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 familysearch.org 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.

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Family History Binder – Part 6 – Documents

This is the sixth and final post of my Family History Binder series. Click here to go back to part one.

In each section of my binder, I placed copies of every document I had about each individual in chronological order. If a document referred to multiple ancestors, I printed a separate copy for each of them. I didn’t use any original documents, but I still wanted to make the copies last as long as possible so I used Avery sheet protectors that are archival quality. Here are some of the types of documents I included:

  • Birth/death/marriage certificates
  • City directories
  • Military draft records
  • Yearbook pages
  • Land records
  • Cemetery records

Most of my sources were obtained on Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org. For any online documents, I printed the image of the document and then also printed the transcription page from the website with the source information. I placed the transcription page behind each document in the same sheet protector.

I wanted to be able to easily find the individual’s name in each document, so I highlighted the corresponding line in the document with a yellow highlighter. This is especially helpful in census records or city directories that contain many names. Before highlighting, I made sure I let the ink dry for at least 30 minutes or else the ink smeared.

I don’t personally have any original documents for this line of the family, but I was able to obtain quite a few copies just from asking relatives. My in-laws have a cardboard box of various family records that I was able to borrow and scan into my computer using an Epson WorkForce Scanner. I love how quickly I was able to scan stacks of documents while still having high resolutions for photos.

Facebook also proved quite helpful in obtaining records and photos. I received a few items by simply asking our Reynolds Family Facebook group. I also came across the Buffum Family Association group (my husband’s great-grandmother was a Buffum) and asked if anyone had information about our particular line. The next day I was sent over a dozen old photos of ancestors, most of which I had never seen pictures of before.

As my research has continued, I have already found several new sources that I will add to my binder. I hope to make similar binders for all of my other family lines and will post updates here on my blog as my work progresses, along with other research tips.