* How do you organise sources on your PC

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Ebor337
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How do you organise sources on your PC

Post by Ebor337 » 02 Aug 2010 21:49

After a recent hard drive corruption I lost all my work, family history and everythign else on my machine. It was a semi blessing in disguise really as I wanted to sort out my stuff anyway!

So, I am now at a stage where I will be re-scanning and redoing my tree in its entirity, so I am just wondering what your tips are for good housekeeping?

I.e. Do I keep all scanned certificats in Birth / Marriage folders etc, or is it easier to keep them all in family name, i.e. Smith > Birth Certs etc?

Any other tips much appreciated.

Lee

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Jane
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Post by Jane » 02 Aug 2010 22:14

I use the following

http://www.fhug.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id ... your_files


I kept the structure when I moved my gedcom to a V4 project.

The problem I see with using family folders, is at least with my village familes a single census page may have 2 or three of my families on and Marriages may well between two core families.

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Post by gerrynuk » 02 Aug 2010 22:23

I keep Baptisms, Church Marriage register entries and Burials in separate folders in a folder called BMB. Birth certificates, civil marriage certificates and death certificates I keep in separate folders in a folder called GRO. Census records are kept in separate year folders in a Census folder. I have separate folders for individuals for miscellaneous documents and there are other folders for things like trial records, military service records, wills, monumental inscriptions etc.

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Stevebye
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How do you organise sources on your PC

Post by Stevebye » 03 Aug 2010 11:16

My set up is very similar to Gerry's except that I have split the data in to Paternal and Maternal folders for BMD, Parish and Census files. Pictures, Will's, Trials and co. are kept in common folders.

BTW, I'm only tracing my tree, my Partner's is being done by her daughter.

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Post by IanMcAulay » 03 Aug 2010 12:12

I have a single folder called sources under the FH media folder. My file naming convention then distinguishes what's what.

For example, my maternal grandfather's birth certificate image is bir-1884-08-20-james-duncan-forbes.tif The FH multimedia record has exactly the same name and the short form of the source record is also the same (except that I use spaces instead of hyphens and capitalise the name).

Marriages and deaths begin with mar- and dea-; census images begin with cen-, and so on. Old parish records go in as opr-bir- and so on.

The prefix for the filename coupled with the date in ISO order means that the folder is automatically sorted by document type and date just by sorting alphabetically. The same is also true of the source records list in FH.

It also means I don't need to create a new folder for odd source types that I have only one of, such as Commonwealth War Graves Commission records.

Very computerish and geeky, but computerish and geeky works for me!

Ian

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Post by AdrianBruce » 05 Aug 2010 13:40

The only thing I'd add to the above is that I actually have 2 sets of folders, one for the stuff that has been recorded in FH, the other for what hasn't been put in yet. That way I can see what I still need to do. (I'm prone to capturing census images off Ancestry for someone and their family in one great swoop before entering anything into FH). When it's entered, then I move it over before linking to the source record in FH.

Thus I have ....MediaSources1NotInFH and ....MediaSources2InFH

The same hierarchy then sits underneath - e.g. Census, Certs, etc.

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Ebor337
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How do you organise sources on your PC

Post by Ebor337 » 05 Aug 2010 19:43

Thanks so much for your brilliant responses, each one has given me food for thought.

Ian, I especially like your file naming conventions, which I am definitely goign to adopt.

I'm going ro get started right ....... now!

Thanks again.

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Post by tatewise » 05 Aug 2010 23:43

Just to add to the previous posts, here are my naming conventions.
I use a set of Windows Folders within the FH Project Media Folder in a similar way to the earlier posts. The choice of Folders is somewhat personal, and can be changed at a later date with the help of FH > Tools > Work with External File Links.
My naming convention is designed so that Media Files, Multimedia Records, and Source Records are sorted in a similar sequence to the Family Historian Individual Records list.

