Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System - free webinar by Mary Hill now online for limited time

LogowhiteNeed help getting your genealogy papers and documents organized? Today's webinar by Mary Hill has been described as "A Life-saver" and "the best webinar ever" by a couple of today's viewers. The recording of "Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System," by Mary Hill is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. A few comments from our viewers:

  • Piles everywhere! A mess to deal with. I feel like the cartoon figure Mary showed in her presentation...buried. Thanks Mary for sharing a system I can use to get rid of messy piles. Thanks too, for your quality articulate presentation. Great speaker, Geoff. Have her back soon! 
  • This "how to" webinar was most instructive - why invent the wheel when there is something "tried and true".  Thanks.
  • Absolutely wonderful! I feel empowered to get organized with my genealogical research. I also see how this can be of a use for other types of research. I'm thrilled! One of the best webinars I've attended!

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 30 minute recording of "Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System" is now available to view in our webinar archives for free for a limited time. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com to watch. Its 5 pages of handouts are also available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers.

Special Discount Coupon

The special discount coupon of color that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything at both www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com and www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com through Monday, April 14, 2014.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 233 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 617 pages)
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Estate Records - More Than Just Wills by Linda Woodward Geiger. April 11.
  • Genealogy Evidence and Online Family Trees by Karen Clifford. April 16.
  • The Homestead Act of 1862 by Thomas MacEntee. April 23.
  • Google Glass and Family History by Devin Ashby. April 30.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. May 2.
  • 50 Year View - What I've Learned Climbing My Family Tree by Tom Kemp. May 7.
  • Photo Apps for Android, iPhones or iPads by Maureen Taylor. May 14.
  • I Had My DNA Tested - Now What? by Ugo Perego. May 21.
  • Using Tax Lists to Solve Genealogical Problems by Linda Woodward Geiger. May 28.
  • 10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Narrative by Lisa Alzo. June 13.
  • Copyright Mythconceptions by Judy Russell. June 18.
  • Documenting Native American Families in 19th and 20th Century Records by Angela Walton-Raji. June 25.
  • Thinking About Becoming a Board-certified Genealogist? by Elissa Scalise Powell. July 9.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. July 11.
  • When Freedom Came - Documenting the Family's Freedom Story by Angela Walton-Raji. July 16.
  • Researching Your Illinois Ancestors by Thomas MacEntee. July 23.
  • Researching Your Tennessee Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. August 6.
  • Research Recharge - Turning Old Clues into New Leads by Lisa Alzo. August 8.
  • Find A Grave - The World's Largest Cemetery Database by Russ Worthington. August 20.
  • Researching Your Italian Ancestors by Ruth Merriman. August 27.
  • Researching Your Jewish Ancestors by Jennifer Alford. September 3.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. September 5.
  • Success with Manuscript Sources by Barbara Renick. September 10.
  • A Library at Your Fingertips - the Internet Archive by Maureen Taylor. September 24.
  • The Fair Court: Records of Chancery Courts by Judy Russell. October 1.
  • Overcoming Destroyed or Missing Records by Karen Clifford. October 3.
  • Welcome to FamilySearch Indexing! by Devin Ashby. October 8.
  • Researching Your War of 1812 Ancestor by Thomas MacEntee. October 15.
  • Tracking Migration Using the Draper Manuscripts by Mary Hill. October 22.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. November 14.
  • Using Evernote for Genealogy by Lisa Louise Cooke. November 19.
  • Family History for Kids by Devin Ashby. December 3.
  • Look Ma, No Hands! Using Dragon Naturally Speaking for Your Genealogy by Ivan Baugh. December 5.
  • Researching Your North Carolina Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. December 10.
  • Bagging a Live One - Connecting with Cousins You Never Knew You Had by Mary Kircher Roddy. December 17.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2014 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Register for Webinar Wednesday - Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System by Mary Hill

LogowhiteFor on-going research success, a person must have a simple system to organize genealogy records. FamilyRoots Organizer is a proven system - easy to understand, simple to set up, and simple to use. Based on four colors for your four grandparent lines, coordinate your paper files with your Legacy database as you build your family tree.

