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Research stuff - how do you store it?

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Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby Norfolk Nan » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:00 pm

If I've asked this before please ignore me. Put it down to age. But, how do you keep your research and family tree information 'straight'?

I started back in the 1980s when it was paper only so I have a paper archive. I try to keep a file for each family name but have gone into files for areas/villages/counties too - you can't help being interested in the place where it all happened, can you.

But I also have online trees (Family Tree Maker and Ancestry) as well as files on my computer. And then there's the mountain of paper that has notes and ideas and mixed up thoughts that relate to more than one family because mine seem to populate an area with several different families and its too easy to go off on a tangent.

Is it just me or are you all really well organised and never go off the beaten track? Do you manage to stay on the trail of just one person until you hit that brick wall or do you wander, like me? How do you cope? Lol!
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby junkers » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:15 pm

I keep my records on paper and include some online, in my view paper is going to outlive online. I do have trouble staying on one family line, as I get distracted by other interesting lines that are connected. In my view if you trace just one person's line until you reach a brick wall then you are going to take a long time to find out the rest. Having said that when 'new' online records become available it is always worth rechecking individuals in case some thing new comes up.
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby Norfolk Nan » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:38 pm

Well, it's my experience that you never really finish with a person or a line or a place, there's always new stuff that comes to light. I'm with you about paper - I like to have something physical to deal with, perhaps it's an age thing. I know paper can get lost but I've lost more stuff on computers than I have in plastic folders. Storing it so that everything is easily accessible is my nightmare. I've yet to come up with the perfect system. Has anyone?
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby Guy » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:03 pm

As a person involved with digitising family history records I of course keep my records on my computer at home, then I print out everything so I have a physical copy as well.

It doesn't matter to me whether the original I got was in paper (physical) format (such as my grandfather printed A0 sized pedigree sheets, including his working copies with pencilled in assumptions and deletions or digital pdf copies of birth & deaths, I store both a paper copy and a digital copy.
Actually I lie, I have three copies of my digital records (under my control) two here at home on separate hard drives and one remote copy. I also have online copies of my research, though the online copies do not contain all the information I have collected over the past 60 odd years.
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby Norfolk Nan » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:34 pm

Guy, that sounds like you've a) got a lot of paper and b) that you're carrying on your grandfather's research? Is that the case? That's real family history. So, the question is: how do you manage the paper? Is it all filed under family name, individual name or document type? Or something even better?
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby meekhcs » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:15 pm

Dear Norfolk Nan
You obviously haven't met me!!! You are not alone by any means.
However you go about trying to solve this it will take time.
I only started researching in 2006, after my parents had passed , when I realised I knew little about my Family.
I used paper, and everything was ordered
In 2016 I had a serious illness and my husband bought me a laptop to help me as I was bedbound and chairbound for periods. Disaster. I started a tree on Ancestry and ended up in a muddle between the two.
Decide between paper, Ancestry and Family History and stick to it .I am with Junkers and believe paper is the way to go, but it depends what you want to achieve.
Three years on and I am still sorting out the mess.
I have left my tree on Ancestry but started again on paper with just our direct lines.
So far I have eight files to spread the load. One each for my husbands Father and Mother, and then 1 for each of his Grandmothers lines, and the same for my Family.
I am making sure that every entry is sourced with an index at the end of the file to contain sources.
Eventually I want to produce books for my grandchildren especially as two of them were born and live abroad.
My master copies will be given to record offices/libraries according to where families lived, to aid future researchers.
I am not very technically minded and I like to be in control. Paper research produces an enormous amount of paper but starting as I have I would look to break down into logical files as I rebuild.
For instance you could have a Photograph File for each direct line and a villages File for each line.
Its up to you. At the end of the day its what works best for you.

So after all this waffle decide on the method you prefer, make a plan and stick to it!!

Best of luck sally
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby Norfolk Nan » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:22 am

Hi Sally - hope you are fully recovered!

The key word in all that is 'control'. I have far too much paper because I have several really annoying brickwalls that produce a lot of 'just in case' info (or is that only me?). I've gone back 12 generations and have information that really isn't significant but you never know...I've discovered obscure links between generations and across different families that have lived in the same rough area that would never have come to light if I'd stuck to the straight and narrow. Add to that I love local history so when I hit something fascinating I just have to dig about and that produces more info that needs to be stored. And so it goes on... I know I'm not alone and its a bit of a relief to know that!!! I prefer paper - stuff put onto the computer in folders just gets overlooked! I found a lovely bit of info yesterday, I've had it stored away for about ten years without taking a blind bit of notice. Sorry for the waffling but it's good to share :lol:
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby meekhcs » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:03 pm

Like you I had loads of notes on paper so now I have an A4 book for each direct line and have entered the notes in them. it was very rewarding as I dispensed with loads of paper!! I numbered the pages and allocated a page to a person. I write the note under the primary person it refers to and then if it refers to other people in the line I just add their names and dates and page numbers to remind me it refers to them too.
The page numbers are also useful to cross ref between the different lines without rewriting the note in different books.
It only took 2-3 days to transcribe them all.

Sally


Sent from my iPhone using Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Forum mobile app
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby meekhcs » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:57 pm

Christine
I have replied to your pm.
I have had a lot of touble with pm's in the past few weeks, maybe because my laptop is old and runs windows 7,but equally they don't seem to work on my iphone either.
If you don't recieve maybe we exchange email addresses if you are happy to.
Here's hoping
sally
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Re: Research stuff - how do you store it?

Postby Guy » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:10 pm

Norfolk Nan wrote:Guy, that sounds like you've a) got a lot of paper and b) that you're carrying on your grandfather's research? Is that the case? That's real family history. So, the question is: how do you manage the paper? Is it all filed under family name, individual name or document type? Or something even better?


In brief it is organised chaos.

Prior to personal computers I used a complex system of filing which was based on family groups, and colour coded by century back to the mid 14th century. These family group files are arranged on shelves depending on county and in a few cases country. The collection plus books, microfiche/films, maps, family trees etc., takes up three rooms in two separate houses.

One thing that might surprise modern researchers is most of my early research was by way of transcribing records rather than purchasing certificates etc., it used to be possible (until 1974/5) to visit a Superintendent Registrar and search the relevant register then make a copy of the entry, Baptisms, marriages and burials were searched and transcribed in the same manner
In a similar way census were also transcribed as there was no way of getting print-outs of the microfilms.

Apart from inherited family certs my certificate collection did not really expand until the late 70s and were stored in separate files for births, marriages and deaths cross-referenced to their family grouping.

Computers and more recently the internet have made life a lot easier and my paper files now contain the computer person number.

The system has developed over the years and if I was going to start today the computer database would for the backbone of the index.

Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
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