Open Up the Treasure Chest

Treasure chest

Today when I was speaking to another genealogist  about a road block I had, I told her that for some reason I have this feeling that I had the answer. Somewhere in all the things I’ve collected over the past 17 years. I don’t know why I feel like that, it’s just a nagging feeling.

So if your like me then you keep all those notes, sticky notes and scrap papers of those people who aren’t your family, but could be, because you haven’t made the connection.  After all why would you throw them out because as soon as you do you know that your going to find that connection.  But what do you do with them? Where do you store them?  and if you store them; how on earth will you be able to find them when you think you need to look at them.I can offer a few suggestion and I hope that you can offer some back.

One way you can keep track of all those bits and pieces is to create a file folder for each family group called something like “Beaton – Misc” or “Thompson-Bits and Pieces”.  I have a file like this for each family group and every so often (usually every 6 month but for sure every 12 months)  I go through them and see if I can connect that record I found with my family. I have things that I collected 17 years ago when I was just starting out. I sure didn’t know then what I know now about the family.

If your bits and pieces are of a digital nature then you should start folders on your computer similar to the paper version and make it a habit to check in from time to time.

Or you can take all the scraps and put them in an archival box and call it the treasure box. How fun to go through it and find that piece of information that you collected oh so many years ago actually fits into your tree.

The most important thing if you’re doing any of these things is to be sure that the scrap piece of paper means something to you when you find it again.  Site the source on it, if it’s just a note be explicit so you don’t look at it and thing “what the heck does that mean”. If you don’t do this then that scrap piece of paper becomes just that; a scrap piece of paper.

So as I sift through the things I have pertaining to my road block,  I hope I find that scrap piece of paper. Cuz I think one of the ancestors has been nagging me enough, that I just might have the answer in my treasure box.





  • mimiseeks says:

    I realize that this is an old post, but I was going through your archives for your great posts. You remind me a lot of myself. Just wanted to say, I had a problem with all those little pieces of paper, so I started keeping spiral notebooks, that way they don’t get lost on my desk some place. Ideally, I would have one notebook for each branch of the family, or particular type of search or comparison. However, I always seem to forget what book I am in when I get excited with some new little find, and put the note in the wrong book, so they are all mixed up. But I know that I can go back and search for it. Love your blog, and I’ve started following you.

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