How do I keep my house history records organised?


27 August 2021
Make the most of your house history research with these top tips to help you create a solid system for organising your findings.

Your time is precious  and one of the best ways of making the most of it, is to keep organised. As with genealogy, house history research is much better undertaken with a solid system to keep your findings recorded well. Here are a few suggestions to help you do just this.

1. Find a system that works for you

You know this already: it doesn’t matter whether you use dedicated software or a good old-fashioned notebook; what does matter is that you make an intelligible and thorough record of the details you uncover.

At the House History Show, back in May, we asked members of the @HouseHistoryHr team for advice as to how they recorded their house history research. Both Melanie Backe-Hansen and Gill Blanchard favoured using a notebook, jotting down their findings as they go. So, if this is the option for you, you are in good company.

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Other people prefer to use a dedicated system, such as Chimni, for recording their research digitally, so that it is readily able to be publicised and shared out to social media.

2 Get organised... and stay organised

To ensure you’re keeping organised as you go:

  • Keep a note of all your sources (where and when you accessed the information, the url and archive references)
  • Sort by date – whether using a paperbased or digital record-keeping system, creating a timeline will help you easily see periods that you need to trace and help you identify records that might be available to help you for that period.
  • Set up a to-do (or to-do later) list – this is one of the best ways of keeping your research on track, as it provides a place for you to record other things you’d like to find out

Tips taken from an article on organising your house history in the October 2021 issue of Family Tree magazine. Get your copy today!