Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIGITAL FOLDER ORGANIZING & NAMING MADE EASY



WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE ABLE TO LOCATE THAT BIRTH, DEATH, MARRIAGE, PROBATE, LAND RECORD OR PHOTO WITH A CLICK OR TWO OF YOUR MOUSE?
 
No one wants to have to search and search to try to find a document or image that you KNOW you saved to your computer. Whether it was last week or last year, you should be able to locate anything you want, easily, with a click or two of your mouse.
 
Here is how I do it:
  1. Decide where on your computer you want your genealogy information to be located. Such as in your C drive under DOCUMENTS, GENEALOGY, IMAGES. You decide where that “Master” location will be. From that point on, ALL of your images will be located in that folder and in the subsequent sub-folders you will create. 
  2. Once you’ve decided on the MASTER folder, it’s time to create sub-folders for your surnames. This can be done several ways. If you have a small database, just individual surnames. If you have a large database with several thousand people you might want to first create a folder or folders that encompass letters of the alphabet. Such as A-K and L-Z or even smaller groups. Or you can have 26 folders, one for each letter of the alphabet. Whatever style works for you.
  3. Here’s what I’m talking about. I use Windows 7 so items are located in the folder:
C: GENEALOGY/HART (or whatever surname you want)
 
Under each surname I want sub-folders to identify the documents/images I have saved. I want them to be very clear and very easy to identify. Birth, death, marriage, cemetery info, immigration, probate, everything.
 
HERE IS A SAMPLE OF THE FOLDERS I HAVE UNDER EACH SURNAME:
 
Exhibit A
clip_image001

You can add different folders if you need something else. I have found over the years that these folders cover most everything. I rarely use the Misc. folder, but it’s there in case I run across the odd item that won’t fit elsewhere.
 

Just to be clear. Here are the steps: 
 
· Create your MASTER folder in you C drive – called Genealogy or My Surnames or whatever you want.
 
· Create sub-folders either by surname, letters of the alphabet, family groups or whatever suits you.
 
· Under each surname you have a list of sub-folders to easily identify your items. Create these sub folders just ONCE (see my instructions below) and keep them where you can find them. Then copy & paste them under each surname.
 
· Move each of the appropriate items to the folders you have created. Your genealogy program (at least with Legacy), will then search for the files in their new locations. In Legacy, once it’s located one or two, it will locate the others.
 
HOW TO AVOID HAVING TO REPRODUCE THOSE SUB-FOLDERS FOR
EVERY SINGLE SURNAME
 
Nobody wants to have to right click, then go to “new folder” and create each of those sub-folders for each surname, over & over, right? Here is how I avoided that problem. 
 
I created a folder under C:/GENEALOGY called “Gene-folders for each surname file.”
 
Then I created each of the folders that I wanted under each surname. See Exhibit A
I do this just ONE time and then I highlight the folders, copy & paste them into each of the surname folders. BINGO! You are done and ready to move on.
 
NOTE: Shortcuts that make it even easier.
Ctrl A to highlight the folders you want to place in the surname folder
Ctrl C to copy copies the highlighted folders. Now go to your surname folder &
Ctrl V to paste these sub folders in the surname folder.
 
The keyboard shortcuts above can be used for anything and will save you tons of time, no matter what you are copying & pasting.
 
Let’s say I’m looking for a birth or death record for someone with the surname HART.
 
Here are examples. I want to find a birth record for Henry G. Hart. You can see that I’ve clicked on birth under the Hart surname and there are all my records.  It's easy to find Henry G. Hart on the list.
clip_image003

Now I want to find a HART death record for Emma Hart.  I go to the HART surname folder, then click on "death-obits," then on the right hand side you see all the death records and can easily locate Emma's record.
 
clip_image005

How easy was that?

LET’S TALK ABOUT NAMING YOUR DOCUMENTS/IMAGES
We all or at least most of us started out with file names like, Grandma, Easter 1910, or my Mom in 1950.
 
