How do you keep your records in order??

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Helen G
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:19 am

How do you keep your records in order??

Postby Helen G » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:31 pm

As I have amassed more and more information, particulaly over the last year, my recording has got more unwieldy. Every year I set myself the same New Years resolution, find a better way of listing /categorising/recording all my info.

At the moment I have it all stored on computer using Family Tree Maker but I also keep paper copies of all the info I get from Ancestory as well as all the notes I make as I go from one records office to another. And, then there are all the certificates!

I am sure the advise would be useful too those just starting to develop this addiction so, I was wondering what other family history addicts to keep their records in order?

Oh and a belated Happy New Year to you all

Researching: Crow from Redditch/Studley 18/19/20C
Cross from Redditch 18/19/C
Smith from Cotswolds/Studley/ Redditch 18/19/20C
Woodyatt from Birmingham 19C
Porter from Birmingham 19/20C
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Location: Scotland

Postby MaryE » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:55 pm

Hello Helen

Happy New Year!

I wonder if anyone has the ideal answer to this question? Like you, I make resolutions but somehow, as the year goes on, things go back to the way they were.

Computer programs are all very well but I love to have paper copies as well. I started by having a different coloured folder for each of my grandparents' surnames - four altogether - and kept that colour as I moved backwards from each name, using a new folder for each new surname. Within it I keep things filed under headings such as births/baptisms, marriages, deaths/burials, census and so on. It's worked quite well as a means of keeping each type of record together then individual records work well on a computer.

What I find interesting is that some of my early paperwork is now an important document in the family history! For example, when my father and I found his paternal grandfather's marriage certificate (1842), we were delighted to see that his father's occupation was given as 'Gentleman'!! We hadn't come across such a thing before as everyone else seemed to be an ag lab or something equally lowly. I duly wrote out a copy of the certificate on a nice clean piece of A4 - long before the days of computers. Once it was done my father wrote delightedly in capital letters in the margin - 'ONE UP ON THE BENSONS!!' - the Bensons being my mother's maternal grandfather and a very long line of ag labs - often illegitimate ones at that. As you can imagine, with my father now dead, and even with the info transferred to computer there's no way I'd part with that bit of paper!

The 'gentleman', by the way, turned out to be a retired headmaster of a small school - a certain amount of exaggeration going on there, I suspect!

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Postby pauline » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:35 pm

I really need to get my stuff in order too, I have piles laying around. If someone contacts me with a question on genesreunited I have piles of stuff to go through! On the plus side, at least I do have piles of stuff now. I haven't done any genealogy stuff for ages now, not at all this year, and my aim this year is to draw up some trees and photo copy certificates and send copies to the relevant elderly relatives that helped me at the start. This will probably get my information in order at the same time!

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