Organizing your Genealogy Data – Episode 7 Show Notes (Elevenses with Lisa)

Live show air date: May 7, 2020

Episode 7 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

This episode is a follow up to material covered in Episode 6. You will enjoy it much more if you watch episode 6 first. Then click the video below to watch Episode 7, and scroll down for all the show notes and details. 

Today’s Teacup:

Aynsley Bone China from England

The company was founded in 1775 by John Aynsley in Lane End, Longton, Staffordshire.

From You:

Lori writes:

I know you are asking what we have been doing and I wanted to share this with you. 

I have an old photo of my mother’s side of the family and they are sitting down at the table to celebrate my GG Grandmother’s birthday. 

Anyway I am a tea cup collector and tea drinker and so was my great grandmother who is also in the photo to the right holding onto my mom. 

I wanted to find her china and as you can see this photo is not very good at being able to identify.  I sent a close up of this picture on the china pattern to Replacements LTD.com and they were able to help me find the china and pattern! 

Here is the photo of the family (and) the china pattern that they helped me discover.  I didn’t know that you could send them a photo so when I discovered this I have been telling everyone!  

Love the Elevenses show!

Lor's family and their china

Lori’s family and their lovely china place settings.

Where Lori found her replacement china pieces.

ReplacementsLTD.com identified Lori’s china pattern!

Family History DIY Project

You may have noticed the watch on my wrist in this episode. I don’t usually wear a watch, but this actually isn’t a watch. It’s a DIY bracelet that I created using one of my grandmother’s old watches.

Click to watch (below) how you can make one yourself:

 

Learn more at Genealogy Gems DIY here.
Follow me for more Family History DIY ideas:
Instagram: Lisa Louise Cooke at www.instagram.com/genealogygems 
Pinterest:
Lisa Louise Cooke Genealogy Gems at www.pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke/

 

Answers to Your Questions About My Genealogy Organization Method

From Julie
Q: How do you handle legal size papers?
and from MargtheCar
Q: What do you do about oversize documents, panorama photos etc that don’t fit in a binder?
A: Hopefully you won’t have a lot. You can use a legal size binder like this one, or an archival safe box. Gaylord

From Joyce
Q: What weight of protectors?
A: Avery Heavyweight 3.3 mils  #76003

From Linda
Q:  Do you put each sheet of a letter in a separate sheet protector or do you put the entire letter in the one sheet protector?
A: One each although sometimes I place one-sided items back to back. You can slip a piece of acid-free paper or cardstock between them if you wish. 

From Kathryn
Q: Does it matter whether the binders themselves are archival?
A: As long as everything is in the archival safe sheet protectors they should be fine. Gaylord makes a 3 ring archival box but it’s expensive – about $30 each

From Betty in the Episode 6 Show Notes Comments
Q: Beginning with “the 4 ancestral lines”…don’t those notebooks become extremely large? Have you gone from a 3” on a name and then added a second for same line?
A: For a few family lines (the ones closest to me because they have the most archival paper) I do have multiple binders. I indicate on the spine the time frame that the binder covers. 

From Marilyn
Q: For a couple do you make a copy and file it in both of their binders.
A: A couple is in the same binder. The wife goes behind the head of household tab.

From Pamela
Q: Do you move the women into another binder when they married and how do you make a note in her birth family binder?
A: The last item in the father’s binder should be her marriage application / license. This tells you the surname of her fiancé. If she is a direct ancestor I create a new binder for her husband’s surname. You are welcome to put a sheet of paper that references the new binder, although my database would also tell me who her husband was, so I would look for that binder. I would only create a binder if there was enough material to warrant it, and if she were a direct ancestor.

From Ginny
Q: ​Are the male sons listed with their father until they marry?
A: Yes – they only move to a new binder if paper warrants it and they are a direct ancestor.

From Keck
Q: Do you put photos in the same binders?
A: Yes, for now. I’m setting up archival boxes. If you have a lot of old family photos, I recommend storing them separately. However, I think it’s wonderful to scan them and print copies of some of your favorites to include in their section of the binder. 

From Pamela
Q: ​Do you scan all your paper and keep it organized on your computer as well?
A: Yes, if it’s worth keeping for future reference. I don’t keep all paper though. I only keep and archive paper items that are precious and irreplaceable. My goal is to download the digital records I find online and store them on my computer (which is backed up with Backblaze.) And keep in mind, there is no pressure to file ALL paper before resuming your genealogy research. I schedule regular scanning time, for my backlog, and I scan and file as I go with current research. Eventually you will get caught up. 

From Susie
Q: ​Do you mark the paper to show that it is also digitized?
A: Yes, with a pencil check mark. Or you could use a thin sharpie and mark the sheet protector.

From Regina
Q: Do you keep copies of census records in your files? Or do you rely on the big name websites and attach it to an online tree?
A: Not typically, although I have kept a few from when I first started my research when I was a kid.  Now I download the digital file and save it on my hard drive which is backed up to the cloud.

