Monday, April 19, 2010

That which was lost . . .

. . . now is found.

For months, nigh onto a year, I have been fretting over a copy of a document and a copy of a newspaper article, both pertaining to my great-great grandmother's divorce from my great-great grandfather. They seemed to have got lost from the binder in which I have other documents from the same time period, which I received from a cousin. I could not for the life of me find these documents, and I was getting very upset.

However, one good thing came of this apparent loss. I designed a "document tracking form," a blank copy of which now resides at the front of each of the binders in which I have family information. On the form, each time I remove a document from the binder for examination, I enter the Clooz ID number, the title or nature of the document, the subject person, the document's permanent location, the date it was removed from its binder, why the document was removed from the binder, and its temporary resting place. The form remains in the binder while the document is in use, and does not come out of the binder until the document is returned to its proper place in that binder.

Peace of mind sometimes has a price. This time, however, I did not have to pay that price, in the end. A few weeks ago, I dragged out an old plastic file tub, which has hanging files in it, and which I had used to store some documents and other items before I put everything into binders. I needed the tub to store files I am accumulating for my study of the family structure of St. Augustine, FL, from 1783 to 1821. I found not only the divorce document and article, I also found some photos I had been trying to find for the past several years!

I guess the moral of that story is: Put all your stuff in one place! And do it in a timely fashion!

I am very glad I found those items, but I think the step I took to devise my "document tracking form" was a great step, too, and I have used that form most faithfully!


Greta Koehl said...

I hope you can send a little bit of that "finding luck" my way (and the organizational part wouldn't hurt, either)!

Leslie Ann Ballou said...

Great idea Karen!