Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy 10th Blogiversary to Me!

I can't believe that ten years ago today, I created my "Find Your Folks" blog. In my first post, I defined the purpose of this blog. [click here to read first posting]. I don't blog as often as I used to, however this ten year milestone is a good time for me to re-evaluate my genealogy blog and to set new blogging goals.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Color Genealogy Filing System

Editor's Note:  This posting was originally posted on my blog on Sunday, February 15, 2009. Links to this blog posting were updated March 10, 2014, January 23, 2018, and February 2, 2018.

Genealogy is a hobby full of papers, electronic files, and heirlooms. The more documents we find on our family, the more the paper piles up. As a result, the excitement of finding information on our ancestors is overshadowed by the weight of piles of papers.

Since beginning this hobby in 1994, I have tried various filing methods such as notebooks and an ancestral number filing system. However, none of these methods have worked effectively for me. Many new genealogist use a notebook to organize their paper documents. I used a notebook also when I began this hobby in 1994. However, after accumulating many documents, a notebook did not work for me. A few years ago, I discovered the Family Roots Organizer Video in my local public library. Later, I purchased my own copy of the video which I watch periodically.

The foundation of this filing system for genealogy papers is based on a color-coding system for the pedigree line. This method recommends using one of four colors for each of your four grandparents.

  • BLUE: Paternal Grandfather
  • GREEN: Paternal Grandmother
  • RED: Maternal Grandfather
  • YELLOW: Maternal Grandmother

  • I modified this filing system to suit my needs. I’m not sure why I didn’t use the exact colors for each grandparent that were suggested, however, the four-color method still works no matter what colors are used for each grandparent. I also choose to use color file folders for both ancestors and collateral family and green hanging folders for all families. I use highlighters on the hanging file folder tabs for each surname. I choose the following colors for each of my grandparents.

  • Minor: Maternal Grandfather (green)
  • Emma: Maternal Grandmother (red)
  • Mack: Paternal Grandfather (blue)
  • Hattie: Paternal Grandmother (yellow)

  • Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue colored file folders are included in the spring colors of an assorted box of folders. Orange is also included in the spring colors and I adopted this color for my growing collection of DNA related files. The fall colors of an assorted box of file folders includes Grey, Maroon, Royal, Teal, and Purple. From this box, I have chosen Purple folder for my files related to white families in my research who are either slave owners, suspected slave owners, or some other relations to my family such as employer, landlord, or neighbor. I use the remaining colors for personal files such as bills and other financial related files.

    Since using this color system for my ancestral files, I can now immediately indentify from a distance the category or grandparent to which each file belongs. By the way, this color filing system can also be used with notebooks, instead of file folders. Some genealogists use white notebooks and place a specific color cover and strip in spine for easy identification.

    For more information, visit the websites below:

    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Memory Monday: School House Rock Songs

    Originally posted Monday, September 6, 2010

    Happy 45th Anniversary to School House Rock!

    Recently, I began humming my favorite school house rock song “Conjunction Junction, What’s Your Function? This was a song from a series of school house rock songs which played in between Saturday morning television cartoons during my childhood in the 1970s. I think that the Conjunction tune was my favorite because of the jazzy styled music and lyrics.

    Conjunction, Junction, What's Your Function?

    In addition to being entertained by various cartoons during my childhood, the school house rock songs would help children learn new things or reinforce things already learned in school. Many of the catchy songs were about the parts of speech such as “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here,” or “Interjections show excitement or emotions! . . . ” There was also a song about how a bill becomes a law which opened up with a personified bill character (piece of paper rolled up) sitting on steps of the nation’s Capitol singing, “I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill . . .” The character then proceeds to explain the process of a bill becoming a law.

    Thanks to YouTube, I am able to revisit my childhood memories and view and listen to these school house rock tunes from days gone by.

    If you also remember these school house rock tunes, which one was your favorite?
    Lolly Lolly Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here


    How a Bill Becomes a Law

    Sunday, January 7, 2018

    Month 1-Genealogy Do-Over Setting Previous Research Aside-Paper Files

    Mission Statement:  During the 2018 Genealogy Do-Over, I would like to accomplish the following: To improve in organizing and managing my genealogy data, digital and paper files on my pedigree line so that I can pass this information on to my three sisters and nieces and nephews.

    In order to set previous research aside, you have to be able to find the documents. My paper files are scattered throughout my house. Most are housed in boxes upstairs in several rooms; some are organized in colored folders and others are not. However, some are scattered in various locations downstairs where I last worked with them because I did not return the papers to the permanent filing location. Last year, I began putting orphan genealogy papers found downstairs into a banker's boxes.

    Notes to Self
    1. One of my goals this month is to continue this process of gathering genealogy related documents located downstairs into one place into banker's boxes. 
    2. Next, I want to begin sorting and purging the contents of these boxes before placing them in their permanent location. 
    3. My long term goal is to move all of my genealogy related papers and resources to one room upstairs.

    I will report on my progress with this task at a later time.

    Happy Hunting!

    “Professor Dru” aka Drusilla Pair

    Friday, January 5, 2018

    Genealogy Do-Over 2018

    genealogy do-over button
    Most genealogist fall into the craft without any formal training and get caught up in the excitement of “finding their folks.” This excitement leads to the mass accumulation of digital and/or paper documents and other resources which usually become overwhelming. 

    I have been researching my family history for over 23 years and am one of the countless genealogists who finds themselves drowning in tons of genealogy data, documents, and other related resources. The Genealogy Do-Over has been a solution for me and many other genealogists to “learn new research approaches in order to improve and change our genealogy research habits.” The Genealogy Do-Over was started in January 2015 by Thomas MacEntee of Abundant Genealogy. It has returned for 2018 with the added bonus this year of the new DNA Do-Over group---click here to learn more.  

    Although I have participated in the Genealogy Do-Over on several occasions since its inception in 2015, I have never completed the entire process. However, I have decided to begin the process once again. During the 2018 Genealogy Do-Over, I would like to accomplish the following: To improve in organizing and managing my genealogy data, digital and paper files on my pedigree line so that I can pass this information on to my three sisters and nieces and nephews.

    I’m looking forward to much more success this time around! If you have not done so already, sign up now!

    Happy Hunting!

    “Professor Dru” aka Drusilla Pair