Family Tree Making Guide
Step #3. Organize Your Family Tree Data
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How to Make A Family Tree Guide

family tree dataHow To Organize Your Genealogy Research : If you do not properly organize your family tree data, you will not be able to fully utilize a family tree maker utility to the best of its use. Using our easy to use genealogy coding system, you can label your research artifacts, such as pictures and copies of important documents with a code. That could will tell you right way how your family tree data and artifacts relate to each other. Being very organized with your the genealogy data you collegect will save you time and help you present a well constructed family tree report.
Home      Plan      Research      Organize      Publish     

Download Free Genealogy Forms Accessed Online
The best way to organize family tree data is to use free family tree forms already created by experienced genealogists.

Here are some popular free family tree forms that can be viewed as pdf files with Adobe Acrabat Viewer:

Family Record Chart - Family Tree Record Charts are used to keep track of family data for one family unit like husband, wife, and children.

Pedigree Chart - This family tree chart links one person to all of its ancestors by starting with one person and going backwards. Each generation doubles the number of links back since each person should have a mother and a father linked to them and then each of the new people added would have a mother and a father.

Family Tree Fan Chart - The family tree fan chart is a lot like a pedigree chart, except that you organize your ancestors in a half circle. This is a popular chart because you can fit a lot more people on one piece of paper without losing what you are trying to convey.

Storing Your Family Tree Data
After you have been collecting genealogy information for a while, you will need to organize your artifacts in genealogy storage devices such as binders and photo albums. When you start your journey, you should create a binder and photo album for each surname, such as the Andersons, the Martins, and the Smiths.

Here Are Some Tips :
  • Each page in the family tree album or binder should be removeable, so that you can add pages or move people around easily.
  • Each person should have a folder in the binder that you can add the artifacts related to that person.
  • All people should be placed into subgroups by each family unit.

  • For organizing within photo albums and family tree binders, you should print the genealogy tracking forms provided with the links above and position them on the inside cover of your genealogy binder. You should also include a form that denotes where certain artifacts are categorized that relate to more than one person or family. Making multiple copies of artifacts can become expensive, so cross referencing your genealogy pictures and documents is greatly suggested.

    Storing your family pictures in photo albums keeps them safe under acid free paper. You will most likely find photographs older than you or even your parents that need tender loving care from their new owners. Storing the photographs in family surname albums will help you immediately see a visual aspect of your family tree research.

    Develop a record keeping system
    There are a multitude of record keeping systems to choose from, but this one will be simple and easy to operate. It will be like creating an offline database using index cards.

    Each person you investigate should have their own index card. Enter their full birth name on the top line starting at the far left side. Enter a filing code on the top line on the far right side. We suggest that you pick a central person at the top of each family group (family name), such as great-great grandma Bennet.

    Assign a symbol to each family line
    For Example:
    1.Square - Bennet Family.
    2.Triangle - Conner Family
    3.Circle - Briar Family
    4.Heart - Peppermint Family

    Assign codes to main subjects
    Keeping track of how each subject (index card) relates to the other will make your work easier :
    Since your family tree is essentially a hierarchial system, your index cards should be labeled using a hierarchial system. Great-Great Grandma Bennet is the start of that line of the family tree, so code her card with the number 1 surrounded by a square that symbolizes the Bennet family line. If you find great-great grandma Bennets mother, you can put a 1 in front of a 1 surrounded by a square to signify that she is associated with the Bennet family line, but takes her position before the designated center of the line.

    Assign codes to other family members
    The child should be assigned a code depending on the mother's code whereever possible. This is a good practice because due to the laws of nature, babies are more easily assigned to the mother in the parental relationship. Therefore, if Great-Great Grandma Bennet has 2 children, Frank and Edith, respectively. Frank would be coded with a 1 surrounded by a square and the number 1, since he was born before Edith. Edith would receive the code 1 surrounded by a square and the number 2, since she was born after Frank.

    Code Assignment Example
    For Example:
    Subject [Family Member]Code Assignment
    Great-Great Grandma Bennet[1]
    Frank (Great-Great Grandma Bennets 1st child[1]-1
    Edith (Great-Great Grandma Bennets 2nd child[1]-2
    Ed (Frank's first child)[1]-1-1
    Fred (Frank's second child)[1]-1-2

    Other uses for the coding system
    You will collect artifacts such as newspaper clippings, pictures, and other items during your quest to find your roots. Label these artifacs with family codes for use later when you put these items into a published form.

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