A recent thread via the Guild of One Name Studies mailing list resulted in my sharing a few comments and then an example of my index cards.
When I started researching back in 1986, none of my records were computerised. Every individual’s data was held on an index card, and for a few individuals there data goes across several cards. As time went on, and my skills increased, my genealogical lines became more complex and the amount of surnames grew and grew, I found there was a need for computerisation.
I have the added issue of several lines inter marrying and in some cases the same surname crops up, but on different lines of my family, or with no known connection. I therefore set about thinking how I could cope with the computerised & paper records. After many, many weeks of agonising here is what I decided on.
- One computer file – called Mainfile. This starts with me and goes back to my earliest ancestor. it also goes sideways, from my husband and then back to his earliest ancestor.
- Paper copies of Main File – mine are referenced Mainfile (JDG) and Mainfile (SPG) for my husbands.
- Electronic copies of Main File – mine are referenced Genealogy> Mainfile (JDG) & Genealogy > Mainfile (SPG). You can read an earlier post HERE
- Things that do not fit into our specific lines of descent are held in a filing cabinet with each surname A-Z
- Things that do not fit into our lines of descent but held on computer are held in a series of document files with the surnames A-Z
- My trusty card index. Every ancestor in Mainfile, including living relatives.
Here is one example of an index card for my ancestor Daniel Butcher. His data currently goes across 2 cards.
The data recorded on the card indexes is replicated in the computerised file and the physical file, which incorporates any documents such as the sale of a property called Biddles in 1755. Whilst, this may seem like a duplication, I like the cards as it enables me to see at a glance a time line of what a specific ancestor or individual is doing. It also takes me back to those early research days!