Not long ago I showed someone my family tree. It’s a pretty decent size at around 2000 people, although I’m sure some of you have far bigger ones.

This person asked me a very good question. They wanted to know how I could find anything in there. It just looked like one big jumbled mess to them.

You see, I primarily work with my entire family tree. I’ve gotten very good at finding what (or whom) I need. Between knowing my tree and knowing my software it just hasn’t been an issue.

But for a new family history researcher, or simply one who wants to be better organized than me, there’s a simple way to get around an unmanageable tree. Just break it up into smaller trees.

That’s the beauty of the tree format, isn’t it? Every branch is the equivalent of someone else’s tree, and a bunch of trees fit together like an elegant puzzle to become yours. If yours gets to be too much in its full form, save the branches you’re researching currently as a separate tree and go from there. It’s a simple solution, but are often the best!