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David Kerr
02 April 2006, 03:54 PM
As I now have lots of photos, files, downloads and documents, can someone recommend a tried and trusted file hierarchy to keep it all together, readily available, and that will keep me sane?

Kim
03 April 2006, 12:54 AM
As I now have lots of photos, files, downloads and documents, can someone recommend a tried and trusted file hierarchy to keep it all together, readily available, and that will keep me sane?
I'm assuming these are all digital, and not paper. I can tell you what I do, and you can decide if it works for you. I'm also interested to see if someone has a better system.

I use lots of nested folders. These are stored in a GENEALOGY folder in DOCUMENTS. The first level is SURNAME, with a folder for each of my major surnames. Right now I have 10, representing the grandparents of both my and my husband. I've also added 2 gr-grandparents, but will break the others down if my research leads in that direction.

Inside the surname folders, I have folders for types of records...death, birth, marriage, military, misc, correspondence, etc. Some of these have subfolders, for example, in death I have separate folders for death certificates and obituaries. I also have a possible 'surname' in each of these SURNAME folders, where I keep documents that may be related, but at this time there is no real evidence connecting them. If I have several, I start a separate database in Reunion here, where I add basic info on these people. I don't worry too much about details...just vital statistics and parent/child info. If I ever find a link, I can add them to my main database in detail.

In addition the the SURNAME folders, I also have a LOCATION folder. This is for documents that pertain to more than one family in an area...maps, county histories, etc.

I also have a separate CENSUS folder, with a subfolder for each census year. I store the images inside these folders. My families seem to have lived in 'clusters' and often I'd have multiple copies of the same page in 2 or 3 surname folders if I tried storing by family!

I keep my photos separate, with original scans in the PHOTO folder, and lower resolution photos stored in my GENEALOGY folder for use with Reunion. I"m not sure that is necessary, but it seemed like if I linked the hi-res photos, Reunion would take forever when I clicked on a family card with a photo.

I don't know if this helps you, but it is what works for me. I'm open to learning a better method, though, if anyone has suggestions!

David Kerr
03 April 2006, 01:08 PM
Thanks Kim

I like your structure, nice and simple to follow, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Tom Robinson
05 April 2006, 03:11 AM
I use lots of nested folders. These are stored in a GENEALOGY folder in DOCUMENTS. The first level is SURNAME, with a folder for each of my major surnames.
Gee, I've always kept everything in 2 folders! One for source documents, one for photos. Same goes for my physical media.

e.g. Source folder has:
1. Family tree from grandad
2. E-mail from distant cousin

(the number at the start is part of the filename and matches the Reunion source number)

Apart from a few common sources (census records), I never access the sources or photos directly, but use Reunion as my lookup. e.g. To find the original source of John Whitworth's birth, go to his record, see what source number is linked as the birth certificate, then open the Sources folder in the Finder and go to that file (by typing the number). Alternatively I could search in the Finder, but find that clumsy.

I've never regretted this system.

For people who store physical or electronic information by family, where do you put data which crosses more than one family line?

I occasionally think about distributing source information on CD with my books, and not having sources grouped by surname would make this a mission (or a job for a source export and an AppleScript). However, I've never had any interest for more than one source document at a time.

kepardue
12 August 2006, 03:29 PM
Jumping into this topic from a previous link...

I like the folder/subfolder concept a great deal. With consideration of quicklky using this data on another computer (i.e. a laptop and a desktop), will subfolders work with Reunion? I know in Reunion you can set custom Multimedia Folders as locations to look to (so that if I have a folder in /documents/reunion on the iMac and on the MacBook I have documents/genealogy/reunion, I can easily set both paths in the Multimedia pref. Does this pref also work with subfolders?

Also, do you ever think there's an issue with orphaned files? For instance, consider a file that is quickly grabbed for transfer, and the surname is lost because it was contained in a subfolder. You couldn't reassociate it if you didn't have direct knowledge of who these people in the photograph were. It's an unlikely situation, I know.

If many of you also use iPhoto to index your files, am I correct in assuming that you're okay with duplicating the family files in both Reunion and iPhoto? I really don't see a way around that, but it certainly does seem better to keep all of the Reunion data as 'packaged' as possible.

Finally, in the examples listed above, is there a naming convention for the filenames themselves? With the folder structure /surname/given name/birth certificates/file.tif, does file.tif have a name? The document number, page number, or so on?

Kim
14 August 2006, 10:11 PM
If many of you also use iPhoto to index your files, am I correct in assuming that you're okay with duplicating the family files in both Reunion and iPhoto? I really don't see a way around that, but it certainly does seem better to keep all of the Reunion data as 'packaged' as possible.

Finally, in the examples listed above, is there a naming convention for the filenames themselves? With the folder structure /surname/given name/birth certificates/file.tif, does file.tif have a name? The document number, page number, or so on?

My naming convention is SURNAME_Firstname_Middle.extension
It doesn't tell what kind of document I have, but since I keep types of documents in separate folders, it works for me. I guess it doesn't solve the problem with 'orphan' files, but I've never had that problem, so can't address that. It DOES allow me to use spotlight for a name and find most of the document files I have related to that name.

The exceptions are photos and census info, or other files pertaining to a GROUP of people. For census info, I use YEAR_SURNAME_Firstname_Middle.pdf with the head of household of interest being used for the name. Occassionally I will use a group of surnames instead if more than one family of interest is on the page. And of course, I keep each year grouped in a separate folder.

For photos, I create albums for each surname and pull the photos into the albums. Since they can be dragged into more than one album, it takes care of photos of multiple families. I also use surnames as keywords, and of course, when I KNOW who is in the photo, I include that info, as well as the place and date, in the comments of the photo.

Not sure if that really answered your questions.....

Kim
14 August 2006, 10:29 PM
For people who store physical or electronic information by family, where do you put data which crosses more than one family line?

I occasionally think about distributing source information on CD with my books, and not having sources grouped by surname would make this a mission (or a job for a source export and an AppleScript). However, I've never had any interest for more than one source document at a time.


As I explained elsewhere, iPhoto takes care of any photos crossing multiple lines. For documents, it is a little trickier for me. I don't have THAT many crossing multiple lines. Basically, I have about 8 lines I'm researching right now....pretty much gr-grandparents. Almost everyone in my files can be associated with one of those names. The main exceptions are the juncture where 2 lines merge, and then I've arbitrarily dedided to group that with the male surname.

The other exception I can see coming at some point, but hasn't occurred yet, is when there are cousins marrying cousins recent enough to blur the lines.

You are probably right about not haveing sources grouped by surname making it more difficult to distribute on CD, but that isn't really an issue for me anyway. Since I keep ALL my info in the surname folder, much sensitive info is in there and I wouldn't distribute it to anyone but close family (birth and marriage certificates of living people, for example). So some major pruning would be in order for either system!

For other researchers, I will share individual records as requested, and they are relatively easy for me to find, since I understand my system.

Potion
15 August 2006, 04:36 PM
... For people who store physical or electronic information by family, where do you put data which crosses more than one family line?
Create an alias and drag that to the other family folder.