Genealogy Friday: 2 Ways to Organize Paper Genealogy Files

posted in: Genealogy, Organization | 0
Overwhelmed by the genealogy documents you've collected?
Overwhelmed by the genealogy documents you’ve collected?



Last week we discussed how to organize digital genealogy files.

You can organize your paper files
You can organize your paper files

Today, I want to discuss how to organize paper genealogy files.

The two most common ways to organize the files are:

File folders—use file folders that are labelled by each nucleus family.  Each of these families have all of your paper documents in them.

Binders—a binder or notebook can keep track of all of your family files for each family.   Personally, I like to use sheet protectors for my pictures and documents.

Two other organizing tips are:

Scan all of your papers into your computer and keep them in files on the computer.

Color code each family so you can tell by color which family you are working with.

Binders are a great way to keep your research organized
Binders are a great way to keep your research organized


So what do I do?

I have paper and digital records of ALL of my records.

For my paper records, I have binders for each family.   I use dividers for each nucleus family and work from most recent ancestor back.   Some families are so large that I have anywhere from 2-4 binders for these families.  For instance on my largest family I have a binder for my great-grandparents and ALL of their children. I have a 2nd &   3rd  binder for each nucleus family of that surname past that family.  I have a 4th  binder for other surnames and places that are connected with the family.  In my minders I have a family group page, all pictures and all documents related to that family.  For me this is an easy and compact way to locate my information.

However, there is additional information that I either have duplicates of or need more documentation before I can insert it into my binders.  This information is in file folders that are labeled by family.

How do you organize your paper files when it comes to family history?

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