How Do I Organise My Documentation?

How Do I Organise My Documentation?

How Do I Organise My Documentation?

So How Do I Organise My Documentation? This is an often overlooked but extremely important part of tracing your family tree.

So what is the best method?

Paper or Computer?

Do you use Paper or Computer to Document your family history? To this question there is no right or wrong answer. It is solely a personal preference and is up to you to choose the best method which suits your needs, your budget and your circumstances.

As most people who research their Family History are aware, it can involve a combination of the two, so most times it is just a matter of finding the best fit for you.

You do not need to reinvent the wheel either, when it comes to using a paper based documenting system. I have created some forms for this purpose which have served me faithfully over the years. Please feel free to use any, or all, that you feel are useful.

You can find these forms here

Personally, I keep paper copies of all documents such as Birth, Death and Marriage certificates, Electoral Rolls and Timelines then transfer this information to a computer genealogical software program. I also display my research online using WordPress –

If you do decide to keep paper documentation, and most people will, you will  need some way to number them. There are many ways to do this and, as with most things, there is no one correct method.

The way I number my documentation is as follows:

Document Category – Persons Surname – Persons Initials – Document Year

Some may say this method might be a little long, but I am of the view that longer is better as it allows me to easily tell what type of document it is and who it is for at a glance.

Some Categories that I use ( Of course you can use whatever categories you desire):

B Birth
D Death
M Marriage
E Electoral
T Timeline
Mil Military

For example:

The birth certificate of Hugh Kinkead (who was born in 1876) will be numbered : B-Kinkead-H-1876