Has anyone created files for researching their family. I have over a thousand people in my tree and may receive information on anyone one of them at a given time. It is really chaotic. I have files on the computer and in drawers. Does anyone have a good way to do this.
I just finished reading the book and have just started making my files and am overwhelmed by the amount of paper I have on these people.
11-15-2010, 08:33 AM
Has anyone created files for researching their family. I have over a thousand people in my tree and may receive information on anyone
Yes, I used the filing system from the book "Organizing Your Family History Search" by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. Basically each surname is a group and then there are detail folders for the various things for that group, Death Certificates, Birth Certificates, Family group data sheets, Marriage Certificates, Letters etc. If a single person gets a lot of data (old letters and so on) they get their own folder for those items. Key is the index system which I started on paper but have a plan to move over to computer that indicates what piece of data or supporting documentation is in which folder. All of that is in a section called Genealogy in my reference filing system.
I also have folder for stuff that needs entry, this is the Genealogy inbox of papers and notes. I enter the data from that folder into my Genealogy program (I am using Reunion on the Mac) and the file the paper item according to the above set of folders.
I am slowly doing several things related to this system. I am scanning everything I can so I have machine readable copies which is also a backup of the data. I am also starting to use DEVONThink to index the scanned copies and also replace my paper index sheets in the folders with details. Most recently I am considering making a Scrivener document with chapters for each surname to hold the various stories and other bits of info I have.
The method set out in the book really makes a lot of sense to me as it's designed to handle significant growth in surnames and individuals.
Another good set of books are the ones by Katherine Scott Sturdevant. She writes about how to bring the history together to write a family history book and also how to properly preserve paper documents for future generations. I have 2 of her books too.