Genealogy System – Organizing Your Family History Search

Finding A Genealogy System That Suits You!

Do you have a Genealogy System that works for you?

How do you organize all your records and information? Or should we be asking do you organize your genealogy records and information?!

Just days into a genealogy project and you can have more records and information than you know what to do with.

Not to worry, there are a number of tools and systems you can use to get organized.

How Do I Organize The Genealogy Information That I’ve Already Found?

Finding A Genealogy System That Works.

Whatever genealogy system you choose, the sooner you start to get organized, the better. The trick is to take good notes and to be comprehensive with your notes. Photocopies are also a wonderful help.

Genealogy System - Organizing Your Family History Search

#1 Create Files Or Folders By Surname

This is perhaps one of the most basic ways to stay organized is to simply create a file system and label each folder with the appropriate surname. It’s basic, but it works. Each file will not only contain your notes on what you’ve found and where, you can also photocopy pages, pictures and records to keep in the file. And if you have records that apply to more than one person, a simple solution is to make multiple photocopies. Just note on the back of each where other copies are located to stay organized and eliminate confusion.

#2 Organize By Family Line

This is perhaps a more complicated but complete way to organize information. Each family line gets a folder where all relevant information is contained. Because this can be a larger folder of information you may also want to subgroup information by type. For example, photographs can go in a sub folder, certificates can go in another folder and so on.

#3 Organize By Family

With this strategy, all documents, photos and information on a specific family are kept in one folder. However, as families grow, for example when a child marries and has a family of their own, that will require a different folder. This will mean duplicate documents, which should be accounted for to stay organized and prevent confusion.

#4 Organize By Event.

This is perhaps the least common way to organize information however; you can organize by birth, by death and so on. If you also organize this information chronologically, it will help you stay organized.

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Tools To Use To Organize Your Information

While it may sound as if all of the organization systems mentioned above require a file cabinet and a healthy supply of folders, that’s not necessarily the case. While you can use the standard file cabinet, you can also use a notebook or binder or a computer. Just be sure whatever system you use, you have backups. No system is foolproof and it would be a shame to lose al of your hard work to a computer crash or a ravenous dog.

Additionally, there are a number of software programs designed specifically for organization and for genealogy projects, to help you stay organized, to help you share information with others and even to prepare fancy reports, charts and family trees.

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