Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Even More READERS' FEEDBACK: Jan and Feb Organization Checklists


I am new to the Genealogy Blog world, I have a ways to go before I catch up and hopefully can be a good blogger! I am learning! My blog: - it's a bit dry and new but I am hoping to gain more experience. I work full time and my daughter and two grandchildren live with me, my daughter goes to school at night (she is going for her teaching credentials). I think I get maybe five minutes, (sort of an exaggeration but not far from it!) a week to work on genealogy! I have anxiety attacks about it because I love it so much but not much I can do about it right now so I work and post on my blog as time permits.

About organizing: I have few questions DearMYRTLE, and I am more comfortable asking this way than posting, hope you don't mind. As I said before I have little time to work on things so my highest priority is to get organized. You are an Angel sent to me with the "Checklist" Dear Myrt and I am trying to follow it. Luckily I started with the binder system and love it so it won't be too hard to whip into shape. For me I work better if each ancestor or surname has it's own binder instead mixing them. My great grandmother is a "Jarboe", I have virtually zero paper on her so I am keeping her with the Ijames binder, is that going to work? I am a bit confused about how to handle a few papers and where to file them. I have only been going genealogy for about 1 1/2 years, but I have a ton of paper, I am a paper person and make a lot of notes so there are a lot of papers and I don't know where to file them.


Half siblings: My mother and father were never married so I have half brothers and my father seems to have been married several times --quite the lover I guess. I never had the opportunity to meet him but I am very close to my Aunt Ginnie, his sister and she has helped me immensely. We only met last April. My half brothers and their info I am guessing go under "Collateral Lines"?

An inherited book: A relative by marriage sent me a complete report (Ancestor/Descendant report) on my father's side all the way back to 1120! She has written several books, she sent me part of one of her books along with the report for the book that I want to put together for that line "Ijames/Eimes". How do I file that? I don't want to break it up but it is pretty detailed with family group sheets, stories, photos, you name it, she really helped me and I am a very blessed lady for having received it from her, she was very generous to share. She had been research the Ijames/Eimes (pronounced "Iams") family for over 30 years. I just don't know how to file it. I thought I should keep it together once I finish my book and just put it all in page protectors but I don't want it to be all over the place.

Other pages: Then I have written or printed lots of "information" type pages, like if I search for something and I would print it out i.e. digital photos and how to scan, or research guides etc., so I may be getting ahead of myself but as I make my to file pile, these papers are in there and I don't want to handle it twice. There's that the old saying, "only handle paper once" or something to that effect.

I love your check list Dear Myrt, and I want to follow it to a T. I know that once I get it handled it will save me time and stress which I have plenty of (lots of stress and little time). I cannot thank you enough for putting your checklist out again, I feel very blessed for being able to be a part of it. I love your blog Dear Myrt, a newbie like me will learn so much from you. I love Genealogy, it's an addiction and passion that I have come to love. I cannot imagine not doing it. I look forward to retirement and doing it as often and as much as I want and learning about my heritage and ancestors. I have taken enough of your time, you are busy, I appreciate your help. Thank you for you.

All your glowing compliments aside, Ol’ Myrt here is genuinely delighted to meet you and acknowledge your work in the genea-blog arena. Your blog’s stated goal is to “My place to Honor our Ancestors, Memories, History and our lives." The family lines you are researching include IJAMES/EIMES, TABELING, HAF, SAULE, JARBOE, WEBB, EWING”

In my library (I’m calling my computer room the library now!) I keep the other pages in file folders. These are the “how to do it” handouts for my study group members. When I remove a handout from the file to do a class, I can make photocopies. I place my original in a 3-ring binder just for that presentation. After the presentation, I return my handout to the folder, and if I have extra class handouts, I file them there as well. I have a huge lateral file drawer cabinet to handle this. Often I am able to use those handouts for another presentation, but sometimes they all have to be tossed, if the handout needs to be revised.

The inherited book should go right on the shelf with the appropriate surname 3-ring binder. Pick the major one and place it there. Ol’ Myrt here agrees that you cannot tear apart that book, but you might consider making a copy of a page here and there if it is important enough to include in another surname 3-ring binder. My father-in-law Joseph T. Smith compiled a personal history with information about his life, his parents, grandparents, in-laws and children in anecdotal format. I placed it on the shelf next to the Smith 3-ring binders, because it contains his personal recollections, even though it has some stories about his wife’s side of the family.

In the case of the half siblings, you can follow the format I used with my father's families. His first marriage was annulled. He married, had children and later divorced. Then he married my mother and had the three of us children. So when you open the 3-ring binder for my maiden name you’ll find:

  • Family group sheet (dad, mom and me, because I am the youngest in my direct line by that surname) followed by documents and photos.
  • Family group sheet (dad, his previous wife and kids) followed by documents and one photo.
  • Family group sheet (Dad, and his wife whose marriage was annulled.)

So DearGINI, in this case, I inserted smaller red divider tabs, hooked one on the page protector with each family group sheet, and labeled them as follows:

  • Glen - Marriage 3
  • Glen - Marriage 2
  • Glen - Marriage 1 (It is labeled annulled on the family group sheet.)

Glen is my father’s first name.

The next family group sheet is where my father appears as a child in his parent's home. See how the timeline progresses backwards in time and towards the back of the 3-ring binder with the family group sheets and accompanying documents? Makes sense, doesn't it, that the next family group sheet would be the one where my father's father is a little boy on HIS father's family group sheet?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.


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This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.