Recording Family History and how organising research is the best way forward

As you progress with your research, recording family history becomes an integral part of your process.  There are many different ways you can document the information you have collected.

Use a document filing system

It is important that you keep records safe, and not have too many loose sheets of paper that could be inadvertently lost or destroyed. You could divide your file into different sections, and have a section for each type of resource.

For example you may have birth, marriage and death certificates in one section, extracts from census returns in a second, church records of baptisms, marriages and burials in a third, and then any other sections for other types of documents you discover, such as military records.

You should add the source of the information you have obtained for future reference, including a note of where it was obtained. This makes it easier when explaining where your information came from and makes it more straightforward to find the document again should you need to.  You should also make a note of where a specific document is located in your collection.

If you have looked for differing spellings of a surname such as Minton, Mintorn or Minter etc it is best to write this information down to save you from looking for the same information again.

Using a computer software program

You could also use a software program such as Microsoft Excel to enter each relative as you find them, perhaps allocating each of them a number, so you know where to look in your files.  This is limited however in that you will be unable to see the connection between each person, especially when you add more people to your family tree as you discover them.

Another idea is to use family tree software, of which there are many different programs available.

Recording Family History - Use a Card Index System

You may also wish to use a card index system, using a card for each ancestor or relative you discover detailing key events in their lives. You could also include cross references to other important documents so they are easier to access.  Charts and genealogy software can also be used to document your genealogical research.

Another great way to document your research is by scrapbooking your family history photos and information.

You can also go to Memories and Nostalgia, who offer a Genealogy Box in order to protect your documents and artefacts for generations to come.

It is also possible you have long lost relatives - please try using this Interactive People Finder.

TWR Computing also offer a selection of Family Tree Book Pages (and much more!!!) which will also help you to document your research.

Grandparents can also benefit from finding out the best legacy they could leave for their grandchildren.



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  1. Family Tree Resources
  2. Recording Family History

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