour of the label on the manila family folder to the colour of the suspension folder. Colour coding everything makes things so much easier to find later.
8. Put these items in each family folder.
In a family folder place the family group record of the family, documents you have already gathered for that family, and any notes you have already taken on the family.
9. Set up other useful files.
Set up all the other files containing letters, photos, emails, birth certificates, etc. Anything that you can think of that may fit into its own category, make a file for it. It makes it much easier to locate later.
10. Expandable system as needed.
When one of your files gets too big to fit into your box, simply move it to another box. Take as many boxes as you need to get all the information you need. Having multiple organised boxes is much better than having it all in one box disorganised and in a mess, it makes it easier to locate items as you need to refer to them.
Following these easy steps will help keep you organised while creating your family tree. With such a big undertaking, organisation is important.
Family History Genealogy Research Material Filed in Archive Box
Family Historian, Genealogist & Certified Trainer, Fiona Tellesson helps both Beginners and Intermediate Researchers find that perfect blend of curiosity and research skills that are required to build their family history. Learn how to use both and watch how your heightened research ability can take your research to a whole new level. "My clients build solid family trees with their research in a timely manner, which saves time and money!"