We have learned that those file names don’t work. In fact, if that kind of identifier is written on the back of any photo we should “fix” it so that someone in the future knows who this person is. 
 
These rules apply to ALL photos and to documents.
 
Whether you are scanning & saving them, or you grab them from a website. Whether they are census records, birth records, probate records or family photos. 

There MUST be a file naming standard.
 
I use this rule for naming all of my files.
 
WHO, WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE

I begin with the LAST NAME IN CAPS, then proceed from there with the first name (if known), what the record is and then when & where. You may use underscores or space between the items. You might not always have all 4 pieces of information, but you record what you do have.
 
In viewing the sample above for the HART family, you can see how easy it is to locate a record using this method.

NOTE:  Use of the A-L, M-Z folders - I created these misc. folders for those surnames that I don't think I will do very much research on.  Like perhaps a 4th cousin twice removed, or grandfather of your great uncle's wife's father.  Maybe you were only looking at them to try and find more information on a particular person.  You might only want to save one or two documents.  To me this doesn't generate a whole new surname folder.  I still create the sub folders under the A-Z folder so I can locate items easily.  
If you should find that a particular surname that started in the A-Z folder has now become more of a focus and you are saving a lot of documents or images, then just create a surname folder and the sub folders and transfer the images to those files by using copy and paste.  
I have had to do this, but not very often.  I still find the A-Z folder useful for my purposes.  
 
Now multiply this by how many times you are searching for a record and you will find that having a system is worth its weight in gold. It may take you a little bit of time to create your system, but in the end you will be forever grateful for having done it. I know that back when I had to come up with something that would actually WORK, it made my life going forward a thousand times easier.
 
I certainly hope this has been helpful. If you have comments, please share them with me. I’d love to hear your success stories too. Did this system work for you once you implemented it? Have you come up with an even better system? I’m all ears.

 
COPYRIGHT © 2013 Diane Gould Hall   All rights reserved

54 comments:

  1. It looks pretty simple if you're only looking for one record BUT,

    How would you find all the records for a particular person or a specific family when they're spread across multiple folders and sub-folders?

    How would you find, for instance, all of a particular type of record when they're spread across many folders and sub-folders?

    How would you find all the records for a particular location?

    How would you find all the records for a particular line? In other words, descendants of someone for x number of generations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JL - Thank you for asking such thought provoking questions. I had to really think about what you've asked because the issue has never come up for me. Then, it dawned on me, why. I have a software program.
      If I want to find all records for a particular family or a specific location, I just have the Legacy database do that for me. Especially when you are talking about descendants. I would simply create a descendant report, indicating how many generations and what to include. All the reports can be customized and created very easily. Of course, first you must have the information entered into the database.
      In my 10 years of researching, I have always used a database. And in that time, I have never had to search on my computer to find locations, I simply click on whatever location I am wondering about and click on "show list." That then creates a list of all people using that location.
      This brings up a very good thought though for others who work in a different way. Instead of having all the sub-folders under each surname, you could simply place the files under the surname master folder, which would allow you to see them all. So everything for anyone named HALL would be under that folder. At least then you would have the files under the surname and not spread all over on your computer. Or, you could create a document sub-folder and a picture sub-folder and place items in there.
      There are many ways to approach organizing digital files. It boils down to creating a system that works for you. One that allows you to easily find what you are looking for. Having some kind of system and being consistent is the key.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and I sure hope I adequately answered your questions. Look for a post in the near future that would address your questions and give some examples of reports. I think it would be helpful to many people.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, I didn't keep track of this post so I missed your answer for a couple of months. I don't link any files to my database because it seems like a make-work project with virtually no benefit. I do have a filing system, though, that works for me so I was just playing devil's advocate because I've never been able to understand how people find records in more complex patterns with this fairly typical method of filing by surnames. I look forward to reading more about the reports.

