Get Organized!

Organizing your genealogy research should go beyond developing storage and filing system for your notes, pictures and documents. The main aspect of getting organized should be saving the facts that you find in your research. Your genealogy facts need to be gathered, correlated, and analyzed so they can be used to find more facts in later research efforts.

To start organizing your genealogical research, I would recommend that you start compiling written summaries for each of your ancestors. I use a written summary instead of a family group sheet because the summary gives me more flexibility to include more detail in my statements of each fact.

Begin organizing your research by writing a summary for the individual for whom you know the most facts. This may be a parent or a grandparent. After you have recorded all the information that you have for one ancestor, you should begin recording the information for another ancestor on a new summary page.

Genealogy is not just the collection of names. Your ancestors were living human beings who interacted with the people around them. Each document is a snap shot of your ancestor and each detail should be captured and analyzed. Summaries will help you compile this information.

I found using summaries will help me be more efficient in your research. Facts that I needed to continue my research were more readily available and reduced the time needed.

Make sure that your statements in the summaries include where you found each fact. The main reason to list your sources is that it will help you draw better conclusions about the accuracy of your information. Another important reason is that it may help you will find clues that help you find more sources.

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