Organising Your Family History

This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 6 months ago by Web Editor.

  • Author
  • #13228

    t’s taken me a long long time to get myself organised, no system is perfect, believe me! Mine has evolved and been adapted over the years, normally when I have been unable to find something when I needed it most, or I have downloaded or ordered a certificate twice!

    I have added pictures and written up how my system works. I use a lot of templates and sheets that I have made for myself, if anybody wants a copy of any of these, don’t hesitate to give me a shout.…amily-history/

     Web Editor

    That’s a really interesting look at how you organise your files.

    I’d love to see other people’s systems too.

    Personally, I don’t print out as much as I used to. I have 3 main level arch files – one for maternal/paternal and one for notes given out at talks I’ve attended. I also try to keep my handwritten notes for these talks in one journal so that I can refer back to them, especially if the talk was not online or accessible again. The ancestral folders are broken down with dividers and it’s in here that I now keep a lot of my very early handwritten research. A lot of it is now duplicated on my computer though.

    On computer, I have folders for each of my main surnames (broken down by gg grandparents largely). Within them, I have folders for collateral families like the siblings of my direct ancestor, especially where the surname has changed because it’s a female line. If there’s an army record for someone, then I collect any documents in one folder labelled *Person’s name British/Irish army record* – this is particularly necessary as different records now crop up on different sites. Just recently I found new medical records for my great-grandfather on FMP during WW1.

    I use a file system naming pattern like this:

    Person’s name / type of record / year

    Mary Lynch birth 1875

    For the censuses, I record them as the family surname plus year

    Fottrell 1911

    In my family tree software, I also use hyperlinks to the transcript for the census returns. I tried doing this with links but they have changed format over the years and don’t always work if it’s an old link.

    These computer files are backed up to an external harddrive and I always have a current copy of my main family tree gedcom in Dropbox and stored on another family member’s computer, just in case!

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


©2021 Irish Genealogical research Society Created by Smiling Spiders

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account