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.


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!

Steven Simpson said...

Thomas, here's an advantage to using Windows accounts.
My family members each have their own account, with their own login name and password, on Windows 10.
Recently we were hit by "RansomWare" where all your files are changed to be impossible to open unless you send them money!
We chose not to send money and lost all those files.
But here's the advantage to accounts: only the files belonging to one account were affected, but included all files in the shared folder.
But no files were changed or ruined in other accounts on the same computer!
Only the account which exposed its files to the RansomWare source was affected.
Sincerely, Steven Simpson