Researching my family lineage has been a part of my life for the past 30+ years and over that time I have accumulated files and files of information from census records, maps, birth, death and marriage certificates, letters, military records, church records, you name it, I have it, documented mostly in paper format.

There comes a time when one starts to look at the accumulation of files and wonder where on earth you would put them when downsizing. It’s not happening yet, but it could happen in the very near future, when we will move from our family home and head off to one of those nice newly named “lifestyle villages” in our retirement.

Not only that, these past few months we have seen the most hideous catastrophes one could ever imagine, from fires, to floods, cyclones and earthquakes to tsunamis and on top of that, nuclear fall out. What would happen if we were caught up in one those catastrophes and survived, let alone trying to downsize to a smaller home? Where would I put all that information, so I could grab it quickly or have it stored somewhere offsite for the future generations to have access to.

Well, this is where Memory Manager comes to play a big part in my photo and document preservation needs. Memory Manager would have to be one of the most ingenious software programs on the planet. I am able to scan all my documents so they become an image. I always tell people to make sure they scan a one off document or photo at 300dpi or if there is room on the scanner bed for more than one photo, 600 dpi is better. Memory Manager has this neat feature that allows you to scan several photos at a time and before importing them, you move the selection around each image and import selected area. Each photo is imported in an instant.

Once I have scanned several documents or photos, I go to the import date and sort them into their relevant folders. I have my family groups set up under a family history sorting box, with folders for Census, Certificates, Wills etc. Memory Manager will suggest that you don’t use the same folder name, however I choose to override this option as I want to keep each set of documents under a family group. I do not have a folder for every person in that record, otherwise this area would be huge.

It is now so easy to find eg my Census records for the Cripps family. By clicking on the Census folder under the Cripps sorting box. I can see which census years I have records for and which ones I might be missing.


In the Tell the Story of each record, I add the details of where I got this information and the details on document. This makes it so much easier when searching for a person in a particular census year. In this instance the record was on microfilm, Family History Centre Film No 0174771, page 2. This collection of census records were researched many years ago before the Internet became the norm. Nowadays it would be easy to go online and download a copy of the already scanned document and save it direct into Memory Manager.


Oh how I love the Internet and how much easier researching has become. Now to find the time to gather more information.

– Jenny MacKay, researching Cripps,Caddy, Lymburner, MacKay, Campbell

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5 Responses to Using Memory Manager for recording family history documents

  1. lori says:

    Great post Jenny. Anything that can help manage all this information is helpful.

  2. jr5086 says:

    You have inspired me to get all the information I have gathered so far into MM. I am having such a hard time finding some of the information needed to do a digital book but at least it will be organized when I am ready! Many thanks to you and all the Pixies for all the information and ideas you pass on to the rest of us.

  3. cmcjoyce says:

    What’s the extra typing in the middle of the blog post and how do I get rid of it so I can read the whole post? thanks.

  4. CathieOwens says:

    Jenny this was a fantastic post. I was so happy to find Memory Manager 3 years ago and use it all the time to store and find my ancestors pictures very quickly. I love the search feature in MM, in a matter of seconds you can find anyone or picture you like. Thanks for sharing.

  5. adakallen says:

    Oh Jenny, I love this, it is so timely in my life. I want to Facebook friend you and I want to share standard emails with you…I think you have just become my best research/reference person in the world.

    In addition to my family “stuff” I am the church historian for my church. I just recently had a couple of conversations with different staff members. One of them suggested that I use Photoshop Elements storage to organize docs and pics so that someday it would be easy for someone else to follow me and continue. I was still leaning toward Memory Manager (even though I don’t use Memory Manager at home–haven’t had time to learn all I need to know about it). When I talked with the second person his reply was to use what I wanted to use and the next person after me could just learn how to use it.

    I have already bought MM and SB+ for the church; and dug out my MM printed user guide to start learning how to do all of this. Then your blog. You will be my number one reference person.

    I have one question. The User Guide I have is for MM2 and I now have MM3. What are the major differences between the two? Do I need to print a new manual before I start studying?

    Thank you,


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