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Lorena Smalley

We hope you have started your journey and are using the articles we are sharing to write your family history!  Today, we share more tips for you…Organizing your information!  Remember to visit the Library and Archives Canada website for more interesting information!

Writing Your Family History – Part 4 – Organizing Information

As you gather information on your family, you will want to record it in some way.

  • You will print out or make copies of the information you find and make scans or collect images in digital format.
  • Almost all genealogists use the computer to store and retrieve the information they have gathered.
  • Manual methods of organization are still useful for dealing with the piles of paper you have gathered.
  • Preserving precious family artifacts such as paper documents and photographs is important and must be done in an appropriate way to ensure their safekeeping for future generations.  And finally,
  • as you organize your data, you must keep track of the sources you consult.

Making Copies

Follow these guidelines when copying materials:

  • Record complete source information for the copy. If it is from a book, copy the pages that have the title and publishing information, and make sure you include the page number(s).
  • Record information about the repository (library, archives, etc.) in which you found the item.
  • When copying a page or file from the Internet, record the original filename (especially if you rename the file for your own purpose) and the complete Internet address.
  • Understand the copying permissions granted for each item you copy. It is NOT the case that everything on the Internet is free to use. Copyright and intellectual property rights apply on the Internet, just as they do for print and other materials.

Pedigree Charts

  • Use a blank pedigree chart to record your family history details.
  • Record your own information as person number one, your father as number two, your mother as three, your father’s father as four, etc.
  • Enter as many details as you know, such as full name, date and place of birth, marriage and death, even if that information is only approximate.


CLICK HERE to visit the Library & Archives Canada website to get more tips on organizing your information AND download a free Blank Pedigree chart and Family Chart to get you started!

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