I made a box for each of my grandparents: Fast, Suderman, Siemens, and Reimer. Inside each box is a folder for each person in that line. I compared the Grandma 6 database that I use for my working files with the current Grandma Online information and updated my files to reflect new work that others have sent in to Grandma. I also sent in corrections to the online database for work that I had done. I tried to find copies of all the sources used in the Grandma databases so that I would have a copy.
|A box of files for each grandparent.|
|The Sudeman box with a separate file for each ancestor.|
Then I printed a 7-generation ancestry chart and a family group sheet for each person and put that in his folder. I also scanned every paper document and printed every electronic document and put them in archival plastic sleeves so that I would have a copy of everything in both media to increase the likelihood of one copy surviving. When I noticed things that were missing or thought of research that should be done, I made a to-do list and put it in the ancestor's folder. Now I have another stack of things to chase down. And I made a folder on my hard drive for every ancestor. And I have an off-site backup of everything on a hard drive.
|File structure on my hard drive.|
I've also improved my skills because I saw things in the Grandma database that others had done for ancestors that I hadn't worked on. So then I could apply that to other ancestors. And I learned a lot about sources, especially in Poland and Prussia where I mostly knew about the Gross Werder sources. I picked up a lot about the Przechowka, Danzig, and Stuhm areas.
It's been a lot of fun organizing the files because I went systematically through each ancestor. And I feel so much better about the organized folders and boxes. Mess, be gone!