4 Tips to Organizing your Family Tree Information

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I’ve been researching my family history since 1998.  I was 25 years old and my dad had died only months before. He and I never really talked about his side of the family and looking back now, I don’t know why. His father died five years before I was born and my grandmother died when I was five or six.  She had left me her bible and that had some information in it on her side. But, as she was from Tennessee, and I was still learning how to use the internet, I couldn’t figure how to go about finding where in TN her part of my family was. My assumption?  I was the last of the line on his side of the family.

It took me almost two years after my dad died, but, I finally got on ancestry.com. I put what information I had in the system and did my best on dial up internet to find out where I came from. Shortly after my daughter was born in 2000, I received an email and I almost deleted it because at that point I hadn’t found anything and had given up looking on his side. I was still searching my moms family. Thankfully I opened it!  It was from a cousin out west in California. Apparently that’s where my dads father was from. Who knew??? I sure as heck didn’t!  That opened up the door for me and I was able to find out where my ancestors came from. I found cousins on both coasts and couldn’t have been more thrilled!

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I love finding that needle in the haystack and yes, I will cheer when I find that elusive ancestor!  I am kind of stuck on finding information on my ancestors in Chile, but, I WILL prevail! I was able to go back to 1847 on that branch of my tree. For my family in Denmark, I was able to go back to the early  1600’s!  I have continued researching my daughters father side, so she will have information on that side of her family as well.  It can get a bit pricey though. Getting copies of records just to have for your binder.

Here are some tips if you are researching your family tree:

1 – Get yourself a three inch binder. Trust me. Your ancestors most likely had a TON of kids. You want to have room to put important documents that you may have obtained.

2 – Tab Dividers. You will want these to separate your families.  Your parents, their parents, so on and so forth.

3 – Sheet protectors. This goes without saying.  You don’t want to punch holes in the documents that you paid for, only to take the chance of them ripping.

4 – Charts.  You can go to Ancestry.com and they have a great page for charts to keep your information organized.

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You will need to be organized and ready for anything.  I’ve come across things that I’ve ended up hitting a brick way.  It’s now about digging the cement away from those bricks to peek into your past. One example? My great grandmother was adopted. But, that was before 1900. Back then, did they really have the same adoption process?  No. Most likely her parents died and an aunt took her in and called it adopted. Wish me luck!

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Where part of my tree started!

Have you started researching your family tree?  Come across anything interesting? I’d love to hear your stories!  If you haven’t and you’d like to start, I offer services for genealogy research.  Make sure to stop over and see. I’ve helped others find family branches they thought were missing forever :).

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19 Responses to 4 Tips to Organizing your Family Tree Information

  1. Jeanette says:

    I am lucky because we have a genealogist in the family. He has a similar chart as to what you mentioned above! I love knowing where my family is from. It is one of my favorite things to do!

  2. Sara says:

    Really good to know! I tried to do this a few years back and it was so difficult!

    Sara
    http://www.thelegallybrunette.com

  3. Franc Ramon says:

    Researching Family Tree would really be a good exercise. It’s really nice to connect with relatives and allow them to be part of our life.

  4. Pam says:

    My aunt is really into genealogy. She has traced our family way back! She has a lot of 3 ring binders full of information about where different parts of the family branch off!

  5. Sarah says:

    What a great way to organize your family tree information, It certainly is a fun project to find information in your family tree and document what you found out. Appreciate you helping others find organization to their family tree so they can pass the info down to future generations!

  6. This is such a great post to get me motivated to research my own family tree. This is something I have wanted to do for may years.

  7. I think it would be awesome to know your genealogy and to take a trip through the family tree. I have not been able to do so yet. Great tips to get people started!

  8. Liz Mays says:

    This is some good advice. It would be pretty interesting to start working on this and learning about my ancestry.

  9. Lori Vachon says:

    Getting back into the 1600’s is remarkable! Before my dad passed he spent his retirement years working on genealogy, it became his passion.

  10. jennifer says:

    i have family members that have researched my family tree and need to ask them about it! i find it very interesting!

  11. Charlotte says:

    My nan did this a few years ago and really enjoyed seeing where our family came from. She has 10 brothers too so the binder was massive haha

  12. Rebecca Swenor says:

    These are great tips for organizing your family tree information. I have always wanted to finish off where my grandfather did many years ago with the family tree. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  13. Madi says:

    These are such great tips! Our whole family has been very involved in our genealogy but we currently just have it in a binder, nothing fancy!

  14. Tammileetips says:

    I love these tips!! It is so fascinating to learn about where your family came from and the history of the family as well.

  15. Garf says:

    This is interesting. I like the idea. I haven’t really thought about finding my family history until now.

  16. Stephen says:

    These are all great ideas! I started doing my family history a few years back – this has reminded me that i need to get back onto it!

  17. How cool that you are doing this! I have always wanted to build a family tree. I also want to do that DNA test that tells you what races are in your blood. Great stuff!

  18. 1. Thanks for the great post keep up the amazing work.

  19. christina aliperti says:

    This is so cool! I really need to start working on our family tree. There is so much info!

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