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Andrew-Bede Allsop
30 November 2008, 06:19 AM
I have many, and growing, downloaded images of Census returns and am finding it difficult to settle on a consistent system for naming and filing on my computer. At the moment I have them all sitting in a folder which is fine but they are named in a rather slapdash manner! Any suggestions as to how people file this kind of thing would be appreciated. For example is it a good idea to name them after the Head of the household? Ideas please.

Many thanks

theKiwi
30 November 2008, 07:05 AM
Anticipating much great work by myself ahead, AND a need to interface correctly with my online genealogy site run by TNG (http://tngsitebuilding.com/) I have quite a hierarchy of folders setup, and also for the most part a naming convention for the files. For my documents I have:

births
census
deaths
marriages
miscellaneous
obits
wills

Inside the census folder I have a folder for each year - 1841, 1851, etc for the British years and 1850, 1860, 1870 etc for the US years.

For items that originate from Scotlands People I use their naming convention, which for example

D1860_280_00_0001Z.gif

means it was:
Event type: Death
Year: 1860
Parish: 280 (all the Scottish parishes are numbered)
Book/Ledger: 00 - the first one
Page: 0001

They similarly number Census returns, marriages and births for the post 1855 events. For the pre 1855 events they have for example

OPR648_000_0050_0255Z.gif

OPR = Old Parish Registers
Parish = 648
I'm not entirely sure on the next parts
Page = 255

For census images from Ancestry, I give them a name like

USA_Michigan_Wayne_Detroit_1860_HughMoffat.gif

Which indicates that it was the 1860 Census for Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA then it was for Hugh Moffat, although I have also considered putting the PersonID of the head of household in the filename for disambiguation in case of common names.

Pictures of headstones are in the "headstones" folder which is divided into folders for Country, then State/County/Province (States in USA and Australia, County in Scotland, Province in New Zealand and Canada etc), and then further subdivided by Cemetery name.

It seems unweildy at first, but I hope it's "future proof" in that no matter how much I find, I won't get to having folders that have many hundreds, or even thousands of files in them which itself is even more unwieldy.

Roger

Karen Peters
30 November 2008, 06:34 PM
For census images from Ancestry, I give them a name like

USA_Michigan_Wayne_Detroit_1860_HughMoffat.gif

Which indicates that it was the 1860 Census for Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA then it was for Hugh Moffat, although I have also considered putting the PersonID of the head of household in the filename for disambiguation in case of common names.

Roger

Nice system Roger. I would just reverse the first and last name, so if you had Hugh Moffat and Roger Moffat from the same year and location, the files would appear closer together in a list sorted alphabetically. Also, if you wanted to go all the way, throw the page number in there somewhere.

I name the file by Head of Household and year (AdamsElisha1840.pdf for example). I keep my files organized in DevonThink, so location information is stored in the Comments Section. However, I think your system is more "future proof." Oh well, I'm too lazy to start over now!

Cheers!

theKiwi
30 November 2008, 06:43 PM
Nice system Roger. I would just reverse the first and last name, so if you had Hugh Moffat and Roger Moffat from the same year and location, the files would appear closer together in a list sorted alphabetically. Also, if you wanted to go all the way, throw the page number in there somewhere.

Both excellent suggestions - but do I want to start over? Hmmmmm

I name the file by Head of Household and year (AdamsElisha1840.pdf for example). I keep my files organized in DevonThink, so location information is stored in the Comments Section. However, I think your system is more "future proof."

There's nothing worse than gradually creeping up on have a thousand files in one folder - it makes for VERY long and slow open/save dialogs for example, and when synchronised to a website for very long lists in the FTP - that's why I've headed for having it in so many sub-folders to try and keep the file numbers per folder down.

Roger

Andrew-Bede Allsop
01 December 2008, 01:59 AM
Thank you both for yur suggestions, I will try to devise a system based on yours. I don't want it to get too complicated so certainly a hirearchy of files is good and perhaps a slightly simpler naming system

Many thanks

Andrew-Bede

Karen Peters
02 December 2008, 08:12 AM
Oh well, I'm too lazy to start over now!

Both excellent suggestions - but do I want to start over? Hmmmmm
Roger

Andrew you are very smart to think this through before starting!

One other thing that you might consider is the use of spotlight. It's more functional than it used to be. Whatever system you decide on, you might want to try some test searches when you start to see if you can take advantage of spotlight.

Cheers!

sdengle
02 December 2008, 11:04 AM
I have many, and growing, downloaded images of Census returns and am finding it difficult to settle on a consistent system for naming and filing on my computer.

Here is my system. I use HeritageQuest for downloading ALL my census images (if not indexed by HQ, I use Ancestry at the library for finding location and page). I have four folders, one for each of our parents' surnames. I put individual census pages into the appropriate parent folder. Sometimes within a parent folder I feel the need to make a folder for a single year's images. (I have about 800 images in one parent folder, so far.)

My labeling for each downloaded image for United States census: Year, 2-letter Postal code for state name (refer to a listing if uncertain!), first 3 to 5 letters of county name (whatever is logical), name as indexed (upper case for surname), age (optional), census page as indexed. I put a space before the surname and a space before the page number, although I have also used commas between all the parts (and later changed to this system). Occasionally when there are many relatives with different surnames in a location in a particular year, I put the page number before the surname. In some locations, I add 3-5 letters of the township after the county.

The first example is my standard file name; others show the variations.

1900NY,Chem PALMER,SarahB56 p52A
1860OR,Yam p658B EVEREST,Wm23;etc
1880IN,Dear,Wash p270C COLE,Sam

Susan

Linda G
23 December 2008, 01:12 PM
I have many, and growing, downloaded images of Census returns and am finding it difficult to settle on a consistent system for naming and filing on my computer.

Andrew,

I don't include an individual's name in the file names. I download the entire census page image, and name it accordingly. One image file can have entries for multiple families of interest, plus the file is of a census page--I decided my filenames should reflect that fact.

Example:

00-WI-Waukesha-Waukesha-ED141-i18

00->1900 US Census Population Schedule
WI->Wisconsin
Waukesha-> Waukesha County
Waukesha->town/city/locality of Waukesha
ED141-> enumeration district 141 [not used in earlier censuses]
i18->image number [taken from whatever online collection I used, in this case Ancestry]

In the 'Spotlight Comments' (do 'get info' for the file), I store the date downloaded, the online source and citation info given by the online source . For this example, that is:

Ancestry 19 Jan 2008 Year:*1900; Census*Place:*Waukesha,*Waukesha,*Wisconsin; Roll:*T623*1822; Page:*9B; Enumeration*District:*141.


The census image files are stored:

folder for all census images
-schedule folder
--state folder

So far, I haven't felt the need to create county folders. The primary criteria for grouping the files is how quickly I can find one later. People may differ on what works for them.

The individual's census citation references the specific household on the census page. The citation includes all the information I need to construct my filename (year, state, county, locality,additional locality info, image number), so I know what file holds the page image.

While doing the lookups and saving images, I save the filenames for a family/individual in a worksheet, so I know what file to use later for transcription/analysis, etc.

I do not link these images into my Reunion file. Just haven't tried it yet! So I have no idea what the concerns would be if you wanted to do that.