      Delete
    3. I just saw the question above so I hope an answer is still worthy. Assume JL is trying to locate records on the hard drive...if you know you always capitalize your surname, or that your states are spelled out you can search your hard drive that way. If you search on a surname in all caps, I believe those "hits" will come up at the top of your search list, same is true for your states. If I search on "RhodeIsland" those records I have already renamed in that fashion come up at the top of the search list. Consistency is definitely the key in renaming and organizing your files and I am finally figuring that out as I rename my own files. I am also finding that understanding how the computer searches and sorts those files is also a big help!

      Delete
    4. I created my folders almost identical to this method until I ran into the problem JL Beeken mentions "How would you find all the records for a particular person or a specific family when they're spread across multiple folders and sub-folders? ".
      So I moved them out of their individual folders and dumped them all under the surname and relabelled them
      [Birth] 1916 Bruce Williams [certificate]. The suffix being where I sourced it from. [Newspaper] 1932 Bruce Williams [name of paper] and so on. The photos go in the same surname folder but in a sub-folder called _Photos. Now if I want something for Bruce Williams, it's all there in one screen.

      Delete
  2. Do you reproduce the same record multiple times for each individual. For example, a cemetery family plot or a census records? I need to get organized and this looks like a good way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Claudia - As far as census records. I file them by head of household. I will for example have something like 1910_HART_Henry & Olive & family_Armada Macomb Michgian. I didn't want to confuse the issue as far as naming files, but the census records are the only files that I put the date first and then the surname. That way they are chronological in my folders. Since I use a genealogy software program, Legacy, I can enter the census record one time, copy it to the Legacy clipboard and then paste into each family member with the click of the mouse. Or, in the case of the new Legacy 8, you just click on the "share" button and it automatically attaches the record to each person.
      For cemetery records where I might have an image detailing the family plot, with names etc. I would add that image to each person. It's so easy to copy & paste from folder to folder that I've never had any issues with it.
      Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope that helps answer your question.

      Delete
  3. Wow! Can you come and visit me and organize my computer files? PLEASE??? Thank you for such a clear explanation with examples. I'm inspired to go and change all my file names on my photos in particular. The ones that are labelled "Gramma with Mom" or "Me 1987" Sight....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorine! Don't think for a minute that I don't still have pictures with unidentifiable labels on them. I do. But, I'm making progress in changing that. :)

      Delete
  4. This is just so wonderful. It's like Christmas early! Thank you!
    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl - thank you for the kind comment. Please let me know how the system works for you, what changes you might have made to suit your needs etc.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Diane

      Delete
  5. What about pictures with multiple people in them? Do you rename them and place them under each person in the picture which creates duplicate pictures, or what? I have tried to get away from duplicates using links but that doesn't work too well either. I can't seem to find anything that really works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay - Great question. That is always an issue and I've seen it discussed on many of the Facebook pages I follow. I will admit that for photos with a large number of people I haven't always been good at labeling them. If there are only one, two or three, then it's easier to put the names in the file name. There is a way to label the photos using metadata. My brother John Zimmerman wrote an article about labeling photos. Many people have found it helpful and perhaps you will too. Here is a link to his article which is located on The Organized Genealogist FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/organizedgenealogist/440222106079860/ I would copy and paste that link to your URL, since I cannot hyperlink it here.
      I hope that is helpful. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. And, thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate my readers very much.
      Diane

      Delete
    2. I solve this problem - When I have tons of pictures to scan, I organize the photos first. I then set the settings to scan each with the same file name (short file name) but with a different # for each picture. Then I add a few identifying markers, such as the main person's name and some other descriptive word or two - every pic is different -by attaching them to the file name/number (after the file name). So this way, I keep the related pictures together and also I will know more quickly what's in each picture. Then I create a Word document and list them all down and comment on each picture - who were in the photo and the story behind each picture. Any helpful info about the picture goes in the Word. It helps a lot. Then add (or copy and paste) the info in the family tree about each picture. And I do use the Start button search engine a lot to find something quickly if I need to, but I always try to organize them so I can FIND them again. Consistency in following naming systems and organization do help a lot.

