Thursday, September 24, 2015

Index Cards: Useful Genealogy Tools

There are lots of genealogy tools that involve technology. I read about them in genealogy journals, blogs & websites. I have tried many of them. However, I also use many tools that have nothing to do with technology.

I confess to having a desk drawer full of notepads, envelopes and index cards. I have index cards in multiple sizes and colors; lined, unlined & grids. I have to avoid the index card aisle in office supply stores so I don’t buy more.

A few ways I use index cards:

DNA matches.
Recently I did an Ancestry DNA test. I was very excited when I went on Ancestry and saw the long list of matches but I soon realized it would be hard to keep track of contacts, their relationship to me & messages between us. I thought about using a spread sheet to keep track but decided to use index cards. I can sort them alphabetically, according to family lines or by state. Naturally I use pink for my mother’s family & blue for my father’s family. Hopefully my index cards will help me organize and understand my matches more clearly.

I have a pile of large index cards for cemeteries. Each card has the cemetery address, office hours & etc. Then I list the relatives who are there.  I can sort them by location or family names. It is easy to carry the cards along on cemetery trips.

Book Planning.
I use index cards to help organize the book I am writing. I have a large cork board where I tacked up cards for each section with chapters beneath. As I finish a chapter I add a “Done” sticky note. It helps me visualize the book and keeps me on track.

Do you use index cards for genealogy? How do you use them? I am always eager to find new uses for my drawer full of index cards.



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