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My application has been verified. What documents do I need to keep?

After a crazy year, many of us want to start 2021 with a clean slate. That means sorting through and discarding papers. If you’ve had a lineage society application verified in 2020, you can discard some of your paperwork but not all.

Here’s a list of what you should keep (and why):

  1. A copy of the verified application: Your verified application can come in handy in multiple ways. If you do a supplemental for the same organization, you’ll need to be able to refer to the original application including notes made by the genealogist. If you have a family member join, they may need your application for the same reason. Finally, some societies take verified copies of the applications from other societies as supporting documentation. Saving the papers can save time and money.
  2. A copy of the supporting documentation: Are you sure you’re just interested in one society? Many ancestors will qualify the applicant for multiple societies. A Mayflower passenger would qualify a female applicant for at least four societies. If you save the paperwork, you’ll have what you need for the next application.

Here’s what you can discard:

  1. Preliminary applications. These won’t be necessary for supplementals and will be easy to rebuild if needed.
  2. Drafts of the application (unless you have the computer file). Discard paper copies of the application draft. The verified application “replaced” them. If you are thinking about doing supplementals, you may want to save the computer file of the most recent draft. It will save you some typing when preparing supplementals.
  3. Any random notes. We tend to save everything when preparing the application. Once the packet has been verified, you can discard the tree you may have filed out for a registrar or any other random notes.

One last suggestion: store everything where you can find it again. Having this material in an easy to locate file folder can save you significant time and stress.