I like to think of myself as an organized genealogist. I color coordinate with the best of them. But when I am on a roll, or not sure what direction to go, I resort to hand written charts to follow my family tree. This is a typical tree I create when I am searching for a new lead.
I was also trying to explain to my cousin who someone was so I made my chart just a little neater.
These visual charts help me follow lines especially when I am looking for connections and just jotting down lines that have the same name. The original purpose was, it was just a note and throw it out. I later found myself recreating them over and over. If I am following an unknown line, I keep my “notes” until it connects to my tree or I prove it doesn’t. Once I have proof it is my line it goes into my database and looks like this.
The database includes or should include as much information as I have. Occupation, Religion, Cause of Death, Birth Records, Marriage Records, Death Records and a photo. I can tell that this photo of a family sheet is old because it does not include that I have a birth record for Leonardus Julius. I have the record, recently found, so I need to update my database to show that I have this record. This saves time in looking for the record again (or looking through my records for it). I also do not have a photo of Maria Ludovica attached but I believe I have one, so this reminds be to check and to attach it the database. Sadly I have seen one photo of Leonardus Julius with all his brothers and sisters but it belongs to a cousin in Belgium and when I was shown it I never thought of taking a photo of the photo and now no one seems able to locate it. Moral of the story if you are without any way of copying the photo, take a photo of it, from your camera or your phone. It all works and you will have it.
I would like to point out that scribbled sheet when I am done working for the day goes into one of my color coordinated folders for the family line I am working on. Some days I just open up a folder and re-read my notes. I have found information that links to my direct line that I didn’t know I had by comparing my notes. We are not all perfect and when researching in the wee hours of the morning we sometimes don’t make the connection between names and family ties.
Do not feel like my methods are the only methods, or the correct method and you can laugh and say it’s the stupidest method you ever heard of. We all have our own ways. I just like to point out a few of mine. What I find works, what I find doesn’t, and that I prefer to be organized, methodical and only use the neat methods, but it doesn’t always work. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. I am far from perfect. I just try to keep learning, to keep sharing. I have my family tree back to the 1500’s, when I started I just wanted to know who my great grandparents where. I think I’m doing ok.