Join us for the live webinar Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for free indefinitely. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter 

HillMary100Mary E.V. Hill, MLS, AG ® (Southern States and Eastern States); worked as reference librarian at BYU from 1989-1992, as genealogy instructor at BYU from 1992-1995, as Family History Library US/Canada Reference consultant from 1995-2006. She served on the UGA Board of Directors from 2006-2008 and as an LDS missionary at the Family History Library from 2006-2008. She is the author of Saga of a Southern Loyalist: William Riddle of Virginia and North Carolina, and Angel Children. She is a lecturer with emphasis on U.S. research methods and genealogical organization. Mary is a mother and grandmother.

Watch Mary's previous webinars here:

  • Using Church Records to Identify Ancestors
  • Colonial Immigrants: Who They Were and Where They Came From
  • Land Records Solve Research Problems
  • The Big 4 U.S. Record Sources
  • Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records
  • FamilyRoots Organizer System (now oudated)

Register for Mary's upcoming webinars here:

  • Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System
  • Tracking Migration Using the Draper Manuscripts

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific
  • 6pm GMT

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Advice for other genealogy hoarders and tips to get organized

Hi. My name is Geoff Rasmussen. And I am a genealogy hoarder.

That was hard to write....I finally gave in to my wife and agreed to go through some of my boxes.

IMG_0546Under the table to the right of my desk was an open-lid box that had sat there since we moved into this home nearly eight years ago. When she asked what was in it, I started to tell her, but then realized that I had no answer. But it was there for a reason, I was sure of it!

In the box were items of obvious historical nature - dozens of genealogy conference name tags I had saved, receipts (which of course documented where I was on a certain date - great for my personal timeline, right?), and a collection of Civil War pension files I had obtained in my early years of genealogy research. And I hate to admit it, but am proud to say that several months ago I agreed to shred my last 10 years of telephone and utility bills. As a genealogist I felt these would easily document where I was living, and little about my living conditions. Certainly my future descendants would care. I did scan a couple of them though.

Emptying the box was not as difficult as I thought it would be though because of the nature of my personal genealogy filing system. I would show you a picture of my bookshelves with the dozens of binders but they are now in boxes as we are preparing to move to another state (I finally agreed it's just too hot here in Phoenix. Don't worry, I'll still be with Legacy!). Each of the documents in the box belonged to a different ancestor, and because my filing system allows me to file or retrieve anything in a matter of seconds, it was not long before I had emptied the box. I felt better and so did my wife. I'm actually anxious to go through the next one now.

One thing I have always believed in is that it is difficult to know what you know about your genealogy unless it is organized. While I do have a few stray boxes, I can say most of my genealogy is fairly organized. I can locate nearly any document (or digital image for that matter) in under a minute. Most of my documents have also been digitized and because of my digital filing system I can locate the images pretty quickly too.

If you have a good system that works for you (and for the person who takes over your system someday) then stick with it. If not, below are a few resources.

Webinar CDs

Articles from our blog

Tune in to Friday's webinar

This Friday I will be presenting Researching with Geoff - Live! as a free webinar. Although I don't know the final destination that the impromtu style will take us, I am certain that I will demonstrate how to scan a document, explain where to organize it in my digital filing system, talk about the organization of my master source list, use my To Do List to organize my research, and more. While I am sure my personal system doesn't work for every genealogist, maybe there will be an idea or two that you can take with you. Register at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/276171942.


FamilyRoots Organizer System by Mary Hill - free webinar now online

HillMary100"At last a filing system that is easy and fun to use - best system I've come across for my way of doing things" is how one viewer described today's webinar on getting organized by Mary Hill. Not only did she excel in teaching us how to get organized, but she was a delight to listen to. You could actually "hear" her smiling as she spoke to us.