      Delete
  6. Great System, Diane. And it was easy to set up. I think it took me less than 20 minutes start to finish. I look forward to making sense out of my documents and images. Thanks so much for sharing. Couldn't have done it without you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Patricia. This system has worked well enough for me over the past 8 yrs. that I have found no reason to change it. I can easily find any record I am looking for in a couple of mouse clicks. I occasionally add a folder under a specific surname, if the need arises.
      Please let me know if you have any additions or ideas that could improve the system.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. I'm happily organizing the chaos of my genealogy files using your system and it's working great. Two additional folders I added were Awards and Occupation. Thanks again, Diane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia - I like the idea of the Occupation folder. I'm not sure there are enough Awards in my family to warrant a folder. LOL!
      What will you put in the occupation folder? I'm curious, as I'm always eager to learn new ideas.
      Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Hi Diane,
      I have occupation certificates of achievement, occupation photo's, newspaper clippings, etc. I find it easier, when linking documents and photo's to a person, to have them in one spot...that way I don't have to remember to check a variety of folders. So for instance...my dad has photo's, newspaper articles, award certificates, etc. that all pertain to his occupation. As I name these items, I put them all in the occupation folder under his LAST NAME_First name. Then, when I'm working on his info on my tree,and I want to upload these items to illustrate his occupation history, they're all in one spot. I don't have to remember to look in various folders. Having them in one place means I tend not to forget to include items.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the info Patricia. I do have a couple of ancestors for whom an Occupation folder would be handy. I believe this is one of the advantages of this system. You can customize your folders to fit your needs and each ancestor. I generally don't need to add folders as I've kinda done that over the years. However, there are always exceptions. I started out without the folder for Biographical Sketches and Signatures and Newspaper Articles. Now those are just automatically included.
      Happy hunting 😃

      Delete
  8. Hi Diane - I'm getting ready to embark on reorganizing my files. Thank you for this informative post - this and your brother's post about naming files were the perfect way for me to get my thoughts together. A couple of questions:

    1 - I notice you have a folder called "A-Z Surnames" under your HART folder. Would you explain that?

    2 - Is there a big advantage to organizing the subfolders under each surname by type instead of by individual? I'm debating this as my next step after renaming everything will be to be sure that everything I have is actually entered into Family Tree Maker (right now I have gaps mostly for files I had when I got FTM and didn't add them). It seems like it would be easier to see each person's files if I were to create subfolders by individual instead of by type of document, but I can also see the advantages of sorting by type.

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary Ann,
      I use the A-Z folder for those people for whom I'm pretty certain I won't be doing extensive research on. Since I might only collect one or two documents on a 4th cousin twice removed, I put them in the A-Z folder, rather than creating a separate surname folder.
      As to your second question. For me, the advantage to creating the sub folders by type is that I have far fewer folders. If I created sub folders by individual I would have hundreds of sub folders. It's not a matter of space on my computer, but more a matter of not wanting to have to scroll through all those folders. That is why my system is different than my brother, John's. He prefers to have one folder called documents and files everything there. I guess I just want a more organized approach. In my mind when I'm filing a birth record and later go to look for it, I just go to the birth record sub folder under that particular surname. This makes the most sense for me. However, if something else makes more sense to you, then you should do it that way. As long as you have a consistent naming pattern and you know that with a couple of clicks of your mouse you can find any record, then your system works.
      Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. And thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
    2. Mary Ann,
      I've actually added a section to the post now, that covers the A-Z folders. I had enough people ask that it was worthwhile to address them. Sometimes when we use something every day we take for granted others will know. Which isnt necessarily true.
      Good luck with your research.

