Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sorting Saturday - The Things You Can Find on the Internet

Okay, hands up. Who, among you out there, thought that I just wouldn't be able do any more organizing this week or perhaps ever? Well, I'm happy to tell all the naysayers, that I got through not just one skinny folder, but two. However, honesty compels me to admit that the only reason I did it is because of a self-imposed requirement to post to this blog once per week. I also didn't even start on said folders until the afternoon of Friday, February 4th.

I know you are all dying to know, what was in the two skinny folders and what did I do with it? Well, one folder was marked "Articles" and the other "Search Hints." Most of these items were dated 1995 and 1996 and I don't think I had looked at them more than once since putting them in the files. I ended up only having to scan one article, everything else was found on the Internet. That means I now have digital copies or links to everything and all the paper went in the ever-expanding recycle pile.

I thought I would share the digital resources I found, in case, you too, would like to divest yourself of paper files.

I had two copies of "cousin relationship charts" which I have never used.  I found several on the Internet, although none exactly the same as the ones I had copied.  But who cares.  The chart variations I found and liked can be found here by way of Rootsweb, here at, a diamond-shape one at Wikimedia, one from GenTutor here, and yet another here.

I had a tip sheet dated 1989 from Family Tree Maker (back when it was still owned by Borderbund Software) on how to preserve family photographs. Since, understandably, this sheet didn't mention digital files or photography, I decided some updating was in order. The National Archives and Library of Congress both have pages dedicated to photo and digital preservation. I also found a leaflet on photo preservation from Cornell University.  The yellowing tip sheet on preserving your family collections from the Northeast Document Collection Center was quickly replaced by a link to their website. Another good site with suggestions for preservation can be found at the New York State Library.

In the mid-nineties, I had copied several articles from Ancestry Magazine. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ancestry has made most of its archive available, for free, online. You can find their archive here. Unfortunately, it can only be browsed and not searched. There is a print-friendly format, but I simply "sent" them to OneNote, where they will probably sit, unread, for another decade-and-a-half.

The last item I replaced was a pre-1999 article from the Columbus Dispatch. This clipping was "Research Family's Health History for Patterns" from Joy Wade Molton's column, Find Your Ancestors. I couldn't find the column online, but I did find sites with similar information here and here both from the Wall Street Journal and here from the CDC.

I now have less paper and more up-to-date information; that is a very good thing. Let's just hope I can stay motivated - there are not many skinny folders left.


TCasteel said...

Actually - good Job! In my book, every little bit counts.

Theresa (tangled trees)

Amanda E. Epperson said...

Thanks Theresa. Now that the cooking is done, the sorting can begin again!

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