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Old 02-04-21, 04:47
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HarrysMum HarrysMum is offline
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Default Sorting paperwork.

Does anyone have any simple ideas for storing paperwork?
I have certificates in a file as well as scanned. I have a box of wills.

Then I have another huge box with all sorts of bits of info. I tried giving people their own file but it just added to the mess. If I put Mary Smith in a file, and her husband in another, how far back do I go in that file? And then where do I put their kids?

I have a lot on my computer but I hate the thought of throwing out the actual old wills or certs, etc.
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Old 02-04-21, 06:56
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This is the story of my life, Libby.

At work, when a file was no longer in use, it was put in the attic, in alphabetical order. By the time I arrived, there were huge piles, never sorted and it would take HOURS to find that important file.

In the end, I numbered each file and produced a spreadsheet of them with basic information. Over the years it has saved many fruitless hours - and I had the destruction lists, to proved that others had authorised the fate of the files that had gone!

If you have original documents, either store each in numbered, acid free covers, or organise them chronologically with a reference either on the scan or in notes to your tree to number/location.

This is one of my projects for retirement. I have a box of documents - probably a thousand sheets and I have no idea how to sort it all!
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Old 02-04-21, 08:35
JBee JBee is offline
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What I have tried to do (but keep getting bogged down) is to put everything relating to one person together in alphabetical order using maiden names for wives etc in lever folders.

Then having a consolidated direct line folder filing the printed off individual's sheet from ancestry and they are filed parents, grandparents, great grandparents in the order of how they appear on the printed chart with dividers between each generation.

I had hoped to get this all completed whilst stuck at home but......................

I've also tried to merge about 8 or more trees into one so that I can use tribal pages to print off charts of any branch of the trees ie grandchildren's ancestors, half aunt's husband's family for him etc etc. Needless to say not getting very far.
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Old 02-04-21, 09:54
ElizabethHerts ElizabethHerts is offline
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I'm sorting out my paperwork at present. It's an ongoing task. As I was self-employed for over 30 years we have house with a fitted study and the luxury of lots of cupboard space. When I gave up work 10 years ago the shelves that were dedicated to work files filled with family history files.

One of my pandemic projects has been to retrieve paper information and scan what's appropriate. I'm saving images to my computer and shredding what I don't need. Documents such as wills and certificates I scan and keep the paper copies but other things I attach to my tree and also save to my computer.
It's important my elder daughter can access it all as she is as obsessed as I am. She has a private Ancestry tree and we add information to that too.

We shall probably move next year as we need to be closer to family and also the garden and maintenance of this house is an issue. I have managed to get rid of a number of lever arch files and combine linked families in one file. However, for some branches I have a large number of wills. Yesterday I got to the end of several associated Sussex families and now have to just finish off one family. It's very satisfying.
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Old 02-04-21, 11:49
Olde Crone Olde Crone is offline
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Lever arch files for me, using ahnentafel numbers (and letters for siblings/children etc). This works well because if a file becomes too full it is easy to split it in a logical way. Wills and certs etc, filed in alphabetical order with a photocopy in the appropriate file.

I have a simple chart showing my direct ancestors which is a useful crib sheet and used to be stuck inside my desk where I could see it. It is now folded up in a box folder which houses all the scruffy bits of paper I have accumulated since I downsized and left the real stuff in my daughter's loft.

OC
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Old 02-04-21, 20:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olde Crone View Post
Lever arch files for me, using ahnentafel numbers (and letters for siblings/children etc). This works well because if a file becomes too full it is easy to split it in a logical way. Wills and certs etc, filed in alphabetical order with a photocopy in the appropriate file.

I have a simple chart showing my direct ancestors which is a useful crib sheet and used to be stuck inside my desk where I could see it. It is now folded up in a box folder which houses all the scruffy bits of paper I have accumulated since I downsized and left the real stuff in my daughter's loft.

OC
How do you add numbers to siblings? I presume you are number 1, father 2, mother 3 etc?

I did one lot starting with the couple who came to Australia, so they were 1, children were 1-1, 1-2, grandchildren were 1-1-1 if from number 1 child.
That doesn’t allow me to go further back though.
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Old 02-04-21, 21:28
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Everyone's systems sound so complicated compared to mine!

I just have a file for each surname where I have more than about 10 sheets of paper for that name. If the surname only has a couple of sheets of paper then their paperwork will be in their descendants folder. I think I have about 15 folders with a surname. I also have a folder of wills and three folders with BMD certs. I haven't opened the drawer in a few years as all the docs are connected to my tree so I don't need to look at the originals.
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Old 02-04-21, 22:00
Olde Crone Olde Crone is offline
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Libby

My father is 2, his sibling is 2a. I would keep everything connected to 2a in the same folder. I should have said I also put surnames on the front of the files along with the numbers.

I have also done several village studies but each village just has a file. I couldn't work out a way of numbering everyone, so it is basically a list of baptisms in date order padded out with any other information. I did have it all on an enormous spreadsheet but lost the lot when my first computer got a virus.......

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