Family Files – One of Organizing Genealogy Information

Several years ago, I found that I had piles of papers that I needed to organize for my family research. I did some research and looked into the various ways to organize genealogy. One of the most popular ways is to create a folder for each married couple. That folder contains all the information for their family.

So, for my great-grandparents, Addison Baker and Phebe Lingar, I would have a single file for them and their children. I would include their marriage certificate and any legal files generated after they married. I would include the birth certificates and records for their children. Census records for the family would also go into the folder. The last things into this folder would be the death certificates for Addison and Phebe.

That makes sense for organization purposes. However, it creates some problems as far as where to put records.

First, where do the birth certificates for Addison and Phebe go? Should they be in this file folder or should they be in the file for their family of origin. Addison is the son of Robert and Rose (Frederick) Baker. Phebe is the daughter of James Harvey  and Elizabeth (Luster) Lingar. The birth records for Addison show his information, but relate to him being a child of Robert and Rose. The same goes for Phebe’s records.

Some people make copies of the records and place duplicates into the couple folder and their family of origin folder. That is one way to do it. If you are living in a paper world, however, that means you are adding more paper to your organization challenge.

Another question: What to do with the birth records for Addison and Phebe’s eight children? Two of their children died young. Those children’s information can remain in the couple’s folder. However, their other six children married and three of them had children. So, where does their information belong? Again, many people make duplicates of records.

Census records also present a challenge. A census sheet shows a list of people grouped by household. Multiple households show up on a census record. If you are looking at a sheet that lists multiple families related to you, then what do you do with the census record? Again, duplication is one answer.

When I got to the point I was duplicating most of the records I had, I though this was a nightmare. I went searching for a new solution. And I found it.



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