|Hanging File Folder Tote|
|4 Different Colors of Hanging Folders|
|Manila File Folders|
|File Folder Labels|
|Black Writing Pen|
|Hilighters to Match Colored Hanging File Folders|
Have a pedigree chart handy, either on paper or a computer near by.
|Color Coded Pedigree|
Green - Your Paternal Grandfather's Line
Red - Your Paternal Grandmother's Line
PURPLE - Your Maternal Grandfather's Line
Yellow - Your Maternal Grandmother's Line
This is a red file. According to the color coded pedigree above this would be Your Paternal Grandmother's Line. The tabs are based on surnames within that line. I like to place mine alphabetically, but you do what's best for you.
The manila folders holds individual families within the surname. These files would go into the "Vallance" folder and be arranged from youngest to oldest. Vallance, John b. 1833 was married first to Wright, Almeda. Note the "M1".
Vallance, John b. 1833 was married second to Burns, Julia b. 1853. Note the M2. Include as much of the birth date as you know. This is especially important when a folder holds multiple men with the same first name.
Here is an example of a complete birth date written out. This file holds information on Wiggins, John b. 29 Jan 1741. Married to Guy, Elizabeth, b. unknown. In this file you will find paper work relating to this family. You might wonder where information on Guy, Elizabeth is found as a child. She is found in a red folder with surname label GUY. As a child, up until she marries, her information is found in the manila folder bearing her father's name, her mother written below his. Women are always found with father or husband.
You see here that the red folder, labeled Wiggins, holds many files. All men in this hanging file have the last name Wiggins and are direct descendants.
1. Sometimes you have papers that relate to a line and not any one particular individual in that line. You may just need to add another manila folder with a description and put it behind the named files. You may need to create another hanging folder, the appropriate color, and label the tab with the surname and contents --- like "Wiggins - Unknown". In a file such as this you may choose to have several manila folders for different unknown Wiggins families or individuals.
2. Don't let your folders and files get cluttered. Periodically you may need to go through and get rid of the clutter.
3. It's helpful to create a master list and/or log in each surname hanging folder. A quick reference as to where you've searched and where you would like to search, along with findings.
4. You may also choose to keep some kind of contact list or folder for each surname. A list of cousins or helpful people, addresses, email and/or phone numbers.