      Delete
  9. Diane,
    I love your system and am in the process of re-organizing and re-labeling all of my documents. I have a question for you: how do you identify a page of a book using "Who, What, When and Where"?
    Thanks for your help!
    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet. I'm so glad you found the system helpful. Good question about the books. Glad you asked. I have plenty of book images and I don't use the Who, What, When, Where for them. I would say something like Annals of Bath Co VIrginia_page 18 or History of Keene New Hamshire_Title Page or History of Keene New Hampshire_pg 123_Bio of Ebenezer Clark. Things like that. If I have several images from the same book I will try to use the same naming system for all of those images so they will sort correctly. Hope that makes sense.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  10. Hi Diane, I am using your system and adapting it to my needs as follows: I am filing by family groups rather than individuals and in the folder name for each family I am adding the ahnetafel numbers for my direct ancestors, both husband and wife. If either of the spouses has more than one marriage, I add these family groups also and put the ahnetafel number of my direct ancestor on that person, husband or wife. by sorting these families by name I can easily see when an ancestor has more than one marriage and which marriage is in my direct line. I have one ancestor who married five times (his third wife was my direct ancestor) and another who married sisters after the death of the first sister. Then there is the grandmother who married a brother of her first husband when he died. I am also color coding this families using the blue, green, red, yellow scheme for my line and using lt blue, purple, pink and brown for my former husband's line (my children's father). All in one tree. I'm also entering my descendents' families using the color coding, but not numbering them. Do you see any pitfalls in my system that I may not be seeing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your question. I will answer honestly. I have never used the color coding system at all. So, I cannot respond regarding that. As to filing families by group, I think each person has to find the system that works for them. If that's the way it makes sense to you, then it works. If you can readily, with a two or three clicks of the mouse, go directly to the record you are seeking, then it works. Ahnetafel numbers are confusing to me, but they obviously work for you. So, it sounds to me like you've found a system that works with your way of thinking. Good luck with your research.

      Delete
    2. I assign the rin number to the document once entered into Legacy then digitial file is filed under rin no i.e. 213 BrownJohn_ marriage1899 this way all documents for same person grouped together census filed under head of house rin

      Delete
  11. I am never happy with my organizational system, and I found your post interesting. I do separate by surname, but then I separate by family units. In your system how would you organize this example: KESSLER family. The daughter marries a DALY, but she is a 2nd great-aunt and not my direct ancestor. Any of her info would be very important in gathering information about the rest of the family. Would you give Daly it's own folder, or do the records go into the Misc. folder or are they still considered part of the Kessler family? (WHEW!) Thanks for your input! Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa,
      Thanks for your comment. I personally don't differentiate between direct and indirect lines in my digital filing system. If I think I will be gathering a lot of data on a particular name, I give that surname its own file. However, many times they start out in the A-Z file. Then later on I may realize I have more than say, six items for that surname and will then create the surname folder and transfer everything over. I must say that not happens a couple of times per year. It's pretty much up to you to do what makes you comfortable. Those files take up very little space and with the size of our hard drives now, it's not an issue. I am not a big "collector" of people. So, while many people would have 10-15 thousand or more names after a dozen years of research, I only have about 4,500. I add new people all the time, but not the very distant ones. That's just my own personal preference. Therefore, my files are not confusing to me as there aren't a ton of multiple Smiths or Morrisons etc.
      I really appreciate your comment. I hope that my response is helpful.

