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.


Family History Binder – Part 5 – Timelines and Maps

This is the fifth post in my Family History Binder series. Click here to go back to part 1.

The first page of each ancestor section contains a timeline of the person’s life along with a map showing the locations they lived. I put this sheet inside the  Avery Clear Pocket Label Dividers for each individual.

I use Family Tree Maker (FTM) to keep track of my research. As I input each fact into FTM, they are automatically put in chronological order. I then opened a spreadsheet and with the two programs side-by-side I was able to quickly type the information to create a timeline.


I also used Family Tree Maker to create the map. After clicking on the “places” tab (#1 in image below), I then changed the dropdown “list by” menu on the left to “person” (#2) and then selected the individual from the list (#3).


On the right side, I then checked the boxes (#4) next to the facts that I wanted to include in my map. This will only work if your locations are in the correct format. Then I zoomed (#5) so that the route was centered on the screen. You can then use the snipping tool on your computer to copy the map on the screen, but I found that clicking the “print” button (#6) and then printing as a pdf resulted in a cleaner look.


One of my individuals moved a few times in Kansas and then moved to Arizona and lived in a few different locations there. To show more detail, I decided to split it into two separate maps and used both.


Once I had my maps, all I did was copy and paste them to the bottom of my timeline spreadsheet.

On the back of my timeline, I inserted a family group sheet. This gives me a list of all of the children of the individual. I again used Family Tree Maker to create mine, but here are a couple other options as well:

Blank Family Group Record

Blank Family Group Record with LDS Ordinances

Click here to go on to the next section about how I arranged the documents and sources for each individual.

Family History Binder -Part 4 – Photos

This is the fourth post in my Family History Binder series. Click here to go back to part 1.

The first divider in my family history binder is labeled “maps, photos, etc”. I had originally planned on putting this section last in my binder, but I found that this was the section that people were most interested in looking at and I didn’t want to make them flip past the 200 pages of documents every time.

The maps I included were ones that didn’t necessarily pertain to a specific individual but would still be interesting to have. Here are a couple examples:


1880 Colden, New York: founded by an ancestor and home to a few generations of his descendents


1878 Winfield, Kansas: home to 3 generations of ancestors

My photo section includes copies of every photo I have of the 15 ancestors in my pedigree chart (see Part 3). I purchased Ultra Pro 5X7 Photo Pages to organize them before discovering that it is actually fairly expensive to have 5x7s printed. I could have used 4×6 but decided instead to have 5x7s printed on glossy cardstock at Staples. I put 2 on each page and then cut them out with my Fiskars Paper Trimmer.

What I love about the Ultra Pro 5X7 Photo Pages is the extra slot next to each photo where you can put a caption.

In my captions, I also included the number of each individual (refer to Part 3 to see my numbering system). My reason for not placing the photos of the individual in their specific section of the binder is that I would need to make multiple copies of many family portraits (the top photo shown here would need to be printed for Carl, Ada, and Aaron’s sections).

I added “etc” to my divider tab so that I can add other types documents in the future if I find that they don’t fit anywhere else, like a family crest or DNA data.

Click here to go to part 5 of the Family History Binder series.