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#1 RossC

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:21 AM

One of my biggest headaches when I set out in this hobby was organising my files. So, after a number of false starts I eventually came up with the following system. I am starting this topic as I know others have issues here (as I have heard it from other amateur genealogists. Would be interested in knowing what others do.

My own filing/organising system is similar to Dollarhide. Each person or document is assigned a three part unique reference ‘number’ that consists of 8 or 9 alpha-numeric characters. The first part is the series of the document or person (3 characters). The second portion is a sequential 3 digit number for that series, and the last part is either 2 or 3 characters that will denote location (i.e. ON for Ontario, NTH for Northamptonshire, CW for Canada West, etc.) or family (for interviews, family group sheets, etc.).

For individuals I use the first three characters of the surname, for persons having a surname of Mc, Mac, o’, Van, Du, etc. I use the more unique portion of the name, that being the major portion, i.e. McRae would be RAE, VanKoughnett is KOU. Following that is the three digit sequential number for that series.
As for documents I use the following series;
BTH – Birth
MRG – Marriage
DTH – Death
CEN – Census
IMM – Immigration/Emmigration
WIL – Wills & Testaments
GRV – Gravestones
MEM – Memorial Cards (Be this for birth, marriage or deaths)
OBT – Obituaries
FAM – Family Group Sheets
INT – Interview Transcripts
IND – Individual Record Sheets
NEW – News Articles
WEB – Web Sites

Sequential numbers are not tied to date or any other significant aspect. To do such would create a numbering system that would have to be constantly adjusted and re-adjusted as people are added as they are found and/or proven. Basically, I add the number as it is being entered into Clooz and subsequently RM.

Furthermore I only assign reference numbers to individuals once a document is associated to that person or family. Be it a BMD certificate, census or other official document, or should an interview take place mentioning the person, or a family record sheet be created by a person having firsthand knowledge (i.e. immediate family members). If there is no corroborating evidence for a person then no reference number will be assigned. This also helps when going through the database, as I can tell quickly what names need at least some sort of evidence as to their relationship to the family tree

As for the actual copy of the documents, I have a digital copy of everything and they are stored on my hard drive as well as a back-up drive. Names for the digital copies associate with the document number. A hard copy of each item is placed in the file for that family as that is how I group my filing. Files are labelled using the reference number of the primary followed by the spouse (should there be one). Furthermore a file is only created for an individual should they maintain the age of 19 or be married. For persons who are mentally infirm, die before reaching the age of majority or stillborn their documentation shall remain in the parents file. I will attach a label to the front of the file folder for all persons just mentioned. Subsequent marriages are also left in the same folder with a label again placed on the front to show the marriage.

Originals are stored in sheet protectors and labelled on the front of the sheet holder and then placed into binders. I do not qualify electronic documents from sites such as ancestry.com and the like as originals. Originals are documents I have acquired during the course of my research, such as the family bible (transcripts), family group sheets filled out by cousins, BMD certificates I have received either from family members or from a governmental body. Or little things like the memorial cards from family funerals, invitations to weddings, the tags from those little thank-you’s at weddings, etc. Lastly transcripts from interviews I also consider an original document.

Some final words of advice, decide upon your filing/organisation system right away and stick to it. There is nothing more annoying than having to redo all the work put into the organisation/storage system you have created. Make sure that what you decide upon is workable for you and that is not overly burdensome. Also when using labels, consider using the removable labels from Avery as they are great for having to be replaced if necessary. Lastly do not attach a label to an original document, rather place the label on the sheet protector.
Genealogy, the hobby of putting together a jigsaw puzzle of an exponetially increasing number of pieces, that increases in an upwards and downwards direction continiously, where each piece is a specific event tied to a specific person at a specific period of time... I should have picked up a simplier hobby... studying the human genome ;-)

#2 Nettie

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:52 PM

RossC

Thanks for starting this topic. A recent webinar talked about this subject, Mary Hill's organization tips etc.. are found on the www.familysearch.org site in the Learning section
http://www.familysea...Paper_Files.asp Mary Hill is fond of Hanging file folders, I do not use them, my files are in 4 drawer metal file cabinets.

