Binders and Folders

As intend to a digital storage system, so I have minimal binders and folders.  I am going to create a binder and a folder for each of my grandparents families and I will keep all information that has not been digitized in them.

Each grandparent will have their own color so I can easily grab the binder or folder I need.  I will have four for myself and four for my Husband. I will keep anything with a married name in the Grandfather notebook, but anything with a maiden name in the Grandmother notebook.   This could be a little overwhelming at first as I have accumulated so many pieces of paper and I am not sure what I have already digitized so I will be spending the next week or so trying to at least organize by surname so I can begin the arduous task of organizing it all.  I guess I will get some envelopes too to keep those wiley odd sized pieces of paper organized. So, I am off to Staples to find my supplies.  I hope they have enough different colors for me to create this system!

Workspace and Organization

Wouldn’t it be great if e all had a dedicated space to do our Genealogy?  Unfortunately, this isn’t possible for many, so it is important to figure out where you will work, and even more important, where and how you will store your work.  Just as not having enough space is an issue, having too much can also cause problems.  I have a dedicated room, and it has allowed me to be lax in putting things where they belong and I have ended up with an overwhelming amount of piles.  Not good!  Again, I need to learn the valuable lesson of consistency!  Put things where they belong, and be consistent with how you do it.  It will save so much time in the long run.  I have decided to create a binder/file folder system to get started.  I am going to create a binder and a file folder for each surname to start, and then as needed, I can expand the number of files and/or binders as needed.  I have decided not to keep hard copies once I have them digitized but will need file folders or binders for those original documents I want to keep.  I am going to put a label in each of them requesting they be donated to the local historical society should anything happen to me!

Naming Conventions

Consistent.  That is the most important concept with regard to naming conventions.  Make sure that you are consistent with names, abbreviations, dates, etc.  Always use the month spelled out in dates.  Using all numbers can be problematic, especially if you are doing Quaker research as their calendar was different prior to 1752.  It can be VERY confusing!!  .

What to do?

Just thinking about this project is overwhelming.  Where do I start?  There are so many questions related to how to organize my research that I just have no answer for.  Right now, all of my research is in Ancestry though I have thousands of pages of items that I found while researching at repositories that have not been uploaded.  I am hesitant to do that because it is a pain to have to download every doc individually from Ancestry when I want them.  I also have a problem with the high cost of Ancestry and think I do not want to incur this cost forever.  However, the ability to research is so easy with Ancestry, I am not sure I can live without it!  While Ancestry and Family Search (which is free) have a lot of the same docs, there have been a multitude of times that I have found docs on one and not the other.  So I think they are both equally important to use as tools.  Over time, more and more documents become available and it never ceases to amaze me that I can find more info on someone I thought to be finished with!  So for now, I will keep my Ancestry subscription and focus on getting my information into another vehicle for the future.

Genealogical Information Overload

I have been researching my family tree for over 25 years and have accrued thousands of documents and files.  I have spent so much time trying to figure out how to organize this mess over the years that I now have many, many organized piles, in many, many different organizational systems.  I attend conferences and seminars and get great ideas there.  I have a tendency to say “that’s great, I’ll do that,” and then it goes by the wayside with some information organized but the majority not.  I have files and piles galore.  I think it is time I commit and get organized.  This blog will document my journey.