Saturday, September 1, 2012

Legacy Users - Master Source List

This is the last in a series of organizational posts. So far we have done Paper Filing Systems, Computer Filing Systems and how to file Internet Bookmarks. Today's post is specifically for the users of Legacy Family Tree. How you should file your sources in the master source list is one of the most frequently asked questions on the Legacy Mailing List. Those of you that don't use Legacy can tune out if you like but you might want to read through in case the genealogy program you use has a similar feature.

When you add a new source you give it a title so that you can find this master source again easily. How you file it has to make sense or you will end up accidentally adding the same source again. I have my master source list set up just like the binders where I keep my paper documents (with a location added). The Master Source List has a few more categories than my binders do. The list automatically sorts alphabetically so I have the titles formatted in such a way that they will sort in groups by type, then by state, then by county then by the name of the source. I have over 1000 sources so you can see how important it is to have them organized. What you see below is exactly what you would see if you were looking at my Master Source List sans about 940 entries.

Bible Records - GA - Bugg Family Bible
Bible Records - MS - James Simmons, Jr. Family Bible
Bible Records - MS - Thomas Elias Graham Family Bible
Birth Records - GA - Richmond Co (certificate)
Birth Records - MS - Lamar Co (certificates)
Birth Records - TX - Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 (
Cemetery Records - AL - Tuscaloosa Co - Springer Family Cemetery (survey)
Cemetery Records - GA - Columbia Co - Bugg Family Cemetery (survey)
Cemetery Records - GA - Oglethorpe Co - Cemeteries of Oglethorpe County, Georgia (book)
Census - Federal - GA - Madison Co - 1830
Census - Federal - GA - Madison Co - 1840
Census - Federal - GA - Madison Co - 1850
Census - Federal - MS - Lamar Co - 1910
Census - Federal - MS - Perry Co - 1820
Census - State - FL - 1935 (
Census - State - MS - 1841 (FamilySearch)
Church Records - GA - Richmond Co - Oak Grove Baptist Church
Church Records - NY - Schenectady Co - St. Adalbert's Catholic Church
City Directory - MS - Forrest Co - Hattiesburg - 1937 (
City Directory - MS - Forrest Co - Hattiesburg - 1948 (
City Directory - TN - Shelby Co - Memphis - 1960 (
Court Records - GA - Columbia Co - Columbia County, Georgia Early Court Records (book)
Court Records - GA - Lincoln Co - Guardianship Bonds, Book B
Death Records - FL - Death Certificate
Death Records - LA - Death Certificates
Death Records - MS - Death Certificates
Death Records - MS - Forrest Co - Records of Wright Freeman Undertakers (USGenWeb)
Divorce Records - AL - Alabama Divorce Index, 1950-1959 (
Divorce Records - FL - Florida Divorce Index, 1927-2001 (
Education Records - LA - Caddo Parrish - Shreveport - Charity Hospital School of Nursing
Education Records - MS - Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children 1850-1892, 1908-1957 (FamilySearch)
Immigration Records - FL - Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1951 (
Immigration Records - Prussia - Marienwerder (travel and citizenship papers)
Interview - Entrekin, Norman Hilton
Interview - Simmons, William Houston
Interview - Walter, Vashti Cooper
Land Records - Federal - Bureau of Land Management
Land Records - GA - Headright and Bounty Plats of Survey, 1783-1909 (GA Virtual Vault)
Land Records - GA - St. George Parish - English Crown Grants in St. George Parish, Georgia 1755-1775 (book)
Letters - Daniel Grantham to John David Grantham
Letters - August Weichert to Theresia (Glaentzer) Weichert
Location Files - GA - Lincoln Co - Lincoln County History and Genealogy (book)
Location Files - MS - Lamar Co - Lamar County Heritage (book)
Location Files - NS - Robeson Co - Robeson County Heritage Book 1748-2003 (book)
Magazines/Journals - GA - Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly
Magazine/Journals - GA - South Christian Advocate
Marriage Records - AL - Blount Co (bound volume, certificates)
Marriage Records - FL - Hillsborough Co (loose papers, certificate)
Marriage Records - GA - Lincoln Co (bound volume, certificates)
Marriage Records - MS - Pike Co - Pike County, MS Circuit Court online database
Military Records - GA - Richmond Co - Militia Enrollment, 1864 (GA Virtual Vault)
Military Records - GA - Confederate Compiled Services Records
Military Records - MS - Confederate Pension Files
Newspapers - FL - Tampa Tribune
Newspapers - FL - St. Petersburg Times
Newspapers - LA - Times-Picayune
Newspapers - MS - Hattiesburg American
Social Security Records - SSDI
Social Security Records - SS-5
Surname Records - Goodwin - Goodwins and Allied Families (book)
Surname Records - Miller - The Millers of Sand Mountain (book)
Surname Records - Patton - Ollie Patton and Benjamin Avent, Their Ancestors and Descendants (book)
Tax Records - GA - Burke Co - 1788 Tax Digest (GA Virtual Vault)
Tax Records - GA - Burke Co - 1789 Tax Digest (Ga Virtual Vault)
Tax Records - MS - Lawrence Co - 1818 Tax Digest (FamilySearch)
Will and Probate Records - GA - Lincoln Co - Early Georgia Wills, Lincoln County (book)
Will and Probate Records - MS - Hinds Co - Will Book 1 (FHL #878728)

I hope the four blog posts on organization will inspire you to go through everything you have and get things organized. It doesn't matter what system you use as long as it makes sense to you. The whole point is for you to know what you already have and to be able to find things quickly.

Tomorrow I will post questions and answers about the organizational systems. It isn't too late to get your questions in.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Thanks, Michelle, this is an excellent system. Mine is similar except I use a brief title that will be meaningful to me, usually shortening the actual title and then beginning it with a location or name. It has evolved over time and some of the early titles were not so efficient for finding them again. I also keep an accordion file for title pages to all my sources and print the brief title in green ink on both the title page in the file and the copied pages in my various other binders and files. This way I can look up each "new" source I come across to see if I may already have it. I like the way the title pages look and find it helps me find things as I am very visually oriented. However, I do like your naming system of category then location, though, and may begin to trend toward something more on that order for the new sources,flipping it with the location first though.

  2. Thank you so much for your comments! I know that Geoff Rassmussen (from Legacy) does it backwards from the way I do it but he does everything backwards so it works for him :) He does the location first. If you do it this way you have the advantage of seeing everything you have for a particular location. Geoff has his computer files set up this same way. Geoff has shown his system on various Legacy webinars. This is another method that works. It really doesn't matter what you do as long as it makes sense to you and you are consistent. I still accidentally duplicate a source from time to time. The book, The Millers of Sand Mountain, I had categorized under the surname Miller and as a locality resource under Alabama. No system is perfect :) :) :)

  3. Thanks for the helpful information.