I also use Dollarhide as my example
Have refined the system to my own labels
I use his Reference Family Data Sheet [changed the title to Research Data Sheet = RDS KY 005]. [hard copy of Electronic form is filled out while looking at the source in a library or at home while searching on the internet. It is my research calendar, goal, and journal in one form.]

1. one sheet per source found. It is also my entrance sheet/form to my Access database base [personally created], so I could create an index.
2. Even if the source is not related as research analysis tells me, I keep it
3. all Reference Family Data Sheets RDS are labeled by state, then a number [with 20 families in one state in the US this was the best way]
4. type of document, repository, date of access, like birth, death etc are documented in the database.
5. Tried Clooz was not happy with it. added 14 Nov 2011. Found that rekeying what I already had in RM to Clooz was not a good use of my time. Especially since I already had my sources labeled and documented in RM. Using the Detail Comments section of the Citation Manager was the best place to put items that had issues from my analysis of the source.

File folders
Right hand tab
a. Couple that is direct line with dates and place for each on label. Files alpha by surname and in each surname by newest date first, and latest Direct Line the last.
b. color coded by paternal [blue] & maternal [green] family [using myself as the first person, so Dad's side is blue and mother's is green] Mary Hill has another choice for this topic.
c. Contains FGS, Ancestor chart/Pedigree, Timelines, index list to file folder
d. Contains all documents that are found like certificates, census records, wills, etc for that specific couple includes the RDS sheets.[use color sheets between each kind of document]

Middle tabs are children of the direct line labels the same color as parents
a. Same information as Direct line parents. Only information after the child was married
b. Do have children never married folders also. Especially if outlived the parents.

Left Hand Tabs are specific folders, Mary V Hill calls these 'holding files' mine are
a. Research not solved or RJ [Research Journals]
b. Census records for other persons with same surnames
c. Research Journals/RDS/ or other pertinent information
d. To Do Lists
e. ....

Other RDS sheets with printouts are in separate file folders using the code and title in the label.
a. I took the time to color code them as to paternal or maternal to match my direct line surname files.

Mary Hill calls this the Locality files.
My repository file folders are color coded purple, which contains information and maps to the repository and feedback on how useful, plus a list of dates visited which is also in the Access database along with call numbers to the books or .... found.

Karen Clifford at genealogy.com forum/learning section also has another way and has a new book out.
Clooz or By Gones software packages do help but I was not satisfied with either one. :(

Many genealogists have printed books on this topic, and I have about 6 of them. Have found that Mary Hill's rendition of what to do is probably the most clearly stated and presented.

[added after thoughts..] Have used this system for about 10 years. When seeing the Webinar was glad to see others had a similar system. :)

My take on this you have to make a file system that will fit your way of doing & keeping research and what makes sense to you as a person. :)

Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#3 svRMUser

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:58 PM

Having sorted my files different ways, I've adopted a binder system that was suggested by Pat Richley-Erickson on her Dear Myrtle blog. While I see the value in having every file sorted with unique IDs and filed in a way that they can be pulled out like a filing cabinet, the binders store and present my data in a way that is friendly to any family members that would like to see what I've done. I never felt like anybody would get any value from staring at boxes of filed papers with IDs alone, it had to be sorted in a presentable manner.

The binder system goes like this:
3 tabs for each last name:
*Direct Line - information for each family you would find on your pedigree chart
*Collateral Line - information for the aunt/uncle/brother/sisters that aren't on the pedigree chart
*Unproven/Research - data you found for potential related people

Use as many binders as you need.

I'm able to let my family browse through the binder and step back through time with the binder. First they encounter a Family Group Sheet and then they find all the sources or pictures of that family. Then they find the paternal grandfather's family and their sources...etc..

Here is a link to her organization articles from Jan-Apr of 2011. The January PDF describes the binder system.
http://blog.dearmyrt...-checklist.html

#4 Miranda

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 09:41 AM

Are you guys printing out all your stuff to hard copy for this? At first I thought this thread was about how to organize your files on your computer, and I was excited to maybe get some tips on organizing my own files, but it seems like it's all about how to organize paper?

I have been waffling over how to organize my files a lot since I started (it's been a source of frustration for me because every time I change my mind, then I have to redo dozens of sources and their attached media). They are all electronic files, though, and I'm not really interested in making hard copies and adding to clutter in my house.

