Organization is very important when it comes to researching your family tree. Last week, I wrote about organizing the actual research…now I want to talk about organizing found and collective research in a more presentable manner.
Not like this... :)
When I first started doing my research, I kept all my research material in a notebook and then there was the question of –what do I do with everything, now that I’ve done some research?
I’ve researched many tools to this type of organization. I found one person on YouTube who actually used a filing system in an “old-fashioned” filing cabinet.
I like the idea of this- very organized and tidy, but I also like the idea of presentation. I take a lot of pride in my family research and I love to show it off. You can’t just pull out your filing system and show off paper-to-paper…that’s not fun and would take a long time.
I really love books and binders because presentation is beautiful if done right. I did two binders for both of my parents’ family trees:
Picture of One binder--- the other binder, I haven't photographed yet...
Each binder has family group sheets, pedigree charts, documents, census records, etc. At the beginning of each book, I start out explaining the origin of the surname. Then, I start with the earliest ancestor found and move on from there until it ends with me J
With this sort of organization, it’s easy to read, nobody actually touches the documents (because they’re protected with sheet protectors) and it’s easily stored on a bookshelf.
This type of organization is also important to have. If you only have a internet copy or computer copy of all of your family tree information, it could be dangerous- in a way that it might not be there one day. My fear of using only Ancestry.com is- what if ONE DAY the sites suddenly stops working and I never have access to my tree ever again? ALL of that research is LOST. I would be devastated! When you have a hard copy of all of your work- it’ll be there even if you have no electricity.