Mine is probably the most simple way to organize and index records. It only requires basic office supplies and word processing software. To organize my vital records, I simply used two binders and page protectors to store the certificates of birth, marriage, and death, among a few other records. The binders I use have a plastic cover on the front and back, so I can slip my indexes in as cover pages.
Organizing the Binders
1. Alphabetize all documents by surname. Women are organized by maiden name. Marriages are organized by male/husband's surname.
2. Index all documents by surname. I simply created my index in Word, using the following format:
Livingston, Mary Ann Death June 11, 1886 Brockton, MA
When it comes to marriages, I list them under the male/husband's name, but I also list the wife by maiden name. Next to her name I cross-reference it back to the husband, i.e. "See Shaw, Harrison."
That's all there is to it. Volume 1 has so many records in it, that the index is two pages long, so page 1 appears on both the front and and page 2 is in the back of the binder.
In addition to birth, marriage and death records, I also include obituaries, passports, probate and estate records. This keeps all records created at a town or county level in one place and organized for easy reference.
Do you have a method of organizing paper vital records?
Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan