1. Commence working on your mother's maiden name binder as follows:
Label oversize tabbed 3-ring dividers as follows (without the text in parenthesis):
For you male genealogists:
- 1st generation (youngest, where your mother is a little girl in the family with her parents)
- 2nd generation (where your mother's father is a little boy)
- 3rd generation (where your mother's grandfather in a little boy)
- 4th generation (where your mother's great-grandfather is a little boy)
For you female genealogists:
Dealing with the maiden name binder, your task is slightly different since you are the youngest direct line ancestor with that surname/maiden name, so:
- 1st generation (youngest, where you are listed as a child with your parents)
- 2nd generation (where your mother is a little girl in the family with her parents)
- 3rd generation (where your mother's father is a little boy)
- 4th generation (where your mother's grandfather in a little boy)
I have this done....digitally. I did not place myself into
my mother's maiden name folder however,
I placed myself in my father's surname folder, as that is
my maiden name, and I will find and follow
that pathway easier. I really like the "maiden name"
binder/folders......it is so easy to follow and
easy to show others the "pathway" that the family
How to handle brothers
Carefully, but I digress. Once my brother married, the family sheet in the Player Family binder is updated to reflect the marriage date and name of his bride. Mike also gained his own 1st-generation sibling tab and accompanying digital folder in my computer hard drive, as he is within that 1st generation of the Player Family. If he and his wife never have children, all marriage documents and photos are filed there.
Once Mike and his wife start having children, I break him out into his own Mike Player & descendants 3-ring binder. After all, I want his children to have a Coffee Table Book to read about themselves while I grab the Player Family binder aka Coffee Table Book so they can learn about our illustrious ancestors.
So from my generation to our children, descendants are listed in descendant family binders by generation. Mike's married children each have a tab in his binder that includes the family group sheets where each is a parent, and all accompanying marriage documents, birth certificates of children and photos are found, until they too begin having children.
How to handle sisters
Once women are married, they are known legally in the US and in my paper-oriented and digitally oriented filing systems by their married name. In the case of my sister, as soon as she married, the family sheet in the Player Family binder is updated to reflect the marriage date and name of groom. Then anything about my sister Sharon after the marriage, including her wedding portrait and marriage certificate will appear in a new surname binder bearing her husband's surname. Basically:
- File everything on a daughter prior to marriage in her maiden name family binder and accompanying digital file folder.
- File everything on that same woman after marriage in her spouse's surname family binder and accompanying digital file.
- If a woman is widowed or divorced, and subsequently marries, file those post-marriage related items in the subsequent spouse's surname and marriage binder
- But REMEMBER to update the original family sheets in each previous surname binder, so the new relationship is listed by date(s) and spouse(s) name(s).
I have all brothers----five, all younger. Love It!!!
I have folders set up for each of the boys,
and inside each of those folders, I have folders set up
for the brother, the spouse and a Descendants folder.
I am also added the important photos there
and the documents for them.
I am doing the same for my parents siblings,
as well as the rest of my ancestors.
This will be so nice to go back to a place of organization like
this, so easy to find, to add photos and docs to.
I'm glad you've already chosen one. Be sure to get the siblings of your ancestors typed in, and create additional binders for the married women.
I have each of my brothers, their wives and
their descendants all entered into my Family Tree Maker
program and I am finishing entering all of the
information into Legacy as well.
I am doing the same for my parents and am
working down/up my ancestral line, focusing
on the first 4 generations.
Is it necessary to have a gazillion 3-ring binders? No. You can combine multiple surnames in one binder. Then when one surname becomes to large, break it out into it's own. If the surname you are "breaking out" occurs in the middle of a bunch, then make three binders. This isn't likely to happen since we're only working the first four generations. I've got over 128 surname binders, and I'm downsizing. Here's the lineup of a few of Ol' Myrt's surname binders:
A (including Adkins, Ashbridge, etc.)
B (includes Bassett, Blount, Booth, etc.)
Daines Descendants (my sister's first married name)