I name Individual multimedia linked files using the following formats:-

{SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Year}-{Month}-{Day} {Event} {Repository}.{Type}
{SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Year} {Quarter} {Event} {Repository}.{Type}


Where {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} is the individual person of interest.
Where {Year} is 4 digits, {Month} is 2 digits, and {Day} is 2 digits (alternatively {Year}-{Year} is used).
Where {Quarter} is either Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, or a 3 letter month name {Mmm}.
Where {Event} is Birth, Baptism, Christen, Marriage, Divorce, Death, Cremation, Burial, Obituary, Will, Probate, Letter, etc.
Where {Repository} is Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, FreeBMD, etc.

I name Census multimedia linked files as follows:-

1841 HO107 {Piece} {Book}-{Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1851 HO107 {Piece} {Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1861 RG09 {Piece} {Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1871 RG10 {Piece} {Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1881 RG11 {Piece} {Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1891 RG12 {Piece} {Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1901 RG13 {Piece} {Folio} {Page} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}
1911 RG14 {PN} RG78 {PN} {RD} {SD} {ED} {SN} {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} {Repository}.{Type}

Where {Piece} is 4 digits, {Book}-{Folio} is 2-2 digits, {Folio} is 3 digits, and {Page} is 2 digits.
Where {PN}=Piece No., {RD}=Reg District, {SD}=Sub District, {ED}=Enum District {SN}=Schedule No.
Where RG78 {PN} (enumerator’s piece number) is omitted in overseas military returns.
Where {SURNAME}, {Forename(s)} is usually the Head of household (or main person of interest).
Where {Repository} is Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, FreeCEN, etc.

Multimedia Record Title formats are as above except for omitting the {File Type} (e.g. jpg, doc, ...).

Source Record Title formats are similar but omit the -{Month}-{Day}, {Repository} & {File Type}.
These also set {SURNAME} to {MARRIED-NAME} nee {MAIDEN-NAME} for married women, and {NEW-NAME} aka {OLD-NAME} for individuals who have changed their name. This extends to {2ND-MARRIED-NAME} aka {1ST-MARRIED-NAME} nee {MAIDEN-NAME} for women married twice.

Hope this is of use.

Mike Tate

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Post by IanMcAulay » 06 Aug 2010 10:25

I'm impressed at the thoroughness of Mike's naming convention. Mine evolved rather than being properly worked out from the beginning. I've deliberately kept mine (relatively) simple to cut down on the amount of typing when I hit the save button on image files.

For censuses, I adopt a very basic format of something like:

cen-1881-levi-mardle.jpg

where the name used is generally the head of the household.

The other stats such as piece, folio and page go in the notes field of the source record. (My source record, multimedia record and image file all have essentially the same name as described in my previous post.)

Arguably this approach is TOO minimal as it doesn't handle two cases well. One is duplicate names across generations. I solve this by appending a year of birth:

cen-1891-henry-cambers-b1837.jpg
cen-1891-henry-cambers-b1860.jpg

I don't have too many cases like that so I can get away with it.

The other case that my convention doesn't handle well is where a census entry is guttered over 2 or more pages. I handle this by naming the images thus:

cen-1851-joseph-eva-p1.jpg
cen-1851-joseph-eva-p2.jpg

There are correspondingly two multimedia records to deal with these but only one source record which references both multimedia records.

For convenience, on the couple of occasions that I have two families, both of whom are in the family tree and both appearing on the same census page, I simply have two copies of that image with different names.

As ever, this is what works for me and doesn't necessarily work for anyone else.

Ian

(In case anyone is wondering about my curious aversion to spaces in filenames, it's a habit from work, where we quite often use one-off perl scripts to manipulate the contents of files, and it's generally much easier if we KNOW that there are never spaces in filenames.)

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Ebor337
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How do you organise sources on your PC

Post by Ebor337 » 06 Aug 2010 10:37

Brilliant stuff, Ian.

One question though, wouldn't your census filenames be better served by having surnames first, thus making autosort a bit more logical, i.e. by years, then, surnames?

