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jesever wrote:

"I am curious about how everyone keeps things organized. Do you do everything on the computer, or do you print it out and loose leaf it or what?"


Over the years I've finally managed to put some organization to my genealogy records, but have lots still to do. My family is LDS so we have a lot of records to keep track of.

I DO have print outs of most of my records from Personal Ancestral file which I used to use. I find it is convenient at times to have the hard copies if nothing else than for people to browse through just to see what I have and often is easier and more interesting and convenient than looking at the same thing on a computer screen. I converted a few years go to Family Tree Maker and assume most of these printouts could be reproduced using the new software. In fact I'm sure with it's capabilities I'll probably come up with some other printouts I don't currently have. I'm overdue for updating these, especially with the new program. Thanks for the reminder.

I have several large 3 1/2" thick loose-leaf notebooks. One is titled "Genealogy Charts" and is index tabbed. The first section tabbed "Pedigree" starts with a printout of an Index of names which appear on my pedigree charts. This list comes in handy when you want to find an individual's place in your series of charts and includes some basic information such as birth and death years.

The index is immediately followed by a complete printout of all the pedigree charts beginning with my oldest child as individual #1. Each chart is placed in order by chart #.

The next section tabbed "Family" has additional individual tabs for each letter of the alphabet. This is where I have all my Family Group Records printed out and in alphabetical order by last name. I also include any accompanying notes with each chart. Each family is organized by most recent family and works backwards. In other words I have my Family Group Record, followed by my fathers, and then my grandfathers and then great-grandfather's all the way back to the last record for that particular line, again all in alphabetical order.

Another notebook contains all the personal histories written by family members. As I mentioned earlier, being LDS there are quite a few dating back to the 1800s.

Another notebook, more oriented to my own immediate family includes my personal history followed by copies of all those important official records, such as birth, marriage, death and other church certificates. Again being LDS I've given a fair number of talks in church and I've included copies of those with my children's in this notebook as well.

I'm currently working on copying all the more important and historical old letters I've received from family and friends over the years and organizing then in yet another notebook. The originals, along with the certificates mentioned earlier will then be stored away in boxes.

I have saved and collected a lot of records over the years and so have much to work with. I certainly think items of this nature are better organzied by copying and putting them into standard sized notebooks, which are easily stored in the home, and therefore accessible rather than put away somewhere in boxes out of sight and out of mind.

This covers the basics anyway and may give you a few ideas on which to build your own system that works best for your own needs. Hope it helps.

Should you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck and best regards,

Federal Way, Wa.
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