I guess I could try to adapt some of the strategies to my electronic files..

#5 Nettie

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:33 AM

Miranda
Some of us have been around doing genealogy way before the internet and electronic systems were even available.

My electronic files are files identical to my hard copy system. Another wards by Surname, direct line with sub folders for children following.

example:
Surname
subtopics
1. each direct line from the farthest to the closest
2. under each direct line file by given name
...a. census includes jpg's from on line repositories.
...b. certificates
...c. will/obits
...d. land
...e. FGS
3. pictures for the special surname

Then Localities
State, County, City or Township

Because computers especially Microsoft like to do alpha order in your filing system, I started using 1 in front of the sub topics. [took me a few years to figure this out, especially with the quality of search engines and what they do and don't do] I use PowerDesk Pro for my finding [quicker than MS], sorting, sync ing of files to one hard drive to another etc..
My electronic file system looks like this
Under big topic
C:/
C:/All Documents/Genealogy [dislike My Documents, since version 3 of Microsoft way before XP]
1 Surname
2 Records Management
...1 Procedures
...2 forms
...3 file labels
...4 Helps [includes emails until I solve some issues/or... with them]
...some samples
3 Resources [Includes Locality files]
4 Research
5 Census
6 Software

Anything that is under Records Management is items needed but does not fit into Surname or Locality files.

Do not print electronic files unless in a Narrative Report for families.
Hope this helps...

Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#6 Nettie

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:43 AM

One more thing, I taught classes years ago and have a file for Class Information under Records Management.
Census Records are the forms that I have created or found on the internet to use.,

Research I was using, then changed it.
Software has sub folders for RM: broken down to Problems, Place Lists, or working lists etc, GenSmarts, etc...

Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#7 RossC

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:02 AM

I have electronic as well as paper copies of all my source documents for the reason that I am somewhat old school and like to have physical documents for my perusal as well as proof that I have entered and sourced the item in question, as I know that once it is in the file I have completed work on that particular document. As for the electronic portion all my source docs are grouped by type, placed in a master folder called source citations which is in a master folder labelled as genealogy. Numbering of the source documents are as I have stated above and each doc is linked as an image to the appropriate source in RM as well as Clooz. I also enter the document number in the master source in the file number location.

I could create electronic files for all the family and may do so, however, I would have massive duplication of images on my computer if I was to do so as a fair bit of my family are from small communities in Northern Ontario, and as such I have frequently had pages of the census (for example) where there were two, three or even more families on the same page that are different families on the same master source document. As such right now, I only have multiple print outs placed in paper files rather than 2 or more copes of the same image on my hard drive in each folder for each family.

Adapting what is done on paper to computer is relatively simple. More often than not what will be discussed will be the theory of our org systems. If we happen to mention paper or electronic storage, remember that the medium is interchangeable.
Genealogy, the hobby of putting together a jigsaw puzzle of an exponetially increasing number of pieces, that increases in an upwards and downwards direction continiously, where each piece is a specific event tied to a specific person at a specific period of time... I should have picked up a simplier hobby... studying the human genome ;-)

#8 Miranda

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:02 PM

I have electronic as well as paper copies of all my source documents for the reason that I am somewhat old school and like to have physical documents for my perusal as well as proof that I have entered and sourced the item in question, as I know that once it is in the file I have completed work on that particular document.

For me, I have only ever done research on my computer, so it's more natural for me to put everything in here. I have some old paper research from a relative (well... it's sort of research... it's mostly a pile of unsourced family sheets filled in with some data by hand, and a couple of older original documents), but the first thing I did with it was scan it into the computer, and then put the papers in a ziploc bag to store away somewhere (they were stored in a smoker's home in the basement... they stink of smoke and mildew).

As for the electronic portion all my source docs are grouped by type, placed in a master folder called source citations which is in a master folder labelled as genealogy. Numbering of the source documents are as I have stated above and each doc is linked as an image to the appropriate source in RM as well as Clooz. I also enter the document number in the master source in the file number location.

I have grouped by type, but the discussion about the paper filing systems have got me wondering if I should group things differently and group family documents together. I sometimes get frustrated by the number of folders I've ended up creating for myself. For a while, I was super hierarchical (like for vital records, for example, I had a folder for US, a subfolder for Maine, a subfolder for Cumberland, and a subfolder for Yarmouth), but that just got to be a pain to navigate and I got rid of all the subfolders and just put everything into a Vital Records folder.