      Delete
  12. Thank you so much for your insight, Diane! Right now I have 3 different people contacting me about specific ancestors and that ancestor's family. Because my files are separated by family units it is easy to find all the information I have on that particular family. But sometimes I want a file of just the death certificates for the family so I can evaluate them. I'll figure it out! Thank you very much and Merry Christmas! ~ Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - I've been out of town on vacation so forgive my delay in responding. It is nice to have all the vital records for one family, in a particular folder, for easy retrieval. I've never found that I've had to tweak this system, once I got it all set up several years ago. So far so good. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a joyous New Year with lots of good genealogy finds.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  13. Hi, Diane!
    I spent some time the last few weeks organizing folders in the way you suggested, and I have to admit is it rather comfortable feeling and much easier for me to link the documents in my Legacy program. I am curious how you handle certain things though. Would a marriage picture go in the marriage file or in the pictures file? I have been adding them to the marriage file myself, but I curious how you have been doing it. Same question with a funeral home record... would that be better in the death records folder or it's own folder? I'm enjoying your blog and your insight. Currently I am working on saving all important genealogy emails into the correspondence folder and getting them out of my email program. :-) Thanks! Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa,
      I had to go into my digital folders and see just how I've been filing the items you mentioned. I have only about three wedding photos for the entire family and one of them is mine. I've been filing those under the Marriage folder. As for funeral cards, again, I only have a few. Those, I've been filing under Death Records/obits. Certainly a case could be made for adding a folder for funeral cards. However, with only about half a dozen, I didn't see the need to create a file. Although it takes up no extra space and I've been known to create an additional file based on the documents I have for a particular family.
      I'm really glad the system is working for you. One nice thing with any system we use, is that it can be customized to fit our own needs. Just as long as it works for us, is all that matters.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Diane! That's pretty much what I'm doing as it makes sense to me to put the wedding pictures in the wedding folder. Now, what about a newspaper article about the wedding? I haven't decided what folder it should go in... marriage or newspaper? What do you do? I am interested in your reasoning. Thanks! Lisa

      Delete
    3. Lisa,
      I put all newspaper articles (except obits) in the Newspaper Articles folder. That keeps it simple. If we start to spread similar types of digital files over many folders that would seem confusing to me. One thing I've learned from the many questions I've been asked about this subject. We all think differently and need to tweak the system to fit our own needs. One thing I try not to do is "over think" it. Things can always be found by global search in case we put something amiss.

      Delete
  14. Diane, I would very much like to use your super blog post at our next Kamloops Family History Society meeting on April 28, 2016. It contains answers, or guidance to many of the questions our group have been asking about how to organize their digital files. I have recently become the Program Co-ordinator and I am hoping it would be okay to use (attributed, of course), your suggestions. Many thanks, Lindley Roff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindley,
      Thank you for asking. I would be honored for you to refer your members to my blog post about digital filing. I'm honored. It's been a helpful post for many people. And, it can be adjusted based on specific needs, but at least it gives researchers a start. Let me know how it goes.

      Delete
  15. I found your blog about a month ago and came across your filing system. BRILLIANT! EASY! I've added those great sub-folders and finally feel I have a system that will serve me very well. THANKS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruthe,
      Yeah! It's always so nice to hear that something I've shared has been helpful. The system has worked for me for many years now and I don't seem to have to make any changes in the last few years. The nice thing is, that once it's in place, you can make a change here and there by adding a new folder or moving some of those misc. names into surname folders. Have fun and good luck with your research.

      Delete
  16. Hi Diane,
    How do you handle women once they're married? Do you put them under their maiden name or married name? What about when a woman marries several times and the second marriage, not the third or fourth, is the direct ancestor marriage and most important? Would you have separate Surname folders for the third and fourth marriage surnames? Thanks, Sherry H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sherry,
      I have those situations all the time, with multiple marriages. As far as creating a separate folder for each of the married surnames, I don't do that unless I plan to research the family in depth. Otherwise, they are just kept in the A-Z folders under the proper sub folder. As to where to file the women? Once a woman marries I place all her info from that point on, in the new surname. Of course if it's a direct line, then that will get a primary folder of it's own with the sub folders. My naming convention is SMITH_Mary Ann nee CLARK_marriage cert_date and place. For one of my greats I did the following HANKINS_Susan C nee BOGGS HUNTER CRESSE_type of record, date & place. That tells me that her married name is Hankins and that her maiden name was Boggs and that she married a Hunter and Cresse prior to Hankins. It's all in neat order for me to see. Hope that answers your question. This method has worked for me for many years.
      Thanks for your thoughful question.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Diane, that makes sense. I was trying to figure out the best way to do it. Sherry Harris

