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Author: degenerateelite Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 796  
Subject: Re: Comparison: genealogy.com v. ancestry.com Date: 7/21/2003 9:36 PM
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Excellent report, thank you very much.

What kind of a genealogy program or method of logging your ancestors into some kind of order do you use?


I use the LDS Church's Personal Ancestral File (PAF). The current version is 5.x. It's available for download for free via www.familysearch.org

If you're not LDS you can modify the template so the LDS ordinance info does not appear. After that, I've found it's a pretty workable database, and that it's got good report-writing capabilities. It can save to GEDCOM and has a nice GUI. I've not tried to make a webpage with it, much. I gave it a go, and it looks like it can spawn a simple one. I've saved multimedia (i.e., scanned birth certificates), and like the slideshow and multimedia options.

As for describing my organization, I'll give it a try. Basically, I have a file cabinet dedicated to storage of genealogical records. I have a hanging folder for each generation (for some of the further back generations (about generations 6 and back), I have more than one hanging folder, as there is just too many lines in each generation to cram into the hanging folder. This problem becomes exponentially worse each generation back.

Ok, so each hanging folder contains a folder for each line. So, for my generation (G1, if you will), there is a single folder. For G2, there are 2 folders, for G3, 4 folders, G4 8, &c. All folders have a two-hole fastener on each side, and all my docs are two-hole punched through the top. Within each hanging folder, the folders containing all the detail are arranged beginning with the fathers fathers family, then the fathers mothers family, then the mothers fathers family, then the mothers mothers family, &c (i.e., standard layout of folders in each generation).

The content and organization of each folder is standardized. On the left side is the information on the couple, husbands info first, a divider, then the wifes info, sorted chronologically from birth. On the right side is the same information, with the same sorting procedure, on all their children, EXCEPT, my linear ancestor. The linear ancestor gets their own folder a generation downstream from his/her parents.

For example, going back a few generations to G5 (5th hanging folder, representing 5 generations from myself), I have a folder dedicated to my gggfather, Henry H. LANDIS, & his wife, along with the info I have on their children, except my linear ancestor. I have Henry's information sorted, a divider, and then his wifes info on the left of a folder. On the right, I have the info on 9 of their 10 children (and their spouses/families, but since I'm not looking to follow these branches, there's generally not much beyond basic spouse info). Where there are numerous children or copious records, I just use multiple folders and lable them 1 of x). The tenth child, one John A. LANDIS, is not in this folder with his family. He is my ggfather (linear ancestor), and he has a separate folder in my G4 (4 generations from myself) hanging folder. If you go back a generation from Henry (to G6, or 6 generations back from me), you'll find that my ggggfather is listed with his family, ex-my gggfather, who is listed separately in G5, and so on.

The principle advantage I have is being able to trace my linear ancestors back, from one folder to the next, and to see entire families together. I can also say, hey, lets see the info on my fathers mothers fathers fathers mothers father, and, once I've identified that couple in PAF, I can go to the appropriate generation (hanging folder), and pull a single folder with all that info together.

I'd considered alphabetization, but I couldn't make it work/get the functionality I liked, so I have this system and it suits me well. If you're interested in more detail, or if I didn't explain something very well, please let me know and I'll try to clarify. It's hard to describe, but I find quite simple to implement and use. Like I said, let me know if I can provide more details.
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