View the recording

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 31 minute recording of FamilyRoots Organizer System is now available to view in our webinar archives. Visit www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp to watch. It is available for free until November 14, 2011.

2011-11-04-webcdPre-order the webinar-on-CD

Own your own copy of FamilyRoots Organizer System by purchasing the webinar-on-CD for just $9.95. It includes the 1 hour 31 minute recording of the class, the complete Q/A session, and 4 pages of handouts. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Special discount coupon

The special discount coupon of familyroots that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything in our online store through Monday, November 7, 2011.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • It Is Well With My Soul: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble of Disaster and Misfortune with Thomas MacEntee, November 9.
  • Creating a Shareable CD with Legacy and Passage Express software with Jefferson Shupe, November 16.
  • Celebrate the Holidays and Share Family History with Heritage Collector software with Kathleen Bitter, November 18.
  • A Closer Look at Google+ with Dan Lynch, November 30.
  • Tracing Immigrant Ancestors with Lisa Alzo, December 7.
  • "Is My Pet Frog Part of My Family?" Children and Genealogy in the Classroom with Maureen Taylor, December 14.
  • Pilgrims and Patriots: Discovering Your Massachusetts Ancestors with Marian Pierre-Louis, January 18.

Click here to register.

See you online!


Free webinar now online - Organizing for Success by Karen Clifford

Karenpic-100 Yesterday's webinar, Organizing for Success, presented by Karen Clifford, is now available in our webinar archives. In addition to Karen's ideas on organizing your paper files, she also had lots of research and analysis tips. One attendee commented, "Absolutely fascinating! Wish Karen had been my professor in college. Loved the way she systematically explained the information."

View the recording

If you could not make it to the live event, the 1 hour 58 minute recording of Organizing for Success is now available to view in our webinar archives. Visit www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp to watch. It will be available there indefinitely.

Congrats to the door prize winners

Thanks to Karen and her research company, Genealogy Research Associates, for donating these wonderful door prizes:

Pre-order the webinar-on-CD

2011-08-03-organization-web Own your own copy of Organizing for Success by purchasing the webinar-on-CD for just $9.95. It includes the recording of the class and the complete Q/A session. 1 hour 58 minutes. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Special discount coupon

The special discount coupon of organize that was announced during the webinar is valid for 10% off anything in our online store through Monday, August 8, 2011.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Newspapers for Genealogists with Tom Kemp - Wednesday, August 17, 2011
  • Best Internet Resources for African American Genealogy with Angela Walton-Raji - Wednesday, August 31, 2011
  • Watch Geoff Live: Adding a Census Record - Wednesday, September 7, 2011
  • Facebook for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee - Wednesday, September 14, 2011
  • Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors with Marian Pierre-Louis - Wednesday, September 21, 2011
  • "Ah hold your whisht and tell me the true story": Uncovering your Irish Family History with Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman

Click here to register.


Register for our free webinar - Organization for Success by Karen Clifford

Karenpic-100 If your idea of being organized is "the living room floor" then we "kindly" invite you to register for our free webinar presented by Karen Clifford, Organization for Success scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 2011.

Webinar Description

Have you ever found a relative sharing erroneous data on your favorite research line? You're willing to take the time to politely point out those errors (to prevent others from being misled), but the complexity of how to explain your years of research settles upon your brain like a fog. You rally to the attempt, only to be thwarted by an inability to quickly locate the key supporting documents. After hours of effort, a numbing paralysis sets in at the realization that in order to adequately explain your conclusions, you will need to reconstruct your research process. The result - thousands of individual family relationships that could be explained just STOP, or end up in heaps of unsubstantiated opinion files on the Internet. People have asked me over the years, how I can research hundreds of families in the same week, return to a specific spot where I left off fifteen years ago on a client's line, and in a short review period take off again. The best way to prevent a wasteful repetition of work is by consistently using an organizational system that weaves together paper files, research notes, to do lists, evidence located, and conclusions reached. This incredibly simple, yet very successful organizational system has been successfully used by thousands of genealogists. With this system, the essential evidence and its supportive explanations are located in a safe retrievable place, available for constant re-examination. This frees the mind to focus on a new hypothesis, to creatively compile a life-time of work, or to calmly summarize your work for others. In fact, this organizational system makes the entire research process more efficient.