From Kay
Q: Do you put new items in your heirloom binder? e.g. a gift you received that you think will be passed on? {of course, some things need to go in a will.)
A: Yes, absolutely!

From Carol
Q: I’ve really been enjoying your YouTubes and have become a member. I love the idea of the heirloom template, but for some reason when I try to insert a picture, only a small portion shows. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Would you do a quick summary of how to insert the picture?
A: I’m going to show you how to do that, and the best way to find all of the show notes:

 

 

master family tree

Stay in control of your genealogy.

Article Mentioned in this Episode

Read my article: Planting Your Master Genealogy Family Tree

 

Online Family Trees:

Pros:

  • Good for cousin connections
  • Good for generating hints
  • Good place to track and test ideas

Cons:

  • Controlled by someone else
  • Can only access documents with a subscription
  • Inaccurate trees

I use my online tree as a lead generator, NOT a master tree.

Do the Genealogy 2-Step to Protect Your Family Tree

Step 1: Purchase a genealogy software program and load it on your computer
Step 2: Back up your entire computer with a cloud-based backup service

The best type of backup protection involves:

  • Multiple copies
  • Updated regularly
  • At least one copy stored in a different physical location than your computer

What I look for in a cloud backup service:

  • Backup of all files automatically (including video!)
  • Free app for accessing files on mobile
  • Encryption and security
  • Ease of restoration
  • Competitive price

I use Backblaze. If you decide to check them out, please use this Backblaze link. If you do we are compensated at no additional cost to you, and that supports the free Elevenses with Lisa show. Thank you!  Whatever you choose, start backing up today!

More Answers to Questions About Genealogy Organization

From Jennifer
Q: Do you use the card catalog (behind you) for family “cards” to show what you have and what is filed where?
A: No. My database is my master. If I need to know something about someone in my family tree, I look them up in my database. That is the final word on what I currently know about them. Armed with that information I then know where to look in my computer digital files, and in which binder I will find the archival paper. 

From Julie
Q: Do you reference the documents in your regular binders so you know how to find them?
A: No. My database is where I turn because it is the most accurate and up to date information on each person in my tree. If I need documentation on any aspect of a person’s life, I turn to my hard drive where the bulk of my documents are. If it’s not there (although it probably is because I scan my archival paper) then I pull the family binder. I can ALWAYS find what I need. I’m happy to say that I haven’t lost an item yet. 

From Keck
Q: Do you have a Table of Contents in each binder?
A: No – it’s chronological and matches my database. See my previous answer to Julie above. 

From Sherry
Comment: Cross referencing is great and saves in duplicating paper…that being said, put a cross reference sheet in the front of each binder and list each item that you reference on that sheet.
A: I designed my system so that I would not have to cross reference. People are not duplicated in multiple binders because they can only be in one household at a time. They are either in their father’s household, or their own household. (Yes, an adult may live or rent from someone else, but they are still their own “head of household”.) The database is my guide as to their surname and the life events which is the information I need in order to know which binder to look in. This is the beauty and the simplicity of this system. All filing and organization is driven by the master database. And remember, the goal is keeping the least amount of paper possible. Most items will be digital on your computer. 

From Stephen
Q: ​If you have both paper and digital of the same document, do you discard the paper once done with it and reference the digital version in the binder?
A: I discard the paper if it’s not archival-worthy. (In other words, it is not previous, irreplaceable or highly sentimental. Most isn’t.) There’s no need to reference the digital version. If I need backup documentation on anything noted in my database, I know where to find it on my hard drive. We’ll talk more about hard drive organization in Episode 8. There is also an in-depth two part video series on how to do it step-by-step in Genealogy Gems Premium Membership. (Learn more about membership here

From Karen
Q: My big problem is I have about 8 different Brown families. How do I label them to know which is which?
A: My first questions would be, are all of them direct lines? I tend to archive only the most important items for direct ancestors. Digitize the rest, and toss the paper. If they are collateral relatives you can also file their paper in the direct line binder under the Collateral tab.
You can also include the unique number assigned to the person in Rootsmagic, or use their birth year to identify each unique Brown head of household. 

Multiple genealogy binders for one family

Multiple genealogy binders for one family

From Keck
Q: Do you duplicate that in Evernote or in your digital file for the same family? 
A: Evernote is my “active workspace”. It is not a complete look at my research. It is only the notes and clippings associated with my research. The paper organization we’re talking about is archival. All genealogy records are digital on my computer. If you want to remind yourself about an archived item, you can certainly make a mention of it in your Evernote notes. 

From Jennifer
Q: ​I’d like to list on Twitter for you and Facebook, are we doing Elevenses with Lisa for forever or are we just looking at May for now? (I want to open the invite.)
A:  I plan on continuing indefinitely. I have nowhere to go! And besides, I love meeting with you all each week. thank you for sharing the show – I really appreciate it!

share on facebook genealogy hoarder

Thank you for sharing Elevenses with Lisa with your friends and genealogy society!

