fileKeeping records of your information while researching is vital to the success of your Family Tree.

Initially – if you are a beginner or unsure how genealogy works – all records should be kept in paper format. When you have enough information, it may warrant the use of a software package, spreadsheet or database.

Individual family sheets should be started for each person, entering all the relevant information required and subsequently repeating the same process for the marriage sheets.

Once these two sheets have been correctly filled in, an ancestral chart or descendant chart will then be completed to display the generations you have information on.

If your budget allows and you have a computer, invest in a software program for keeping your records electronically. There are free ones that can be downloaded from the Internet or commercial packages that can be purchased from your local computer store. There are also websites like that allows you to store your family tree online and if you have a software package like FamilyTree Maker it will automatically sync your software with any online records you have found if you have subscription.

Rule 1.

Make sure that your documents are housed in a safe environment away from direct sunlight, moisture and long fingers.

Rule 2.

Keep a research log and record all sources of material you have acquired, whether it be from archives, web sites, church records, books etc. Record all the reference numbers from the above sources. You do not want to repeat research that you have already done. This can lead to mistakes if the correct source codes are not used.

Rule 3.

Make regular backups of any data from your computer.

Rule 4.

Make photocopies of all-important documents and keep them in a safe environment.