My Observed Benefits of Organizing Info by Event

Everyone that does genealogy research will have to eventually come up with an organization method for their papers. Even with digitization, original copies of documents will be with us for some time to come.

My research organization is by event, not by family. As previous posts show, I came to this solution after getting frustrated by the family group organization method. I have noticed some benefits of organizing info by event, digitizing them, and integrating them with my family history program.

The first benefit is having only one copy of my documentation on paper and one in digital form. I know that if I can get a better copy of a document, it is very easy to update. It also means I can easily link that document to multiple events in multiple people’s lives.

A great example of that is a census record. A typical census record can show the names of every member of the household, thus multiple people. A census record can also provide info on multiple events/data points. It provides their name, age, approximate birth years, married status, birth place, parents’ birthplaces, occupation, relation to family members, and place of residence on the date of the census.

A single census record can contain more than one family of interest. So, the number of people, events, and data points can be quite numerous on a single census record.

Another benefit of having data by event is the ability to use notebooks instead of family folders. I like notebooks because I can line them up on a shelf and find them without getting into drawers. While it is possible to do family groups in notebooks, it can become cumbersome with so much documentation, much of which is duplicated.

I know that if I need birth certificate #10, I go to the BIRTH binder, and go to the 10th page. Easy to find, and easy to organize.


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