In the Next Episode of Elevenses with Lisa:

  • Filing digital genealogical files
  • Naming digital files
  • Filing digital photos

 

Resources for Further learning:

Premium Members: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

These video classes (each with a downloadable handout) are included in Genealogy Gems Premium Membership and will help you further implement my system and become more productive (Members log in and then click the image to watch the video and download the handout):

Step-by-step 2 part video tutorial series.

Take control of your family tree and genealogy

Essential viewing!

Organize Your Digital Life

One hour video class.

Join me for exclusive videos, handouts and podcast episodes. Click the button below to become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member.

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Do you have a questions about organizing your genealogy?

Please leave your questions and comments below. 

 

Episode 3 “Elevenses with Lisa”Family History Show

Live show air date: April 9, 2020

Episode 3 Video and Show Notes

What’s even better than listening to a genealogy podcast? Watching and listening to a genealogy online show! Elevenses with Lisa is the new online video series by author, international genealogy speaker, and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast, Lisa Louise Cooke. Tune in live or watch on your own schedule. Click to watch below, and scroll down for all the details from Episode 3:

Staying Connect with the Grandkids and Friends

During this time of staying at home, we all miss our loved ones and friends. This week I shared an app with you that is great for playing virtually. Here’s what I did with my grandkids.

  1. Set up a computer, phone or tablet for calling on FaceTime. (You could also use Skype, Zoom or any other number of free services.)
  2. Download the Draw Something app to a second device – phone or tablet. Since this is a drawing game, a tablet gives you a bit more room to work. 
  3. Friend your grandkids through the app. 
  4. Video call your grandkids on the first device, and then take turns drawing and guessing pictures on the second device.

 

How Alice the Genealogist Avoids the Rabbit Hole Part 2

Don’t let unexpected genealogical finds send you down a rabbit hole any longer. In this episode I cover concrete strategies for staying focused on what matters most, while not losing track of opportunities that present themselves. You’ll also learn about free tech tools that you can put in place to give you peace of mind, take back those lost hours, and help you be more productive.

Identify BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects)

You can’t avoid danger (to your current research plan) if you don’t know what it looks like! My test will help you determine if what has caught your eye while researching online is a BSO.

how to identify a bso

How Alice identifies a BSO

Take the BSO Test:

  1. Does this get me closer to answering my research question?
  2. On a scale of 1 – 10 how potentially critical is this to my research?
  3. Am I willing to give up finding the answer to my research question to pursue this?

Once you’ve identified BSOs, it’s time to implement a process for dealing with them so you can stay focused on our research question, as well as return to the BSO to explore its potential.

5 Ways to Capture & Return to BSOs

1. Use a Cloud Note-taking Service

Get yourself a free Cloud note-taking tool (Evernote, OneNote, Google Docs, etc.) and use it consistently. Use the website, software, and/or app to capture unexpected finds while researching.

I happen to use Evernote. If you’re new to Evernote, here’s a quick video that will help explain it to you.

 

Here’s an example of how I use Evernote to capture BSOs:

  • Create a tag in Evernote called BSO.
  • Each time you come across something that tempts you to deviate from your current focus, clip it and tag it with the BSO tag. This will allow you to move on with your research plan with confidence, knowing that it will be easy to locate and pursue the BSO later.
  • Add additional tags if desired to help you remember what it was about or why it interested you, such as a surname tag.
  • Evernote notes can have multiple tags, so use them.
  • Annotate the note to provide additional information as to why the BSO caught your eye, and what you plan to follow up on later.
  • Evernote will attach a link to the page where you clipped the item to the note. This means with one click you can return to the original source. 
Notes tagged in Evernote

Notes tagged in Evernote

The benefit of using a Cloud-based note-taking tool is that your notes will be available to you on all your devices (depending on whether you have a free or subscription plan.) You can add additional information to your notes, and work with them anytime, anywhere.

2. Schedule BSO Time

One of the main reasons we get side-tracked by BSOs while working online is that we are afraid if we don’t look at it right now we’ll lost it or never go back to it. By scheduling time  specifically for working on tagged BSOs, you will feel more confident about letting them go while you are working on a research plan.

I schedule my time in the free Google calendar. You can have several different calendars (i.e. categories of types of things you schedule.) Create a “BSO” calendar and color code it so it’s easy to spot. Schedule BSO time and follow up items as future events on your calendar. Set Notifications and Email Reminders for each item.

Scheduling BSO times means you can mentally let them go for now! 

Schedule your BSO time

Create a “BSO” calendar

Coming in the next episode:

In Episode 4 of Elevenses with Lisa we will cover Mobile Organization. We spend a lot of time on our phones and tablets. Get ready for the best tips and tricks that will help you stay on task.

Mobile Genealogy Organization (Alice

Mobile Genealogy Organization

 

Resources

Premium Members Exclusive: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) 
Become a Premium Member here.

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