Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Genealogy Filing System - Data Files

Randy Seaver at GeneaMusings has a great post today about organizing and re-organizing the data files one uses for genealogy.

As I said on my Data Backup Day post for October, very often I find the need to do "cleanup" of my files and file structure before I perform my monthly backup.

Here is the structure I currently use and at the end of the listing I'll discuss some reason to the madness:

TJM Genealogy
- Applications
   - Footnote
   - Geni
- Associations
   - AFAOA (Austin Family Association)
   - Crandall
   - Huegenot Historical Society
   - NEHGS
   - Schenectady Historical Society
- Blogging
   - Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories
   - Alltop
   - Blog Templates
   - Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers
   - Carnival Graphics
      - COG
   - Destination Austin Family
   - Genea-Blogger Games 2008
   - Genea-Bloggers
   - Grandma Austins Diaries
   - Photos for Posts
   - Scanfest
- Field Trips
- Genealogy Pictures
   - Arvanites
   - Austin
   - Baushke
   - Farren
   - Freer
   - Houses
   - Lowville
   - MacEntee
   - McCrickert
   - McGinnis
   - Scanned
   - Sullivan
- Projects
   - Continuity Plan
   - County Converter
   - Lowville Long Ago
   - Obit Daily Times
   - Unclaimed Person
- Records
   - Birth Records
   - Book Pages
   - Census Records
   - Death Records
   - Family Bible Records
   - Forms
   - Immigration Records
   - Marriage Records
   - Military Records
   - Newspaper Articles
   - Passport Applications
- Sources
- Surnames
   - Arvanites
   - Austin
   - Baushke
   - Crandall
   - DeGroodt
   - Dence
   - Dodds
   - Finehout
   - Henneberg
   - MacEntee
   - McCrickert
   - McGinnis
   - Putman
- ToDo


1. My main folder is named TJM Genealogy since it is on the home computer which is shared with other people in my household. I don't care for Windows option of having "accounts" for each person so instead we all place our initial in front of folders with our data.

2. The reason I use "Genealogy Pictures" instead of "Pictures" is that when I am managing photos or using the Microsoft Photo Manager or Adobe Photoshop Elements, I can differentiate that folder from the basic default "Pictures" folder.

3. I do leverage the Tag option with most of the Pictures and Records entries. See my articles on photo metadata at Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers:
- Metadata Tags for Photos - Windows Vista
- Metadata Tags for Photos - Windows XP

4. For naming items in the Newspaper Articles folder, rather than embed the date of the article and the name of the newspaper in the metadata, I prefer to see it somehow in the title field. Ex: Austin_Robert_19240924_LJR means the article is about Robert Austin, was printed on September 24, 1924 and is in the Lowville Journal Republican (LJR).

5. Since, like Randy, I have been using data files since The Flood, I still don't use spaces in file names but use the underscore - old habit. Also, I've learned to enter dates as YYYY_MM_DD instead of MM_DD_YYYY since it assists me when sorting files.

1 comment:

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Thomas, I like your suggestions about naming the files. I especially like the way you date them. I am going to adopt that system now!