The live webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 2011, so register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited.

Registerbut

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our brand new Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

About the presenter

Karen Clifford develops and teaches multiple online genealogy courses at colleges in California (www.mpc.edu) and Utah (www.slcc.edu). She is an Accredited Genealogist®  Professional and a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. She has been President/CEO of Genealogy Research Associates (www.GRAonline.com) (a California corporation with offices in Utah) since 1997. Her years of professional research work lead to authoring college textbooks and do-it-yourself guidebooks covering both traditional and electronic genealogy research including books published by Ancestry (Becoming an Accredited Genealogist), the Genealogical Publishing Company (The Complete Beginners Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program, updated 2011), and Genealogy Research Associates (Digging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records, 2011). She was the founding President of the Monterey County Genealogy Society, a Director of the Monterey California Family History Center, a President of the Utah Genealogical Association, a Vice President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and a Vice Chair of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist (ICAPGen) where she continues to oversee Test Development and Test Quality Control.

The ICAPGenSM service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and AG® are registered marks of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. All Rights Reserved.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific/Arizona
  • 6pm GMT

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/webinars.asp today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email during the week prior to the webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  6. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Organizing Your Paper Files - Color-Coding (4th approach)

You've probably learned that unless your paper files are in order, further genealogy research can be frustrating. You've also probably tried dozens of different organizational systems. Not every system works for everyone, which is why we have been publishing different methods via Legacy News.

Mary Hill developed a color-coding system for organization which has become very popular, and it works directly with Legacy's color-coding system. Her system is explained here.

To print pedigree, family group, and other reports using the color-coding system, follow these simple steps:

  1. With Legacy open, click on the Options menu, then click Customize.
  2. Click on the View tab. In the Ancestor Color Coding section, turn on the option.
  3. Click Save.
  4. In the Family View, navigate to yourself.
  5. Click on Tools, then Apply Ancestor Colors.

The color coding is now set and visible in the Family View.

To print a color-coded pedigree chart, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Reports icon in the main toolbar. Click on the Pedigree tab.
  2. Click on the Color Text and Boxes button.
  3. Check the 4th option of 4 Line Colors. Save.
  4. Preview or Print.

Colorpedigree

Not only do these color-coded charts look great, but they compliment the color-coded organizational system.

Other organizational systems

Click here to review the other organizational systems we have published.


Organizing Your Paper Files - a Third Approach

Unless your genealogy papers are organized, your research really cannot progress effectively. One of our Legacy users, Connie Spindel, agreed to share her organizational system with us. She calls it her E-Z File System:

My E-Z File System

I have tried 100's (or so it seems) filing systems over the years, and have finally narrowed it down to a very simple and efficient system. It is important to keep it as simple as you can so you will 'stick with it' and as efficient as you can so it will work for you instead of you working for your filing system! I use Legacy software which allows me to include a 'file number of my choosing' for every source. I'm not sure about other software, but think likely most all have this feature....

I have several 2" binders labeled Birth, Death, Marriage, Census, Obit, Photo, Probate, Will, etc.

When I receive a document I follow these steps...

  1. Transcribe the contents of the document into my 'source text'
  2. Add all pertinent source info, repository etc.
  3. Scan the document and add image to my data source file
  4. Give the source document its own unique source number (more of this below)
  5. Cite the source to my database to all appropriate areas.
  6. File my document in the appreciate binder.

Legacy automatically keeps track of my source document file #'s and makes it easy for me to just increase the # to the next in sequence, but this is actually very easy to keep track of even without this included feature of Legacy.