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Post by NickWalker » 06 Aug 2010 13:14

As others have suggested I use various sub folders for different document types. For my census folder I have sub folders for each census year. I use my own Ancestral Sources (and before that Gedcom Census) which is intelligent enough to remember which folder to use for each of the different census years. I allow A.S. (and G.C. before it) to automatically rename images for me based on the source title of the census which follows a template (configured within A.S options) so images end up being named something like:

Census 1891 Warrington, Lancashire, England RG13_3583_11 (Alfred Hough)

where the name in brackets is the head of household or person I'm particularly interested in (e.g. if my ancestor was a servant in the household).

To be honest, for me the actual file name is relatively unimportant as the images are accessed from within Family Historian anyway where you don't even need to see the filename of the images unless you really want to.

When future versions of Ancestral Sources support other source documents (baptisms, marriages, birth certificates, etc.) then it will be possible to have templates for those too so again you can just leave A.S. to name the files for you if you wish.

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Post by tatewise » 06 Aug 2010 16:22

I forgot to mention that I use A.S. (and G.C. before) to auto-name the Multimedia Census Records from their File-names, and hope to continue with other event types as they are added to A.S.
Thank you Nick for this excellent add-on for FH.

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Post by IanMcAulay » 07 Aug 2010 13:03

Quite right Lee, surname then given names would sort my census images better. As I explained, my system evolved rather than being worked out properly in advance and I really can't be bothered with redoing it (and renaming the corresponding multimedia and source records)!

For certificate images and GRO index images, it doesn't really make that much difference as the type and date pretty much fix the ordering. I have surprisingly few duplicate dates even for quarter dates.

Ian

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Post by shaunm1963 » 11 Sep 2010 21:42

HI, I know this is an old post but I had to comment as it is part of the info in the link.....

http://www.fhug.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id ... your_files

....which has to some extent caused me trouble. By the time a file with a fairly long filemane, such as an 1841 Census (as taken directly from Ancestry eg 1841 England Census Class HO107; Piece 515; Book 6; Civil Parish Ormskirk; County Lancashire; Enumeration District 1; Folio 9; Page 11; GSU roll 306902 - and not a cut down forward-slashed version of the name) reaches the end of the file path from C:/ to My Documents/Family History/MyFile.GED/Census/UK1841 or similar, the length of the file name is 'too long' (for my Windows XP system) and the PC automatically reduces the filename until it can fit, but making it of no value at all. I worked around this by having a separate external hard drive (HDD) where all my FH work, folders and Files are stored and a second external HDD that (using approriate software) the Data on the first HDD is continually 'syncronised' to, thus creating a permanent and ongoing backup. Has anyone else found the long filename situation a problem? My solution is OK because I use my home-built desktop PC but two or even one external HDD might be difficult for someone who is ultra-mobile with a laptop...!?

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Post by AdrianBruce » 11 Sep 2010 22:18

Long filename problems seem to pop up in all sorts of places - including some versions of my back-up software, which is somewhat disconcerting.

The only thing, I'm afraid, is to try and review those long names (if I understand you correctly). For instance in:
1841 England Census Class HO107; Piece 515; Book 6; Civil Parish Ormskirk; County Lancashire; Enumeration District 1; Folio 9; Page 11; GSU roll 306902
one can be a bit ruthless.
GSU roll 306902 is just the film reference of the Gen Soc Utah. It doesn't identify the image, so trim it off.
As I recollect,
1841 England Census Class HO107; Piece 515; Book 6; Folio 9; Page 11;
suffices to define the image. There is no need to have the parish, or county because one can't have the above details with a different parish or county. The ED is similar and was the identification used when the census was created, not by TNA when archiving the census.

IT people like me always try to name something by a key and not add anything else in. For instance, to take another example, one could name a photo 'Avro Lancaster RAF PA474 005', which is the 5th photo I have of the RAF's Avro Lancaster PA474. But since the RAF only ever had one PA474, it is perfectly possible to name the photo 'RAF PA474 005'. This is the same principle as trimming those extraneous bits out of the filename above. The issue with trimming is whether you lose ease of use - e.g. can you still recognise PA474 as a Lanc when you see the picture?

Of course, changing anything could cause you more disruption than it's worth...

