WEEK 6 Choose a storage method
Keep your records and documents in good order so you can keep track of your searches
Y ou’re now six weeks into your research, so you must be swimming in documents, notes, dates and names! Before it all becomes too much, let’s settle on a storage method to ensure nothing gets lost.
In the Who Do You Think You Are? office, we like to compile a huge folder for each of the stars who appear in the show. All the marriage certificates are kept in chronological order in a separate sleeve to the birth and death certificates, and copies of census returns are grouped by surname. A few suppliers specialise in archive-standard storage solutions to keep your precious
documents intact( try genealogy supplies. com, familytreefolk.co.uk and www. my- history.co.uk or our certificate binder, see page 9).
We also write a master research report in a Word document that’s regularly updated, and upload the names, dates and facts into a genealogy software program so that we can print a family tree. The eight leading packages, costing between £18.40 and £59.95, let you create individuals, link them together into a pedigree with multiple options for viewing the tree, and attach facts, documents, notes and citations to the individual profiles. The most advanced packages allow you to upload media files, including photos and video.
Family Historian 6.2 for PC and MacFamily Tree 8.0 topped the charts in Nick Peers’ reecent survey published in July (issue 114). HHowever, there are subtle differences bbetween them all and you might find that a simpler system works for you. Nick explored the merits of these two, plus Family Tree Maker 2014, Heredis 2015, Legacy 8.0, Reunion, Roots Magic and TreeView 1.3.9, and picked out some of the best free apps. If you missed that issue of the magazine, it can be ordered by calling 0844 844 0939. Several of these brands let you trial the software for free, so you can play around until you find one that you’re satisfied with. All of them will export your data as a GEDCOM file so you can switch provider and share your research with other people.
Most of the major subscription websites also let you build a family tree online, and import a GEDCOM file created using desktop software. Online trees can be shared with other members and it may match names in your tree to other records on the site, however you’ll only be able to access your data while online, and if your subscription expires then you may lose access.
You don’t have to stick to a genealogyspecific storage system though–many genealogists swear by Evernote, a free note taking and storage app that syncs to multiple devices. There are tips and tutorials on how to get the most out of it at cyndislist.com/ evernote. Whichever storage method you opt for, the key thing is to stay organised and update your notes every time you make a new discovery.
Find out how to order our certificate certifificatet binderbi d tot store tore your records on page 9 You can plot your family tree using software programs like MacFamily Tree 8.0