      Delete
  17. Diane. We have boxes and boxes of source data and I want to start making digital files to organize this chaos. We will be switching to Legacy from FTM. Your filing system does not appear to be within Legacy, so how do you make the connection? If you are working in Legacy and want to look at say, a birth record, do you have to leave and go to your documents file? Also...while working in Legacy lets say you want to keep something you found, is there a way to save that record to that individual via Legacy, and then just move on, or what? But then, do I still have to create a file? I cannot even imagine the amount of scanning I am faced with to get into the digital age! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave. No, my filing system is not "part of" Legacy. None of the software programs store the media inside the programs any more as it became too cumbersome. Now the files you add are simply linked from Legacy to your computer files. When I find something on a website, like Ancestry, I download it, save it to my computer and then add it via the "add media" option located in many of the Legacy screens. All your photos and documents then show up right there in the media file, if they are saved as JPG or TIFF etc. The PDF type of files will show a link that you click on. Therefore, I save all my documents that I want to add to Legacy, as JPG's. Please visit the Legacy website and you will find numerous free training videos. Best of luck in your research.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  18. Diane...I have numerous boxes of data I have collected over 40 years of genealogy, and I think your system seems the best for me, but getting through the chaos is daunting. Just scanning alone may exceed the years I have left, but I'm determined. I have been using FTM,but will be switching to Legacy soon. I don't understand how Legacy connects to your data system in windows? Also, if when I find something new, give it a file name, save it, how does Legacy know I have it? Or maybe it doesn't, but I do (thinking out loud here), and would have to go to my files to see it. Is Legacy somehow connected to your windows data base? Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello. Thanks for leaving your comment. Legacy works like all the other genealogy software databases these days, it links to your files. So, when you use the "add media" component in any media area of Legacy, you go to where ever your file is on your computer, click on it and link it. The Legacy website has numerous free tutorials with great training information. I watched them all when I began using it years ago. They have all been updated and are very easy to follow. In addition, I highly recommend that you ask to join the Legacy User Facebook group. This group is monitored by several of the Legacy technical support personnel. Good luck with your scanning and transition. It will be worth it, I promise you.

      Delete
  19. Hi
    Great Idea!! I will set the up in just a few moments.

    I do have a question though... I have MULTIPLE separate families with the last name of White. Would it be better to keep them in one White folder or in individual White branch folders? One giant folder just doesnt seem right but I'm unsure of how to do it any other way.
    Kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimberly - great question. That's totally up to you. I have many families with the same surname and they are from different branches - some maternal, some paternal. I keep them all in the same surname folder. Because in the end I am looking for a specific file inside that folder. I may add additional identifiers to the file name I give the birth, marriage, death or other record, but I don't create multiple surname folders for the same name. That being said, there would certainly be no harm in doing that if it makes it easier for you. I figured that my system would give someone a guideline and then they can keep it the same or tweak it however they want. Bottom line is always - can we quickly locate any record on our computer? If we can, then our system is working.
      Thanks for stopping by and best of luck.

      Delete
  20. Hi Diane...sorry for the double entry, but thank you so much for clarifying things for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought that was probably the same person posting twice, but I wasn't sure. Happy to help.

      Delete
  21. Diane has an excellent way of sorting/organizing files. 40 years ago when we started out, we did not have internet, no way of finding what you did. Then the internet a little over 20 years ago changed this. FYI: the Document file that MS gives you will make more than 1 copy of your file and all is lost with a blue screen of death. I use a search engine to find all documents with one surname/type that is good and free called "Agent Ransack" MS Explorer has never allowed you to keep a copy of your search, which I do to keep track of the files I have for each surname. Over the many years of doing research, I found Ms Explorer slow and not finding everything etc... My file set up is like Diane's only I have partitioned my c drive and all genealogy files are on the E/H drive. Why? when updates come, Micrsoft over the years does mess with data files. They are getting better at this, but I don't trust those updates. And I have lost files that way. Back up & Back up is necessary. I use this same set up with OneNote also.

    ReplyDelete

I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.