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Post by shaunm1963 » 12 Sep 2010 09:03

Thanks Adrian, I believe you are right in your decisions to chop and crop, and I have done to various degrees before now but I am always scared that I may be losing important info that I will regret losing later on. However,
There is no need to have the parish, or county because one can't have the above details with a different parish or county.

this kind of information is extremely handy to know, especially when one is a 'noob'. I will take a new look at my files. Thanks again,

Shaun

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Post by davepacey » 12 Sep 2010 11:19

Adrian Bruce said:
can you still recognise PA474 as a Lanc
Definately :-) she is based a few miles from here at Coningsby  [grin][grin]

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Post by Johnyeates » 25 Oct 2010 17:09

Hi,
In Media I have four family lines, Paternal and maternal grandparents surnmes.
Within each directory there are directories for each surname taht appears.
Within each surname directory there are directoties for each person within that surname. The directory name is as follows 'Smith John b1856' I include the birth date to differenciate the different'Johns'. Every family has names that are passed dow there family.
I then save certificates, census, LDS Christenings, photo's in that persons directory.
The above system makes it very easy to find any document cocerning that person. I have found it easier that just having directories called '1851 Census' or 'Birth Certificates' or 'Photos'

John

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Post by Johnyeates » 02 Jul 2011 23:59

Under the Medis Directory I have the family Lines I amd researching eg.
'Yeates Line' - My Dad
'Akers Line' - my Mum
etc including Wifes Fathers Line, Wifes Mothers line and so on. I have twelve family lines - Don't Ask

Under each Family Line I have the Surnames of the Families within that Line.

Then Each individual has data stored against it as follows:
Surname-1st Name-2nd Initial-Birth year - Data Type. eg 1911 census, birth Cert, FMP Burial Record, LDS Christening etc
eg. Yeates John H b1824-Marriage Cert
Yeates John H b1824 - 1871 Census

The Census is saved under 'Head of the Family' Name.

I find I can locate data very easily without having to know the Census code etc and I have 6500 files in the Media directory.

Of course I have two network drives for backup and also a the Laptop and I load a copy onto me sisters computer when I visit her about every foreteen days. so I hope I am covered!!
John

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Post by keith_r59 » 28 Aug 2011 11:21

In the project media folder I have the following sub-folder structure:

Census Images
...1841
...1851
...1861
...1871
...1881
...1891
...1901
...1911
Certificates
...Births
...Deaths
...Marriages
Obituaries & Inquests
Parish Indexes
...Baptisms
...Burials
...Marriages
Photographs
Probate Indexes

I use the following naming convention:

Individuals
{Surname}, {Forenames} ({Birth Year}-{Death Year}) - {Record Type}

E.G.
Blythe, Sarah (1849-1907) - Birth Certificate
Robinson, Thomas (1845-1919) - Birth Certificate

Families
{Husband Surname}+{Wife Surname} ({Year Marriage Started}-{Year Marriage Ended}) - {Record Type}

E.G. Robinson+Blythe (1867-1907) - Marriage Certificate

For married women I still record any individual records under their birth name

E.G. Blythe, Sarah (1849-1907) - Death Certificate

The only drawback is that I have to rename records/files once I find out new information such as when someone died but it does make it easier to keep track of everything in the long run.

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Post by HumScumDave » 11 Mar 2012 09:06

Just to stick my (inexperienced) tuppence in...

I've gone the opposite way from most people here (I guess I'm just contrary):

There is a multimedia folder, that's not within the FH Folder (when I tried, it seemed awkward to do it the way I wanted within FH).

Each person has a folder dedicated to them, named:
{Record ID} {BIRTH SURNAME} {Birth Christian Names}

Within the folder, the files which relate to the person are stored, all starting:
{Record ID} {SURNAME AT EVENT} {Christian Names At Event} -
and then followed by:
{Event} [Index/Transcription/Certificate/etc] {Year}

The files are stored in the folder of the person it belongs to (in the case of BMD certificates and the like), the 'Head of Household' in the case of family-related documents, the most senior (or eldest) person in the case of pictures, and yes, the man in the case of a marriage.

