How to Start My Family History Research: Keep Track of your Research!

Aow to Start My Family History Research:
Keep Track of your Research!

Keep Track of your Research!

Keep Track of your Research!

Keeping track of your Research is not the easiest thing to do with it being extremely easy to get lost in the plethora of paperwork, photos and notes that you will undoubtedly bring together.

This tutorial will hopefully give you some simple insights by discussing both genealogy software and the Hard copy filing system and help you stop losing track of where you are and what you have done so far.

Whether you use genealogy software, keep a hard copy filing system or, a combination of both, I have found that the best method to use relies on the KISS principle: that is the principle that you, Keep It Simple and Stupid! Again, like most areas of genealogy, there is no right or wrong answer, only what works for and makes sense to you

Both Genealogy Software and the Keeping of a Hard Copy filing system have their own advantages and disadvantages, some of which are listed below.

It is just up to you to decide what is right for you.

Genealogy Software:

Genealogy software is a specific type of computer program designed to help people organise and track their family history research.

Some Advantages of Genealogy Software are:

  • Organisation: Genealogy software allows you to easily store and organize your family tree, photos, documents, and other records in one place. This makes it easier to keep track of your research and make connections between different family members.
  • Collaboration: Many genealogy software programs have features that allow you to share your family tree with others. This means you can collaborate on research, and access shared resources such as census records and other public records.
  • Accuracy: Genealogy software can help you avoid errors and inconsistencies in your research by providing tools to verify and validate information, such as by comparing it to other sources or using built-in citation tools.
  • Convenience: Genealogy software can save you time by providing access to a wide range of online resources and tools, such as census records, military records, and historical maps, all in one place.
  • Security: Genealogy software can also help you protect your sensitive information. You can password-protect your family tree and set privacy settings.

Disadvantages of Genealogy Software are:

  • Cost: Some genealogy software can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase a subscription or upgrade to a premium version.
  • Limited data: Genealogy software may not have access to all the records and sources that you need to build your family tree. This can make it difficult to accurately trace your ancestry.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete information: Genealogy software relies on user-submitted data. This can sometimes be inaccurate or incomplete. This can lead to errors in your family tree.
  • Time-consuming: Researching your family history can be time-consuming. Using genealogy software may add additional time as you input and organize data.
  • Dependence on technology: Genealogy software relies on computer systems and internet access. These may not always be available. This can make it difficult to access and work on your family tree when you are not able to use a computer.

If you are after reviews on the different Genealogy software that is available please see the list below:

or, you could simply google “best genealogy software” yourself.

Hard Copy Filing Systems

A hard copy filing system is a reliable and efficient way to store and organise your Family History.

The advantages of the Hard Copy Filing System are:

  • Durability: Hard copy documents are more durable than electronic ones. They are less susceptible to damage from technological issues such as power outages or hardware failures.
  • Security: Hard copy documents are more secure than electronic ones. They cannot be hacked or accessed by unauthorized individuals.
  • Accessibility: Hard copy documents are more accessible than electronic ones. They do not require a computer or any other type of technology to be viewed.
  • Ease of use: Hard copy documents are easier to use than electronic ones. They do not require any special skills or knowledge to access.
  • Portability: Hard copy documents are more portable than electronic ones, as they can be easily carried from one location to another.

Disadvantages of the Hard Copy Filing System are:

  • Space: Hard copy filing systems require physical space to store the documents. This can be an issue for businesses with limited office space.
  • Inefficiency: It can be time-consuming to locate and retrieve documents from a hard copy filing system. This can lead to decreased productivity and efficiency.
  • Risk of loss or damage: There is a risk of documents getting lost or damaged in a hard copy filing system. This can lead to important information being lost or inaccessible.
  • Security: Hard copy documents can be easily accessed by unauthorized individuals. This can be a security risk if the documents contain sensitive or confidential information.
  • Environmental impact: They can have a negative environmental impact due to the use of paper and the energy required to print, store, and transport documents.

Some Forms and Charts that I have available for you to download and use can be viewed here.



Personally, I prefer to use a combination of both methods but that is my preferred choice.

You, on the other hand, may choose to only to use genealogy software, or only to use the Hard copy filing system. There is no right or wrong answer, it is entirely up to you.


How to Start My Family History Research