My 2nd Family History Binder

Last year I made this family history binder as a Christmas gift for my father-in-law, so I decided that this year I would make one for my side of the family. My mom spent last summer photographing church records in a small town in Italy (you can read more about that process in this post), so I wanted to organize her family’s records for her.

I used the same materials as before (see the list here), except I purchased 3 sets of these tabbed dividers instead of 2 for a total of 24 tabs.

My first tab has a numbered 4-generation pedigree chart starting with my mom’s grandmother, Anna Grosso.

I then printed off additional pedigree charts starting with #8-15 so that my mom could reference them while doing research. See this post to see how to print number pedigree charts from or how to create your own.

Each of the numbered tabs corresponds to the number of an individual found on the first 4-generation pedigree chart. 

The first page of each person tab has a printout of their familysearch page so you can easily see their vital facts, spouses, children, parents, and siblings.

I then used Family Tree Maker (FTM) to print the documents I had for that individual. For most, that consisted of their baptism, marriage, and death record. The reason I chose to print them from FTM is so that the source info would print on the same page, reducing the number of pages printed by half.

Since I didn’t have much info about these ancestors, I decided to also include their children. After struggling with whether to group them under the father’s tab or the mother’s tab I instead decided they needed their own section. So after each set of parents, I put a tab for their children and labeled it “children of (#) & (#)”. The first page of that section is a family group sheet. I printed this from familysearch.

I then put a printout of the oldest child’s familysearch page followed by their records, just like I had done for the parents. Then I did the same for each of the children, all within that same tabbed section.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include a photos section this time. I only had a couple photos from this family line, so any photos were instead filed under the individual’s tab.

The other difference is that I didn’t include individual timelines or maps. For most of these individuals I only had their birth, marriage, and death info, which is easily visible on their familysearch page. Also, most never moved from the town so a personalized map printout would have been exactly the same for each individual.


I’d love to hear if any of you decide to put together your own binders and what changes you make to adapt them to your own needs. Either leave me a comment below or come share on my facebook page.


34 thoughts on “My 2nd Family History Binder

  1. Sue December 27, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    I like this idea. I think it will work for me, thanks. Question what does this mean (KN45-KYT)?


    • jessaroni December 27, 2017 / 1:25 pm

      That is the familysearch ID for that individual. Familysearch has just 1 large shared tree, so anyone can go on familysearch, search using that ID, and find that individual’s page.


  2. Anonymous December 27, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Ok thanks for the information. Sue


  3. Isidro Deubler January 2, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    ciao Luca, grazie per gli consigli. Qui in Colombia e molto dificile capire la gente. Sono da New York e sono qui per un anno. Ho dimenticato mio italiano e vorrei infrescarla. Di nuovo, grazie da Bogota, Jerry Bauer


  4. LORAINE GOODHUE January 7, 2018 / 11:58 am

    I also name & location of Cemetery if known and also section plot and headstone when possible. I had started my books but took several of your ideas to make them flow better. Thanks for your encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barbara Leffingwell January 19, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    It appears that the info in each section is in sheet protectors? If so, the dividers are wide enough to show and did you have to get larger binders to accommodate the dividers and sheet protectors.


    • jessaroni January 19, 2018 / 1:54 pm

      Yes everything is in sheet protectors. If you look at the materials section for the first binder I made, you’ll see that I used an extra-wide binder and extra-wide dividers.


  6. LORAINE GOODHUE January 30, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    I also add military and Cemetery records when possible. My timeline is usually the first pages of the particular generation

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Erika March 3, 2018 / 9:32 am

    I finished my first binder starting with me and to continue with the 2nd binder I have trouble with the numbering. When I print my #8 person’s pedigree chart do I start the binder with #16, #17 and #32, #33 and #34, #35 and so on?


    • jessaroni March 3, 2018 / 1:55 pm

      I would make a note that person #1 in this binder is the same as person #8 in your first binder, and then start over using #1-#15. The reason I’d do it like that is because when I print pedigree charts from familysearch, they are automatically numbered #1-15 with no way to edit it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erika March 4, 2018 / 8:23 am

        Now, this makes sense, thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Stacie March 8, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    I loved the original binder. I have struggled trying to find a way to organize it so this was perfect and it turned out so good! What would you suggest for further generations? A second binder just continuing on in the same way?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jessaroni March 8, 2018 / 5:01 pm

      Yes exactly. As for numbering, I’d restart with #1 but make mention that this #1 is the same as #8 (or whichever line you are working on) in your first book.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Magdalene Forbis March 13, 2018 / 7:18 pm

    I like this idea very much and have been trying to set it up. I have one question at this time: I put the woman’s birth under her birth name but after she marries and has children do I place the new information under the maiden name or under her married name? To clear this up, if she was born Mary Smith and she marries Joe Brown do I add her new info under Smith or Brown? Thank you, I am sorry I am so dense. I really like the idea.


