Hi Betsy -
I've been doing this for nearly fifty years, so no longer consider myself a "Newby." I have a 3 x 5" index card catalogue big enough for a small library, since for decades that was the only way to index all the paper records.
I started using PAF when it was a baby (PAF 1.0, I think) about 11 or 12 years ago. For years I kept separate PAF files: "Massachusetts Barneys," "Maryland Barneys," "English Barneys," "Scottish Barneys," etc. That worked OK when the files were small, but got to be tedious after awhile -- especially when a Massachusetts Barney descendant married a Maryland Barney descendant, for example.
So 7-8 years ago I just combined all my separate files into one gigantic file, which I've been using & updating ever since. Had a bit of a problem with PAF 3.0 or PAF 4.0 (index generation was WAY too slow), but am very happy with PAF 5.2. There are over 200,000 Barneys & their descendants in my (so-called) master Barney file.
-- Cliff in Virginia
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