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  • Introduction to Genealogy

  • What Is Open Source Genealogy

  • The Importance of Open Source Genealogy

  • Family Tree Organizing Tips

  • 12 Essential Genealogy Supplies

  • Genealogy Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

  • How Far Back Can I Trace My Genealogy?

  • Using Cemetery Records in Genealogy Research

  • Genealogy Research Through Living Family Members

  • Tips for Managing Your Genealogy Archive

  • Resolving Conflicting Genealogy Records

  • DNA Testing and Genealogy Research
  • Family Tree Organizing Tips

    Everyone who studies their genealogy at one point or another seems to become overwhelmed by the stacks of notes, papers, articles and certificates that can clutter a desk in a hurry.  They also wish that early on in the process they could have come up with some sort of system for maintaining all of these records that would make sense and be easy to retrieve.  No one system will work for everyone but there are a couple of standardized pointers you can adapt to your own use.

    First of all, despite having a computer based or online system of information organization you’ll want a way to keep track of paper files.  Anticipate what you’ll need now with what you already know.  You obviously know your parent’s names and probably their parents.  Make file folders or binders labeled with their names, assigning each a different color or number.  In that binder put a printed off picture of a family tree and fill in the names you know so you can keep track of how people fit into the overall picture at a glance.  As you go back generations repeat this process and expand upon it.  All papers, articles or certificates that correspond to those people should go in these binders or folder.

    Secondly, on your computer you should then record a list of the family tree that tells you at a glance the location of those loose papers, kind of like a card catalog at a library. That way you’ll have a cross reference for pulling up and looking at papers when they need to be retrieved.

    Third, keep a master family tree diagram that displays not only the surname, but the corresponding color or number you’ve assigned to your folders or binders.  Now you’ll have a quick 3-way reference for all of that loose information.

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