Where am I going to start? Feeling a little overwhelmed I sat down and tried to set some rational boundaries. I had to remember that this was a starting point and to not get bogged down with the unrelenting supply of information, and resources available. It was important to have a clear picture of where I was going with this project. I spent the initial week planning, considering all the stakeholders, setting a budget, developing a timeline and reaching decisions on what were achievable goals.
The achievable goals would be:
- Selection of a suitable online Genealogy site to post family tree on
- Provision of access to this tree to family members and other researchers
- Development of a Filing system for all documentation, photos etc
- Electronic copies and electronic filing system for all documentation.
The first step was to do some research into the different online Genealogy sites and to compare them with those that I am already familiar and decide which would suit my project requirements. It was important that this site could be easily accessed by other members of the family and researchers who were interested following the development of our family tree.
I decided to approach the development of this family tree as a pilot project that could be expanded and developed at a later stage to include all my family tree research. To keep the project within a reasonable boundary, I decided to only extend by family tree back 5 generations. Then when this was established I would be able to move on and add the additional information past the first 5 generations. I think this is good advice for anyone starting on their family tree. Keep the initial stages of your research within achievable limits. Once you have established your Family Tree up to the first 5 generations you can use this as the base to go back further in your family tree exploration.
It was also necessary to decide on a simple and easy to use filing system for all my documents in both hard copy and soft copy. The logical form for me, was to develop Files for the four branches of our parents surnames, e.g. my parents family names and my husbands family names. It was important to keep this filing system simple, so as it didn't consume too much of my valuable research time.