I am unfamiliar with Clooz... I will have to go check out what that is.

Adapting what is done on paper to computer is relatively simple. More often than not what will be discussed will be the theory of our org systems. If we happen to mention paper or electronic storage, remember that the medium is interchangeable.

I will need to investigate these numbering systems. I have not used one previously.

Right now my electronic organization looks like the following, but I am not really super happy with it. The top folder is C:/Users/Miranda/Dropbox/Geneaology/Documents. Below that:

  • Census
  • <year>
  • Images named with location and head of household, e.g. US-Maine-Cumberland-Yarmouth-John-Doe.jpg
[*]Military
  • Images named with a name and a description, e.g. Doe-John-WWII-Draft-Registration.jpg
[*]Newspapers
  • <paper name>
  • Images named with a year, a name, and a description, e.g. 1959-Doe-John-obituary.jpg
[*]Reference
  • Documents like census references, a guide to deciphering records in the Drouin collection, etc
[*]Unsorted
  • Stuff I have not had a chance to verify or put elsewhere yet
[*]Vital Records
  • Birth
    • Images named with a year and a name, e.g. 1870-John-Doe.jpg
  • Death
    • Same as birth, year and name
  • Marriage
    • Images named with a year, the groom's last name and the bride's last name, e.g. 1887-Jones-Smith.jpg
[/list]

#9 APerson

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:02 PM

I've used the same system for years (decades). I assign all documents a number based upon the primary surname that it relates to and the order in which it was filed. As I started doing this a few million or so years ago, I used just the first three letters of the surname (capitalized) and then a 3 digit number. Because computers can now deal with much longer surnames/numbers, I now use the entire name (capitalized), with the numbers attached. For example,

One of the surnames I researched (for many years) is "Hawley", I would begin with: HAW001, HAW002, HAW003, etc.

I recently started researching the surname "Barkman" and am using: BARKMAN001, BARKMAN002, BARKMAN003, etc.

One slight problem I ran into, long after I first began using this system, was how to catalog electronic documents (e.g., those found on the Internet or sent to me via e-mail), As a rule, I keep copies of EVERYTHING but, initially, I only had either original documents or photocopies. So much information is now available that I no longer make hard copies of everything and do not convert electronic sources to paper (which also saves a LOT of space). To keep track of these documents, I've simply continued to use the above method except that I add a lowercase "e" at the end of the surname, and also number those starting with 001 (which also gives me more room to play with in case I run out of numbers - I've got a long way to go on all of my surnames before that will happen. Using the same examples above, electronic copies are filed as:

"Hawley" electronic documents begin with HAWe001, HAWe002, HAWe003, etc.

"Barkman" electronic documents would begin with: BARKMANe001, BARKMANe002, BARKMANe003


One last thing: I keep my hard copies in folders pertaining to the respective surname (in sequential order using protective sheets - I place small labels on each protective sheet with the document number on them). I keep a folder for each surname or, when only a few documents are available, I maintain several surnames in one folder but have separate sections for each surname. My electronic copies are stored on my computer, with separate "folders" for each surname. Although I scan all hard copies of my documents too, I can tell by their number if I have physical copy of the document too

It works for me - hope this helps.

#10 Renee Zamora

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:28 PM

I always enjoy a good discussion on organizing systems. Maybe we are a little off track for how this relates to RootsMagic, but I am going to let it slide for now and keep it in RM Discussion and not move to a General Discussion yet. ;) I may move it later once the subject has died a little.

As I consider all your methods, it struck me how I could understand and follow each of your systems. That may be because I have heard so many types of systems. But, do our, non-genealogy minded, or newbie-genealogist relatives understand various systems. The first thing we need to do is make sure we explain and place somewhere were our relatives will find it is a description of our filing system method. What is intuitive to us, may not be intuitive to others.
Renee
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#11 Leah

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:11 PM

An interesting discussion, I always like hearing what others do.

I have most of my files on my computer. Even paper files I have scanned in. My paper file system is literally a small file folder that is very underutilized. I should probably consider printing out some of my Family Group sheets so I can whip them out to bore family whenever they visit :) but with the price of ink these days, I haven't bothered.


