Monday, July 27, 2015

1, 2, 3 Out it Goes!

I threw out roughly 60% of my genealogical files!

When I started the first cycle of the Genealogy Do-Over back in January, Thomas MacEntee, asked that we set aside all of our old research. I have not touched many of those files in the last seven months so it is now time to decide what I am going to do. 

I came to the conclusion that it just all needed to go for the most part. This was the criteria I used to weed through my files,

  • I kept only the files that belonged to major surnames.
  • I kept all B/M/D records or certificates that I have collected/paid for.
  • I have kept all of my research notebooks.
  • I kept only printed pages that had source citations. 
  • I kept only printed pages from books that had the actual title and call numbers so that I could properly source the information I used from them. 
  • Once I scan the pages into my computer and attached them to the appropriate people I will then toss these pages.
  • I have recycled some of the paper into scratch pads. 
  • I will recycle the file folders for other projects.

I will go through my tree and verify that the names on the file folders are still valid and/or proven relationships. I have been pruning my working tree back and deleting people who extremely distant cousins. For example, eighth cousins, twice removed. I am also streaming down spousal information for families that didn't intermarry. For example those who had multiple marriages but did not have children together. I have put the parent's names in and written siblings down in the notes sections on Ancestry as well as in genealogy software. 

I am now down to the following, 2 file green boxes, 2 white file boxes and 2 medium tote boxes. One green file box holds all of my correspondence files and the other green file box is holding empty file folders, mailing envelopes, plastic files and original documents such as B/M/D records, church records, divorce and annulment records. The 2 white file boxes hold my research for all the major surnames I am researching. The 2 tote boxes are filled with source documents that I still need to weed through, research journals between 1980 and the late 1990's that I would like to read through before tossing them out. You never know what I might have written that could be important! Starting next week I will begin going through the totes. I can feel every genealogist I know cringing!

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