Re: [Genealogy Research Club] Intro and organizing my notes
- My brother and I typed everything by last name. We started with a name then branched off into each family/generation. Then after each families information was typed we printed it off and put it into a gigantic 3 ring binder. After each name there are plastic protectors filled with photos and any kind of certificate (military, birth, death, marriage, etc). This makes it really easy to show other family members-they can flip through and read about everyone, much like a text book would have chapters. I would definitely suggest that you type all your notes into an organized way and not just scan them. You will be surprised at how easy it is to view and share and also you will find holes and missing pieces when meticulously typing them up. It takes a lot of time too but well worth it. Our family has been so impressed by our "finished" product-our genealogy research is never done though.... haha. Oh, and that is another point-if you print/type every
family on a different page it is very easy to update when new info is found and then just print that one page.
From: kyounge1956 <karenyounge@...>
Sent: Wed, October 14, 2009 11:15:59 AM
Subject: [Genealogy Research Club] Intro and organizing my notes
My name is Karen Younge and I have just joined the Research Club. I first started to research my ancestry back in the 1970's, after I saw the original broadcast of Roots. My parents are also interested in family history. We went to Salt Lake City last month and spent a week at the library there, and my dad has been back East this week to visit a relative of his who just turned 100 years old! He will be able to find out more about his mother's family. She died when he was very young, and he had long ago lost contact with his uncles and any descendants they may have. So possibly we have just acquired a whole bunch of cousins we didn't know about.
I have all sorts of interesting surnames in my family (maybe more about that later), but my questions today have to do with organizing my notes. There are at least two big grocery boxes full of them, and they are in a state of utter disorganization. At first I had no idea of the need to be organized, then I had no idea of how to do it, and now that I am investigating how, I'm completely overwhelmed, don't know where to start, and can't seem to get a handle on it mentally, so I'm dithering and not getting anywhere.
I've downloaded the demo of "Clooz" document organizing software, but I need to get the notes sorted and filed before I can enter them into the records database. The manual for Clooz, and another book I've read ("The Organized Family Historian") suggest putting the notes into archival sheet protectors and storing them in binders. Do I use one protector per sheet of notes? Many of the older notes are on notebook paper, or sheets from a legal-size yellow pad. They are mostly written on both sides, and they may be several pages long, narratives of a search for some particular fact: I looked on this tape or film and found this fact, which led me to this film with another fact, etc etc. If I need to put each of those pages into its own page protector, this is going to run into big money real fast! If each sheet is in a separate protector, how do I indicate when a group of pages are actually a single record?
So that is the first question: do I use one protector per page, or one protector per series of pages, or is there some other way to store a group of related pages as one record?
Second question: I have a computer and scanner, so I could turn all these notes into digital files, and store them on a portable drive, or maybe a few CDs. In fact I'm going to do that anyhow, to be able to take all previous research results along on future trips. Whether I use a thumb drive or CDs, I think the storage media for all of the notes a dozen times over would cost less than enough archival sheet protectors to store the actual papers in. Digitizing the notes would also make it possible to send copies to my siblings in other parts of the country as disaster insurance. How important is it to save originals of research notes? I'm not talking about discarding original documents or old photos—we have some of those too, and will certainly keep them! But if I digitize the information I found myself, is that enough, or do I really need to keep my actual notes? In future I plan to scan or type the info directly into a computer, and avoid the whole
Third question: what is your favorite source of archival storage materials and how do I tell high-quality ones from junk?
I guess that's enough for now.
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