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Keeping Your Documents

Arranging how your documents are and look is an important factor when you start tracing your family tree. This is where you need to spend a little, I'm going to give some hints and tips for documenting your important Certificates and findings.

What to buy?

1, An A4 Binder Folder, also some A4 Plastic Sleeves comes in useful when filing your certificate and other important documents.


The safest thing to do is Photo Copy all the Certificate and Information that you collect and place them in a folder with plastic sleeves to keep them clean, it will also make them easy to go through when you need to back track at some stage. Put them into some sort of order (i.e)
First the Births Certificates, second the Marraige Certificates, and third the Death Certificates.
When your filing your certificates put them in some sort of order, I go by the date of the certificate, starting at the present time (mine being the first birth certificate seen) and working back in time (my Great Grandfathers Being the last certificate seen) same goes for the marraige and death certificates and Lastly a Misc section for other bits of information you collect, or you may want to buy a second A4 Binder Folder to hold the Misc Information that you collect. I myself have quite a few Folders on the go for various thing that I have collect throughout the time I have been tracing my family tree. Once you get going you yourself will figure out right sort of filing system that suits you.
Misc section.
What to file? You need to decide on what information it is that you want on a particular person or if you collect information about all the people in your family lineage.
For example,
On my Great Grandmothers Death Certificate, it states her husbands name and states that he was in the 20th Battailion Canadian Expiditionary Force, I wrote off to the relevent place in Canada, where they sent me a copy of his Enlistment Papers. I photo copied them and put them in the Misc section in my file, I started working on the information on his Enlistment Papers and soon enough I had enough information to move all the information I received to a seperate folder.

All the real Certificates, letters and other paraphanalia that you will no doubt collect during your time being a genealogist should go in some sort of File, to keep them safe from being torn or lost.

What to buy?

3, You may find an Index box and Index cards comes in useful.


When begining your family tree, start with yourself and give yourself a reference letter and number, I use color index cards, the white index card being my main surname. So if "Smith" is your main surname search then catagorise your Smith surname on the White index card and reference yourself "W1" W for White, 1 for the first name listed, so your fathers reference will be "W2" that is if you have no brothers are sisters.
When adding the female side i.e. your mother, always use her Maiden Name and so on for your mothers mother, So if your mothers maiden name was "Jones" then use a different color index card, i.e. for example blue, then your mothers reference number would be B1. If you have a sister then she would be classes as "W2" as she was born with the surname "Smith" and your fathers reference would then go onto "W3".
You could always use all white index cards and catagorise them the way you want that you will find easy to understand, you can buy alphabatized index seperators and do it that way, or use a highlighter pen. Here is a example of how an Index card should look.


Smith, John Andrew
b: 25th December 1960
at: Liverpool Maternity Home, Liverpool
married: 14th February 1980
at: St Pauls Church, Liverpool
Father: Smith, Phillip James (W2)
Mother: Jones, Elsie Marie (Y1)
Spouse: Brown, Margaret (B1)

Additional information to add is:
Children, add a list of children born to characters card (no need to add D.O.B. of children, that will be added to their own index card).
died, state date of death.
at, state place of death.

Smith, Stephen
Smith, Amilia
died: ?
at: Home, Liverpool

On the back of the index card you can add information like addresses when and where they lived at that certain address, also Occupations, what they did for a living, if it was a trade or they received a diploma, when and where they studied for the diploma, also if they where in the forces, state which regiment and where they served.


Occupation: Car Salesperson
5 bobbin Lane, Liverpool 1960-1980
27 Homing Street, Liverpool 1980-1990
3 Birching Avenue, Liverpool 1990-
Also if applicable
Serve with T.A. 1975-1980
Served with Queens Regiment as Pvt 1980-1989

What to buy?

2, You'll need at least one Notepad, and pen or/and a pencil.


When visiting your local library, checking up Census returns, electral rolls, IGI (IGI=International Genealogy Information), LDS (LDS=Latter Day Saints), you'll need your notebook and a pen to jot all your findings down, when your notebook is full DON'T throw it away, put it in a safe place, possibly with your certificates, you'll will probably need your notebook for going back to at some time or other.
When searching main Record Offices, you may only take a pencil in, no pens are allowed. You are also limited to other items that are allowed in with you, i.e. bags, coats and food are NOT allowed, and you are also limited also to the amount of folders, most main Records Offices allow a notebook and pencil and eraser, they provide a pencil sharpner.
Also you may need to book in advance when taking a trip to a main Record Office and proof of identity is needed, so phone in advance or make a list of the Record Offices you want to visit and write to them asking for an information leaflet about making a visit, and they will send the relevant details about what identity they need, what you are allowed to take with you, they'll also give you a briefing of how to get there, where you're allowed to park and about the canteen facilities that they have.

If you have any information, Just E-mail me, and I'll check it out.


This Page is always under Construction
Last updated 17/8/2000

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