Getting the family under control…

Do you have a handle on where every piece of paper is that belongs to your family?

After 40+ years of digging and delving into my ancestral line, my paperwork was in complete and utter disarray.  I have used a software program, RootsMagic for over 10 years and not even that was cleaned and cited correctly.  I was drowning in a sea of papers, not to mention a plethora of old photographs and memorabilia and I could weep at the 20+ years-worth of photographs and video clips that were neither catergorised or filed, just copied into numerous locations so that we eventually ended up with four copies of most things we owned.

Does this sound like you?

Twelve months ago, I made myself a promise, that I would not renew my Ancestry subscription until I had cleaned my RootsMagic database and my paperwork and memorabilia had been subjected to a radical overhaul.  I still don’t have that subscription, I make myself visit the local Archives and use their subscription purely and simply because it focuses me on simply getting the citations I need for the information I already hold.

How did I get in this mess?  Easy, I never did it properly in the first place.

Now, I have a super-duper new filing system where every generational family have their own file, it’s colour-coded and so simple to use.  It instantly highlights the important citable documents that I am missing, such as birth, marriage and death certificates and instantly provides me with copies of the census pertaining to the family’s residences.

Within the famiy files are separate pockets for each family member where I can add their certificates, if I have them, and easily keep all of my working papers for them together.  I could even extend the system to include an inventory of that person’s photographs or memorabilia if I decide to.

You can create a colour-coded filing system too in eight easy steps.

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Want a step-b-step video of how to do this, head over and watch the first Module of our Creating Your Legacy course for free.

What’s your biggest challenge in taming your family tree?  Let us know in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Getting the family under control…

  1. It could have been me who wrote that first paragraph. Right now I’m procrastinating about going into my office to try to make a dent in my filing my genealogy. I recently moved and there was a considerable amount of genealogy I had accumulated over the 20 years I lived in my former house and it was located in three different rooms. Now it is all in one room, all that’s left to do is sort it and file it in the files. Like you, I have set up color coded files and made individual manila folders for each generation which are filed within the correct colored files. One of my New Year’s resolution, is to spend 1 hour a day working on sorting, and 1 hour a day inputting and filing until I’ve finished getting organizing. Just writing this has got me motivated. I might even spend some time sorting today. Thanks for providing a little motivation!

    1. Awesome Kathy. So sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’ve been really quite ill the last few years and only just re-surfacing on this site. Great to know I’ve motivated you.

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