It might seem overly complex, but it does mean I don't have lists of thousands of files to look through to find something.

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Post by tatewise » 11 Mar 2012 11:42

It should be perfectly feasible to have the folder and file structure you describe, sitting below the ...Family Historian Projects{ProjectName}{ProjectName}.fh_dataMedia folder.

There are significant advantages in achieving that set-up.
All the Multimedia file links become relative to the FH Media folder, instead of absolute.
This allows the whole Project folder to be saved/moved to another disk, copied to say a USB pen-drive, transferred to a new PC, etc, without upsetting the Multimedia file links.

It should be possible to simply move your entire folder structure into the FH Media folder.
Then Tools > Work with External File Links allows all the Multimedia file links to be remapped at a stroke.

You could continue to add your media files to the same folders as you do now, but within Media.
When you link them to Multimedia records, FH should recognise they are already in its Media folder, and not ask whether you want to move them.

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Post by hermitsrest » 15 Mar 2012 16:15

I'm fairly new to discovering that my favourite genealogy program (FH) has a User Group site - which is fab, BTW - and am gradually working my way through the wealth of information that's available now.  I'm still working on FHv3 (with the upgrades), but this last week also discovering AS.  Amazing.  

Having done tree stuff for over 20 years (mainly mine, but others as well), I have become lax in some areas, but improved in others.

My filing is roughly grouped by individual grandparent ancestry and then split into BMD/Census/Other Sources/Tree sources (for other people's gedcoms or drawings), and maybe separate folder for branches that get large enough to warrant it.

Good Organising Tip
One recent discovery that came along with moving between smartphones alot was Dropbox, which is an online file storage with login account that can store up to 2GB for free, with more space allocated if one of your recommendees signs up as well (up to 6 GB).  I created more than one account with alias emails and it's allowed me to have my on-the-go info with me (there's an Android or iPhone App to synchronise with).  The folder you install on your pc is drag and drop so you can work on your gedcom there quite easily, save and close - then be at a records office updating the tree on your laptop (it'll synchronise automatically when next online).  It's particularly useful if you have a pc and a laptop as you don't need to keep remembering that USB stick to moving the gedcom to and fro (or worry about losing said USB stick).  Dropbox won't store everything I've acculmulated - I have an external HD for that - but it will solve any transportable and quick ref issues.

Bad Organising Confession
My areas to improve on is to stop physical notetaking on scraps of paper as I hate continuous minimising and maximising of screens, and then using the back of it to make my weekly shopping list.  

Any hints on how to get around this would be much appreciated - it's mainly those mini-trees you create thinking there might be a family link but you don't want to type them into the gedcom unless they turn out to be nonsence. I don't have easy access to a scanner.

hermitsrest

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Post by tatewise » 15 Mar 2012 21:55

hermitsrest,
Just in case you have not discovered the Knowledge Base yet, there is advice there on two of the main topics you mention, and much more:
1) Ancestral Sources Contents including tutorials.
2) Utility ~ Dropbox and related synch tools.

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Post by HumScumDave » 17 Mar 2012 14:59

tatewise said:
-snip-
There are significant advantages in achieving that set-up.
All the Multimedia file links become relative to the FH Media folder, instead of absolute.
This allows the whole Project folder to be saved/moved to another disk, copied to say a USB pen-drive, transferred to a new PC, etc, without upsetting the Multimedia file links.

It should be possible to simply move your entire folder structure into the FH Media folder.
Then Tools > Work with External File Links allows all the Multimedia file links to be remapped at a stroke.
-snip-
I tried this when I first started, but it wasn't happy when copying files in - since I save them straight there on the whole now, that problem hasn't come up.

I have actually been running this across two systems (my laptop, and a much less powerful notebook that's convenient for taking into places), but through a system of substituted drives, and so on.

It seems one needs to either move the folder within in the Media folder (so everything is in Media{OriginalFolderName}) or fiddle with collapsing the entire tree and selecting it all to remap. I hope there's a better way!

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