As an example, for the first birth certificate the file # would be 'Birth 1" the next would be 'Birth 2" and so on, and they would both go in the 'Birth' binder in sequence, same routine for Death, Marriage etc. Each getting the next higher available filing # and put into the appropriate binder.

This system provides a quick and easy way to file all documents and no need to make duplicate copies when more than one family is represented in the document (marriage, census etc.) as is necessary in surname or family group files. It doesn't matter if you have a marriage certificate from 1866 or 1966, they are just filed in sequence of when you received them. This eliminates LOTS of headaches!

As a side note: I do make copies of the document (either I print from the scan or from my copy machine) and keep in a BIG binder on my desk, which has dividers for all of the different file types. This binder is what I use to make copies of the documents for other researchers (or send the scans by e-mail) and for quick and easy reference while I'm working, and allows me to keep the original documents in the fire-proof safe (where they are hopefully well-protected).

When I need to prepare a report (for family or fellow researcher) all I have to do is open my genealogy (Legacy) program, see what files are sourced to that individual and write down the file #'s (or easily print out a source report if many individuals will be in the report), pull the document copies from my 'desk binder' and viola' there are ALL of my source documents ready to include in a report and mail away.... (If by e-mail I just include the document scans, filed on my computer the same way as listed above). * Legacy will also include source pictures within the report, but I find many people prefer them to be separate from the reports which makes them easier for them to save to their files.

You might have noticed, above I listed a binder called 'Photos'.... I use it in very much the same way, but add one more little step.... I open the scanned photo in my photo program (I use Adobe Photo Elements) and simply add information (via 'File Info') of those shown in the photo, date photo was taken (or best estimate), who or where the photo came from (my album, fellow researcher, publication etc). This enables the photo to contain all info within the file, yet does not require you to change the photo itself (as in adding text directly to the photo). The info can be printed with the photo as a 'Caption' via 'Printer Options' with most printers if desired. In addition, when adding the photo to Legacy this data is automatically added to the note field :-)... a real timesaver! (Note: Info is NOT added if linking through the Picture Center in Legacy; only if photo is directly linked to person, source etc. Maybe someday Legacy will add this function in Picture Center, but can't say for sure).

One other 'Biggie' I wanted to mention is to ALWAYS use archival quality sleeves (available at your office supply store in boxes of 100 and more, and really cheap on sale :-) for all of your original source documents... even the copy machine copies sent to you by fellow researchers, after all they are 'your' originals and are in need of safekeeping!

More organizational tips

Thanks Connie for sharing your system. Please direct any questions to her. We have also published other systems here. Some good advice - once you have a system that works well for you, stick with it. There's probably not a perfect system for everyone.


Organizing Your Paper Files - Second Lesson

It doesn't take long once you have started your genealogy adventure to collect so much information that it seems hard to handle. Dealing with information overload is handled through systematic organization of materials.

Most researchers have tried numerous systems for organizing. There is not one system that works for everyone. We will feature several systems in this newsletter. The first lesson was published in Legacy News in February 2006 and can be read here. If you have a method that works well for you, please let us know.

One of our dedicated Legacy users, Mary Brenzel, offered to share the system she uses. Please direct any questions directly to her:

**********

First, you may wish to view/print the pictures of my “records” file box showing an overall view and a more close-up view of some of the hanging folder labels.  In addition, I’ve included pictures of 2 sample documents. View them here:

File folders

File folders - close up

Document in sleeve, labeled

Census document in sleeve, labeled

Each document type is sorted by location and type, with a few exceptions.  Because of the ability to place labels on the hanging folders in a variety of positions, I’ve aligned the labels for the same document types.  For example –

MICHIGAN, MACOMB
       CENSUS RECORDS

MICHIGAN, MACOMB
       BIRTH RECORDS

ENGLAND, DEVON
       CENSUS RECORDS

ENGLAND, DEVON
       MARRIAGE RECORDS

ENGLAND, DEVON
       BIRTH RECORDS

In the above example, there are no marriage records for Macomb County, Michigan so there is no label in that location.  This leaves it open for if / when they might be found and added to the files.

