What do you need to get started with your family tree? As it turns out, not much. Really, a computer with internet connection and a few names might get you surprisingly far. If you start delving deeper, like Lexie and me, you might want to add a few more items to your bag-o-tricks.
As I added more and more names and dates to my family tree, I started to get a little confused. Is Mary Dressen from my German side or my Dutch side? Did I come across a Hoen with my family tree or my husbands? So I decided to put everything into binders. Each branch of our family tree (meaning, each grandparent) has their own tab in the binder. I did have to split my Irish side into it’s own binder because I have a lot of stuff on that side. I’d like to think that, eventually, I’ll have eight binders for each of the branches of our family tree and they’ll all be overflowing with stories and pictures and everyone will think I’m amazing! Oh, sorry…
Anyway, I have those clear protective sleeves behind each tab for photos or anything else I do not want to punch holes in. I stuck a note book in the front of one of the binders too.I always have to have a heavy-duty stapler and 3-hole punch nearby so that I can add pages into the binders. Of course, a pencil, pens and a highlighter are tossed in there. Sticky Notes and a camera are great to have to.
Finally, I have my genealogy books that I am currently reading. Sometimes there might be a magazine or newsletter if it had an article that might help me understand life way-back-when (like National Geographic’s May 2012 issue featuring the Civil War).
Now, if I could only figure out how to carry around a printer, I’d be set.