See: FINALLY GET ORGANIZED: Feb 2009 checklist
A query has arisen from one of your English readers. I have been researching my family for about 4-5 years but have not organised my paperwork in this time. 2009 is going to be the year. I was querying how I should go about this on a Google site and your Organisation Checklist was suggested to me. Wow, I am hooked and have started to work through your suggestions.
My query is the difference in American/English terminology. You show binders in your Jan checklist and you say you don't use folders but notebooks. Here a notebook is a bound set of paper. Where do you fit the censuses, etc. ?
Thank-you for the request for clarification. I realize there are intriguing differences such as your use of the British English spelling of "organisation" and Ol' Myrt's Americanized English spelling "organization." However, I was not familiar with the British English usual and customary use of the term “notebook” to mean “a bound set of paper”.
I think the type of “notebook” you describe is called either a “composition book” or a “ruled notepad” here in the US; and they can have a hard or soft cover with either stitched or spiral binding.
A 3-ring binder is also called a notebook here in the US.
The 3-ring binders I’ve described are what will hold the three-hole punched page protectors to preserve photocopies of proof documents. Place the printed family group sheets, in chronological order from youngest to eldest direct ancestor (parent, grandparent, great-grandparent) for each particular surname. Copies of related documents (such as census, birth, marriage, death, photos, land, and military) are filed in chronological order following the related family group sheet.
Ol’ Myrt will train herself NOT to use the term “notebook” when I mean “3-ring binder”.
Thank you so much for the monthly Organization List. It's just what I needed. I spend lots of time looking for what I want in my various notebooks so am working at getting them organized as you suggest. A question I have is as follows:
For the surname [3-ring binders], I understand starting with myself, then my dad, his dad, etc with all the pertinent information.
Where I'm confused is, where do I put the female lines, i.e. my mother, my dad's mother, etc.
There will be two family groups sheets that list your mother as follows:
- Your mother as a wife and mother in your family
- Your mother as a little girl in her parent’s household
The first is filed under her married name, with all documents & photos relating to events in her adult life from the date of marriage.
The second is filed under her maiden name, as she is the youngest by that name in your direct line of ancestors. Included here are all pre-marriage documents and photos.
It is not necessary to have a separate 3-ring binder for each surname you’ve got on your family tree. Remember I have over 275 surnames, but only about 80 notebooks. (Ooops, Ol’ Myrt here should remember to say 3-ring binders.) I’ve been unpacking more, and haven’t quite counted them all lately.
Earlier this week I described my first binder on the shelf with the spine label "A-Cromwell". The next binder is for the "Daines" family. This means I don't have much on the first batch of surnames, and then I have quite a bit on the Daines family. There are other binders on my shelves that contain only part of the Goering family since it spills over to additional binders, hence "Goring 1", "Goering 2" and "Goering 3" are labels found on those binders.
Happy family tree climbing!
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This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com. Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.