Before you started researching your own genealogy, did you ever imagine there could be so much information out there about your own family? I sure didn't. And now with the tremendous growth of the Internet, there are even more sources of clues.
Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens said "Family historians purposely compound their organizing dilemmas by bringing extra paperwork into their homes. Without a methodical filing system, home and genealogical paperwork quickly get out of control," in her column, Get it Together.
After about two years of research you start to realize you've gathered more stuff than you know what to do with. Most of us keep storing these letters, documents, printed web pages, and photos into boxes. Have the time we probably forget we even have the stuff.
"The computer, which eliminated so many old tedious chores, also seems to breed paper files. These stacks of paper will continue to grow and eventually will bury you, if you don't devise a method of controlling them," points out Myra Vanderpool Gormley in her column, Shaking Your Family Tree.
Fortunately for all of us, there are some very talented genealogists, like Elizabeth and Myra, with plently of helpful hints. I've put together the Organizing the Past guide as sort of a "Genealogy Rehab" for those in need, gathering up tips and links to articles all geared at organizing research.
While we often focus on honoring our ancestors, it's time to spend a little time thinking about those who will follow us and take on the responsibility of preserving our heritage.
Managing a Genealogical Project
A book by William Dollarhide.
Beyond Pedigrees : Organizing and Enhancing Your Work
A book by Beverly Delong Whitaker.
Get it Together
A weekly columng by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, CGRS.