Genealogy organization – where do I begin again?

I spent the past two weeks catching up on all the end-of-the-year bookkeeping for my husband’s donut shop so that I could get back to focusing on my genealogy addiction.  I finished this morning and now my mind turns to the file boxes sitting in the corner of my office.  January is my month to organize and I need to get a better grip on my filing system.  I probably overdo it but my main goal in researching genealogy is finding the stories and story-lines get sketchy and confusing if I don’t have the information I need or if I can’t find (have mislaid) the record I need.  I am determined to actually do something with the research I have accumulated in the last 24 years.  So the first step is going through the files and making sure I have the records I need and that they are in the right place to be found and used.

Here is what I am working with:  I have four file boxes: One for my paternal line, one for my maternal line, one for my husband’s family (need 2), and one for notes, articles and reunion information.

My Genealogy Record File System

Then I have a box full of index cards.  Last year I started making a card for every individual in my tree with vital statistic information.  I never finished…

Index card box

Long ago I bought these two 9 generation charts.  They need some serious updating.  I like them because they are a visual form so that I can see where I am missing people and information.  But I don’t have wall space to leave them up so they got rolled up and put in the corner several years ago.

9 generation charts

I also have a three ring binder where I printed out a large family report several years ago from my tree (severely outdated), a heritage scrapbook I made two years ago (in which I have already found mistakes), and my and familytree maker files on my computer.  I feel like I am overdoing it on the organization but other than the 3 ring binder I don’t feel like I can give any of the others up.  I believe if I can get these resources organized it will make writing the stories so much easier.  But I am open to suggestions.   Maybe I don’t need the card file?  Maybe I don’t need the Familytree Maker program.  I don’t really get a lot of use out of the familytree maker program.  I was so excited when they finally came out with a MAC version but the first version, which I have, doesn’t sync so I have to re-add all the sources and those blasted flashing leaves are driving me crazy!

I also want to organize my bookmarks bar where I have all the genealogy sites I visit.  It has so many now it has become quite cumbersome and it takes so long to find the one I need that I often resort to just googling it again.

And I have this dream of having someone come and paint a large tree on my office wall (I am not artistic at all) so that I can hang my old family photos all over it.

So for all you genealogy addicts out there like me?  How do you organize your research?  What has worked well and what hasn’t?  How do you display your research or pictures?  Feedback would be so helpful!

Thanks, Rosanna


About Rosanna Ward

Rosanna is a devoted mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11 and 6 year old sons. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University: She grew up in Tulsa and has been homeschooling here for the past eleven years. Rosanna has loved family history for as long as she can remember and love genealogy for the stories of her ancestors.
This entry was posted in Organization, Website and Research Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Genealogy organization – where do I begin again?

  1. Hi, Rosanna, You might want to check out the lessons on organizing your files presented by Karen Clifford on this website


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