Sunday, January 31, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! 31 Jan - 6 Feb 2016

Well, this is the beginning of our second month as an OG. That's right. An Organized Genealogist. No giggling now! I'll bet if you look back you'll realize you are a lot farther along than you were last December.

Our friend Sandy of writes "I am moving to Legacy 8. I need to become more digital than I am. I keep only vitals or other important documents." Sounds like Sandy is moving away from the Coffee Table approach, and that's OK. For me, I've still got 99 44/100% of my descendants totally not interested in genealogy. They think I'm nuts, but that's OK. For me, the digital files for me parallel the 3-ring binders for my non-genealogist relatives. But like Sandy, I do keep those precious vital records, family bibles and such in archival quality storage.


In reply to Mary who posted via Facebook "I would like to laminate all my family genealogy papers and forth. Has anyone else done this?" there were a number of replies with a resounding NO. Mary Shapiro replied sweetly "An alternative to lamination is to put documents in paper or photo sleeves. If you use the three hole punched, you can store them in three ring binders. This way you can handle them without damaging them. Use archival acid free /photo non reactive protectors. It's usually listed on the package." 
Linda Brown Levin writes "I cannot say often enough how important it is that you not laminate!!! My daddy and his brothers were in a news article during WWII and daddy laminated it, thinking to preserve it. It is dying right before my very eyes and I can't get another copy. I cry every single time I look at this pitiful, pitiful news article. I use acid free photo protectors for news articles/obituary etc."

Linda Nielsen Lebeda via Facebook reports that "Gaylord has museum quality archival products including several options for newspapers. They are a bit pricey, but if your newspapers are precious it might be worth it. I haven't ordered yet, but have been looking at these. They also have boxes." Ol' Myrt here discovered Amazon has many Gaylord products at a better price, so keep that in mind.

Cindy Nekvasil Hester via Facebook shared this view of her bookshelf with nifty ancestral photo binder labels. Her work became so detailed, she could no longer fit four generations in one binder. Remember, Ol' Myrt here only requested you to work the first four generations on your surname (if a man) or maiden name (if a woman). And I've asked you to create a binder for your mother's maiden name, and one for yourself if you are a woman.

IMAGE: From the library of Cindy Nekvasil Hester.
 1. Commence working on your mother's maiden name binder as follows:
Label oversize tabbed 3-ring dividers as follows (without the text in parenthesis): 
For you male genealogists:  

  • 1st generation (youngest, where your mother is a little girl in the family with her parents)
  • 2nd generation (where your mother's father is a little boy)
  • 3rd generation (where your mother's grandfather in a little boy)
  • 4th generation (where your mother's great-grandfather is a little boy)
You want to think of your mother as the youngest direct line ancestor with that surname/maiden name.

For you female genealogists:
Dealing with the maiden name binder, your task is slightly different since you are the youngest direct line ancestor with that surname/maiden name, so:
  • 1st generation (youngest, where you are listed as a child with your parents)
  • 2nd generation (where your mother is a little girl in the family with her parents)
  • 3rd generation  (where your mother's father is a little boy)
  • 4th generation  (where your mother's grandfather in a little boy)
  2. Let's start talking what to do with collateral lines. Yes, those pesky siblings. 

IMAGE: From the author's personal collection.
This is a picture (left to right) of my brother Mike, my little sister Sharon, our mother, our father and me. So in my PLAYER family family 3-ring binder, I have the first family group sheet that lists our parents and the three of us as children.

How to handle brothers

Carefully, but I digress. Once my brother married, the family sheet in the Player Family binder is updated to reflect the marriage date and name of his bride. Mike also gained his own 1st-generation sibling tab and accompanying digital folder in my computer hard drive, as he is within that 1st generation of the Player Family. If he and his wife never have children, all marriage documents and photos are filed there.

Once Mike and his wife start having children, I break him out into his own Mike Player & descendants 3-ring binder. After all, I want his children to have a Coffee Table Book to read about themselves while I grab the Player Family binder aka Coffee Table Book so they can learn about our illustrious ancestors.

So from my generation to our children, descendants are listed in descendant family binders by generation. Mike's married children each have a tab in his binder that includes the family group sheets where each is a parent, and all accompanying marriage documents, birth certificates of children and photos are found, until they too begin having children.

How to handle sisters
Once women are married, they are known legally in the US and in my paper-oriented and digitally oriented filing systems by their married name. In the case of my sister, as soon as she married, the family sheet in the Player Family binder is updated to reflect the marriage date and name of groom. Then anything about my sister Sharon after the marriage, including her wedding portrait and marriage certificate will appear in a new surname binder bearing her husband's surname. Basically:

  • File everything on a daughter prior to marriage in her maiden name family binder and accompanying digital file folder.
  • File everything on that same woman after marriage in her spouse's surname family binder and accompanying digital file.
  • If a woman is widowed or divorced, and subsequently marries, file those post-marriage related items in the subsequent spouse's surname and marriage binder
  • But REMEMBER to update the original family sheets in each previous surname binder, so the new relationship is listed by date(s) and spouse(s) name(s).
  3. It's much easier to keep track of a brother or sister who marry and subsequently have children using your genealogy management program. 
I'm glad you've already chosen one. Be sure to get the siblings of your ancestors typed in, and create additional binders for the married women.

Is it necessary to have a gazillion 3-ring binders? No. You can combine multiple surnames in one binder. Then when one surname becomes to large, break it out into it's own. If the surname you are "breaking out" occurs in the middle of a bunch, then make three binders. This isn't likely to happen since we're only working the first four generations. I've got over 128 surname binders, and I'm downsizing. Here's the lineup of a few of Ol' Myrt's surname binders:

A (including Adkins, Ashbridge, etc.)
B (includes Bassett, Blount, Booth, etc.)
Daines Descendants (my sister's first married name)

Want to Hangout?
We will be discussing this week's checklist during our Mondays with Myrt hangout. Here's the link to register using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Now everyone can view and comment. With my new hangout interface, you only need a Google account if you want to appear as a filmstrip panelist.

Here's the link to the calendar of other upcoming DearMYRTLE genealogy hangouts:

Look for that in upcoming DearMYRTLE's Finally Get Organized! Checklists.


Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it's simple. If you value the work Ol' Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you'll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.

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