Records for countries are stored first, followed by U.S. States.  All of this is alphabetical.  For example, Devon, England is before Lancashire, England which is before Somerset, England.  France would be after England and then Germany.  Connecticut is before Florida; Macomb County, Michigan is before Oakland County, Michigan.

From front to back, my file box is organized like this –

ENGLAND, BATH (with folders for the different document types)
ENGLAND, DEVON
ENGLAND, LANCASHIRE
ENGLAND, MIDDLESEX
ENGLAND, SOMERSET
CONNECTICUT, HARTFORD
FLORIDA, DADE
FLORIDA, LEON
FLORIDA, PALM BEACH
MICHIGAN, MACOMB
MICHIGAN, OAKLAND
MICHIGAN, WAYNE
NEW YORK, ERIE
NEW YORK, NIAGARA
RHODE ISLAND, KENT

All of my documents, whether prints of census pages from Ancestry.com or certified copies of vital records are stored in archival safe and acid free sheet protectors.  I use a label maker to label each document, placing the label on the upper right of the sheet protector.  The sheet protectors are placed in the appropriate file folder with the 3-holes at the top, keeping the labels visible for easy retrieval.

Now for the actual document labels.  I will give you examples for each of the types I currently have organized with the file folder labels first.

ENGLAND, DEVON
BIRTH RECORDS
        ENG DEVON BIR 001
        ENG DEVON BIR 002

ENGLAND, DEVON
BAPTISM RECORDS
       ENG DEVON BAP 001
       ENG DEVON BAP 002

ENGLAND, DEVON
MARRIAGE RECORDS
       ENG DEVON MAR 001
       ENG DEVON MAR 002

ENGLAND, DEVON
DEATH RECORDS
       ENG DEVON DEA 001
       ENG DEVON DEA 002

ENGLAND, DEVON
CENSUS RECORDS
       ENG DEVON CEN 001
       ENG DEVON CEN 002

MICHIGAN, MACOMB
MILITARY RECORDS
       MI MACOMB MIL 001
       MI MACOMB MIL 002

At this time, I have only 1 exception to the above system.  That is the Social Security Death Index.  All of those records are filed together regardless of where the number was issued, where the person last resided or died.  These documents are labeled as SSDI 001, SSDI 002, etc.

Lastly, here’s how I use it in Legacy.  I use the document label as the FILE ID value in the Source Detail when I source the data, except that the country or state is spelled out.  For example, my grandmother was born in Devon, England.  The document for her birth record is ENG DEVON BIR 001 as shown in one of my pictures.  The last attachment shows the source detail screen for her birth in Legacy.  The FILE ID is ENGLAND DEVON BIR 001.

The beauty of this system is that multiple people can have the same document referenced on Source Details for different types of data in Legacy.  I can cite 2 examples.  1)  I have multiple census images with multiple families on the page.  All members of all families on the page would get the same FILE ID assigned on the Source Detail for the Census Event.  2)  My grandparents’ marriage record from the Catholic Church is labeled as NY ERIE MAR 002.  That FILE ID is on their marriage source detail is NEW YORK ERIE MAR 002.  The witnesses to the marriage are members of the family.  A “witness” event is entered for each of the witnesses with the same sourcing information and NY ERIE MAR 002.

Lastly, the documents within the folders do not have to be stored in a particular order.  As you get a new one, once it is recorded in Legacy, it can be filed away at the back of the file folder for that location / document type behind all of the others of its type.

This is all really quite simple.  I hope that you are able to understand it.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

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Thanks Mary for sharing your experiences with all of us!


Organizing Your Paper Files

It doesn't take long once you have started your genealogy adventure to collect so much information that it seems hard to handle. Dealing with information overload is handled through systematic organization of materials.

Most researchers have tried numerous systems for organizing. There is not one system that works for everyone. We will feature several systems in this newsletter. If you have a method that works well for you, please let us know.

Visit http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/filing.asp for the first lesson.