    • jessaroni March 13, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      I don’t organize by last name. I do each individual separately, starting with the most recent and working back through a 4 generation pedigree chart. So all of her info would be under the tab with her maiden, but it would be right after her husband’s tab.


  10. Magdalene Forbis March 19, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    Thank you for this reply. I understand now. I was trying to put families together but this would be much easier for me and also for others to understand.


  11. Audrey Vinacco Kaplan April 24, 2018 / 2:27 am

    You mentioned making copies of all documents and not putting the originals in your binders. I was looking for a method to preserve my family’s original historical documents. What have you done with those items?


    • jessaroni April 24, 2018 / 9:16 am

      I actually don’t have any originals in my possession (grandparents and aunts/uncles still have them but someday I hope to inherit them). If you do choose to keep yours in a binder you’ll want to make sure you have acid free, archival quality sheet protectors.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. elisabet13 June 15, 2018 / 6:57 pm

    Wow just found your blog and this is great! Thanks for posting all this – it was exactly what I was googling for 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Edel June 23, 2018 / 5:05 am

    I love your ideas. I sort my tree by couple, as I have no spouse, but I will definitely be consulting here again when I print it up for family.


  14. Angela Scott July 25, 2018 / 1:25 pm

    I love all of the ideas! The cover to your second family binder is beautiful. What font did you use on the cover?


  15. Merri Williamson July 27, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    Your family history binder idea is amazing! We are having so much fun putting it together but we are struggling to find the Avery Clear Pocket Label Dividers in Extra Wide. Can you provide the Avery number you are using? Thank you!


  16. arbell October 14, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    Hi. Love your ideas! Above, you say “The first page of each person tab has a printout of their familysearch page so you can easily see their vital facts, spouses, children, parents, and siblings.” How did you get such a clean copy of the information all on one page? Thanks.


    • jessaroni October 14, 2018 / 3:11 pm

      The printout shown is an older version of the familysearch website. Unfortunately they recently changed the familysearch site to have separate tabs for each category. I’m not sure if there is a way to go back to the older version.


  17. Kathy Fletcher January 16, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Hi Jessica, I just found your blog when doing a search on Penterest for lds geneology notebooks.
    I love these wonderful family History Binders that you have put together for your family!
    I’m researching on putting together a Geneological Research Notebook for myself to keep everything organized as I do my own geneology.
    Have you done the same thing? Do you think the way you’ve put these family history binders together, with a section for each main person on the pedigree chart (with research info) would work for that? So far, yours is the most organized notebook I’ve come across!
    If you have anymore ideas, I’d love it if you’d share them with me.


    • jessaroni January 16, 2019 / 11:19 am

      That would definitely work! The binders I’ve made have been given to other family members, otherwise I’d keep my research notes in there like you said. For myself, I’ve just been keeping everything digitally for now.


  18. Kathy Fletcher January 16, 2019 / 3:30 pm

    Thanks, Jessica, I think I’ll give it a try! Though I’m not sure how to continue beyond the 15th person. I have almost 8 more generations going back on my maternal grandmothers & grandfather’s side and even more going back to the 1300s on my Father’s side! It’s not all complete info -more research is still needed, of course.
    I may just to two separate Notebooks. One for my mother’s side and then one for my father’s side.


  19. Matthew Calabresi January 2, 2020 / 12:04 pm

    I’m curious to know how you got the nice printout of the familysearch pages (“The first page of each person tab has a printout of their familysearch page so you can easily see their vital facts, spouses, children, parents, and siblings.”). I can’t see an option in FS to get that done, and taking screenshots and editing seems more time-consuming than what you did.


  20. Annonymous April 2, 2020 / 11:12 am

    Thank you for sharing. Excellent information I will use.


  21. Kelly Ann Ozias September 13, 2020 / 8:04 am

    This is a Godsend! Thank you so much for sharing this. I was wondering, this was done for one ancestral line, correct? Your mom’s grandmother? I would love to make one for my daughter in law including her maternal and paternal sides. Is there a way to do this? That can be simply explained? I have fibro fog from Fibromyalgia (or as I call it, Ate up with the stupids) Your organization is perfect for me.


  22. Kim A Poulter January 2, 2021 / 3:39 pm

    I love your binder. It was just the extra organization that I needed. I have a question. How do you expand to over 4 generations? How would you organize those lines?


  23. Dawn Picota February 21, 2021 / 7:15 am

    I lvoe your system I was doing my different by types of records like emails, census, and so on. How you organize the numbering system that seems so complicated to me


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