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Outlines the materials and rules necessary to organize and maintain a genealogy book or chart; also includes how to record data properly and tips on where to get started researching.
Is there royalty in your bloodline? As interest in genealogy grows, the resources available are multiplying right along with it. Information is more widely accessible than ever before, but for beginners it can be a little confusing exactly how or where to start.
The key to successfully discovering your roots is preparation and organization. The first thing one must do before stepping into the world of family history is make a notebook. Supplies can be obtained from a discount store or office warehouse. You will need: a three-ring notebook, dividers and/or tabs, pedigree charts, notebook paper, plastic slipcovers, pen and pencil, plastic pouch, and magnifying glass.
1. Purchase a three-ring binder. You will be surprised at how quickly you accumulate information, so do not skimp on size or quality. Make sure the metal rings meet evenly together, and clasp tightly.
2. Dividers and tabs: Dividers are necessary to separate the different family lines you research. You still need dividers to separate the different sources from where you glean your information.
3. Pedigree charts: Pedigree charts are available in Family History Kits and from genealogical organizations. These forms are a lateral representation of your family tree. Your name--along with your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents--can be listed with space permitted for personal information such as birth, death, and marriages.
4. Notebook paper is essential for jotting down notes and references. It is also necessary to create a research log (with names, dates, and sources researched) to prevent duplication of your inquiries.
5. Plastic sheet covers are sheets that are sealed around both sides and the bottom so that documents or photographs may be slipped inside from the top. Charts and computer printouts also benefit since no holes have to be punched into the paper. Make sure your sheet covers have pre-punched holes and fit correctly inside your notebook.
6. A sharp No. 2 pencil or quality ink pen that will not smear is essential for note taking. Notes should be written neatly the first time so that they do not have to be redone. Printing is preferred over cursive because it is easier to read.
7. A small plastic pouch with a zipper is a handy accessory to have in your notebook. This item totes your writing utensils and also can carry change necessary for copy machines and order forms.
8. A small magnifying glass is a helpful tool when searching through old or illegible documents.
A genealogy notebook is best kept in alphabetical order. Write each surname on a tab or divider. Behind each section, add paper, pedigree charts (filled out as far as possible to the best of your knowledge), and a few plastic slipcovers. Do this behind every divider to create a unit for each family line. Do not forget to add a research log in the beginning of your notebook to keep track of your work and expenditures.