What is Genealogy
Tid Bits
Tips and Gotcha's
Top ten myths
Top ten reasons to do it
Just for Fun
Getting Started
An exercise using a pedigree
Paperwork organization
Preserving your records
Labeling your records
Maps and geography
Old style dates
Old style handwriting
Tombstone reading
Calculating relationships
Family reunions
PC Software
Genealogical Programs
Genealogical Numbering Systems
Family Group Sheet form
GEDCOM format
Descendancy report
Ahnentafel report
Recap and Statistics
The data pyramid
Source Documents
Record types
Vital and primary records
Manuscript archives
Censuses and the soundex
Actual examples
Where to Look
Where to do your research
Kansas City area research
U.S. GenWeb
Recent immigrants
Ellis Island
African American
Native American
Hispanic American
Recommended web sites
Certified professionals
Genealogical publishers/sellers
Recommended books
Publishing your family history
Forms to use
Dewey Decimal system
Homework assignment

Paperwork: Organizing and Retrieving

So, you’ve accumulated numerous letters, photocopies, certificates, photographs, notes, forms, etc. about your family. Congratulations. You are well on your way at this genealogy thing. However, you will often need to re-retrieve a particular document. You need a filing system tailored to the way you think and work. There are many ways to set this up. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Alphabetical by each person’s name
  • Chronological
  • Family Groups (e.g. all families per great grandparent) – generational within each surname
  • Record type (e.g. birth certificates, obituaries, census forms, church records, etc.)
  • Some code that is meaningful to you
  • Source Document name
  • Digitize/image everything with a pre-determined naming scheme and keep a separate index

When a given item has more than one person on it, depending on your filing system, you may need to make copies of the original and file each of the copies.

Resources to Help You Organize

  • Dollarhide, William, Managing a Genealogical Project, Updated Edition, 1991, Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, $18

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Copyright © 2004- by Larry Wilson, all rights reserved