Program Notes: November 2002Barbara Baker
Speaker: Marion Richter Schuetz "Brown Bags Are Not an Organizational System" .
The filing system Marion utilizes consists of loose-leaf binders and card index files, with strong support from her Family Tree Maker™ computer program. They complement one another and the computer does not replace the loose-leaf binders.
The loose-leaf binders and tabbed-index dividers need to be extra wide so that the tabs are still visible above the sheet protectors.
Each generation will be color-coded. Marion suggested using clear tabs and a colored card for the tab insert. For every direct ancestor, under each tabbed-index divider, will first be the family-group sheet, then, in chronological order, all documents relating to that person since the marriage. For female ancestors, early records prior to marriage stay with the father; after marriage they are placed with her husband. Children of this marriage are
Original documents and photos: Original documents are filed flat in a separate, large binder. Make a copy of each original (copied in black and white on a color copier.) You can then fold them down to 8.5 x 11 or less. Original photos: keep the originals away from light and heat; make copies of them for placement in the loose-leaf binders. If it is a group photo, a copy goes behind each ancestor's tab.
Letters from family members: Extract information from the letters and then place the letter, in chronological order, in the loose-leaf binder behind that ancestor's tab.
Index cards: Use one card for each ancestor—direct and collateral. Each index card should contain the following categories: Name, Born, Baptized, Parents, Married, Died, and Children. The back of the index card should be used to show the source of the information. Marion told us that she uses the index cards as a quick, reference system because they can be used when you are not allowed to take a binder or folder into a research facility. She also mentioned that it is useful to have genealogical-society membership numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the card.
Additional file folders:
Of course to hold all these materials you will need hanging files and file folders, which will be placed in either a filing cabinet, boxes, or plastic crates.