Organize the New RecordsEdit This Page

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Principles of Family History Research Gotoarrow.png Step 5. Use the Information Gotoarrow.png Organize the New Records

File your newly acquired records and extracts (see Organize Your Records). Keep the materials organized so that anyone can find them later. You may want to keep copies of important extracts and documents with your working papers (pedigree charts, family group records, and research logs) in a loose-leaf notebook.

Using a Computer for Genealogy

Using a Computer for Genealogy
You do not have to have a personal computer to keep genealogy records, but it helps! Computer note keeping offers an important advantage. After typing the information once, you can use it repeatedly in many different ways. The same information can be used in pedigrees, family group records and descendancy charts, and is easily shared for other people to use. This flexibility saves time. Reports and charts are easily updated without extensive retyping. A computer program can help you analyze some information by preparing special reports, such as possible errors (for example, children born before parents’ births). However, computers may be expensive and are not as portable as a pencil and paper.

Specially designed computer programs are available to help genealogists more easily compile—

  • Lineage-linked databases (files which can be searched by name, date, place, or relationship and which show a person’s ancestors and descendants)
  • Reports and charts
  • Blank forms (for example, research logs)
  • Autobiographies and family histories
  • Indexes
  • Transcriptions of records such as censuses

When selecting computer programs to help with genealogical note keeping, consider these factors:

  • Does it enable you to create a lineage-linked database and to print the reports and charts you want?
  • Does the program communicate and work well with New FamilySearch?
  • Does the program support GEDCOM? (Genealogical Data COMmunications) so you can easily send and receive genealogical information and contribute to Ancestral File?
  • Does the publisher have a good record of answering user questions and helping to solve problems?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is the price reasonable?
  • Does the program offer all the features and capabilities you want?

Two helpful reviews of dozens of genealogy programs are on the Internet at:



 

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