Check each step off as you do it. 


Step 1. Gather together genealogically-related items you already have.

Step 2. Fill in a pedigree chart back to your four grandparents.

Step 3. Divide up the items you found by the family surnames of your ancestors and place in four temporary boxes.

Step 4Genealogy is organized using pedigree charts and family group records. Now let's get your filing system set up!


Step 1. Gather supplies for your filing system. (See Shopping List for Filing Systems" for list of supplies you need.)

Step 2. At the front of your file box put a complete set of your family pedigree charts. 

Step 3. Study the Circled 5-Generation Pedigree Chart.

Step 4. Circle the lines of your 4 grandparents by blue, green, red and yellow on your own 5-generation pedigree chart.

Step 5. Put 16 colored hanging files into your box: 4 blue, 4 green, 4 red, 4 yellow.

Step 6. Label the colored hanging files with your family surnames, using your own 5-generation pedigree chart as a guide. 

Step 7. Put copies of your 5-generation pedigree chart in each of the colored hanging files, one for each surname. Highlight the surname line that belongs with that colored hanging file.

Step 8. Label a manila file for each family on your 5-generation pedigree chart.

Step 9. File the manila folders in alphabetical order behind the colored hanging folders the manila folders belong with. (See Patronymics" for suggestions on filing patronymic names.)

Step 10. Place family group record, To Do List, Research Log, documents, notes, and other useful items in manila family file folders.

Step 11. Set up other useful files - Holding Files, Location Files, Helps Files and a Descendants box.

Step 12. Expand to other boxes, as needed.

Step 13. Keep the basic file system updated and useful.