On the other hand, I have hundreds of digital files that I struggled with for quite a while. I finally came up with something that is not very sophisticated but works for me for the most part.

I ended up going with a combination of long file name + 3 character reference code for the document type very similar to APerson (cen, mrg, dth, bur, etc).

The resulting format is essentially:
SURNAME, forename(filetype)
I have gradually adapted and some things are still evolving eg - For some documents such as census I might add a year, and in some cases at the end of the filename I might add some alternative spellings of a name, or a newspaper article title or other keywords.

So a resulting file name might be:

DOE, John (cen1900).pdf
or
DOE, John & SMITH, Jane (mrg).jpg
DOE, John (dth) - announcement card.jpg


I ended up doing things this way for a number of reasons: I no longer have to use the "Surname" subfolder system and then try to decide where to put marriage records. In fact I can use any subfolder system I like, or just lump everything into one big folder if I really wanted to. And I no longer have to think about how I want the records to sort and have that dictate my file naming convention. I wanted to see at a glance, without opening it, what the file was and I didn't want to remember a bunch of reference codes.

But primarily I chose this method because if I need to find a particular file I can do so in seconds, all I do is go to Windows 7 search and type in a name eg "DOE". If I get a bazillion hits on that surname, then I can further refine the search by typing in a first name, or record type, or both.

My biggest dilemma right now is how to separate files that have been linked to records in Rootsmagic vs ones that are not. I didn't worry about this before, except now I have started uploading my gedcom to a personal website I want to upload my media as well, but of course only the ones that are linked to my gedcom. Still struggling with this one a little.

#12 MaryLou

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 02:30 PM

For about 20 years I have been using a system that works for me. When viewing info in the genealogy program, I can lay my hands on the referenced document easily because it has a name and is filed in my filing cabinet alphabetically by it's name. Each document is a source. All documents are named:

Birthxxx
Deathxxx
Marriagexxxx
Cemeteryxxxx
Militaryxxxx
Censusxxxx
Deedxxxx
Directoryxxxx (city directories
Churchxxxx (when I am lucky enough to find old church logs)

or
Surnamexxxx

All hearsay info is filed under Surnamexxxx and contains any info passed on to me verbally or as undocumented events.

When viewing events and see that it is supported by only Surnamexxxx sources I know it is not well documented, but know who to go to to get more updated info.

All other sources/documents contain a photo of death, birth, marriage, military or land transaction, etc info.

For example death0001 might contain a death certificate for my father; death0002 might contain an obituary for my grand mother.
Each document is in a manilla folder with the name (death0001) on it. These documents are NOT associated with any particular line. They are numbered as I run into them. Easy to find the hard copy, easy to find the reference in the genealogy program.

#13 JPCarolus

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:01 PM

I'm very late to this discussion, but I will share my experience. My mom spent over 25 years researching our genealogy. She became ill in the 1990's and was unable to continue. On a random trip to Office Depot, I found a computer program called Family Tree Maker, and thought how cool it would be to put my mom's work on a computer program and make her a book. I've also made the family trees, etc. for the family reunions. (I discovered later that in all actuality, I only had the "finished product"-the names, dates and places and some obits and stories, on the compuer. Mom wasn't too good about documenting sources of her info. My mom passed away in 2008 and a big box of genealogy documents was found on the floor of her closet. There, I found all sorts of source documents, correspondence, photos and hundreds of typed reports. It was filed in some fashion that made sense to her, but not to the rest of us. (do want to mention, I changed to Roots Magic sometime after Mom passed). Recently, I decided to go through all her files, add the sources and organize everything in a fashion that would be easy for the rest of the family to find things.
So, I am taking every piece of paper, entering any missing info in RM, entering the sources, then scanning the document to attach. The hard copies, I file a couple of ways-any family group sheets or typed/transcribed documents go into an accordion folder filed alphabetically by the last name that appears first on the document. (I figure I can print out all the info again if I need to and they aren't actual source documents in my case.) Things like photos, birth, marriage, death certificates, copies of obituaries, etc, for the time being are filed in binders, color coded for family branch and sorted in alphabetical order. Correspondence is filed in another binder, also color coded, by date order. (This may all change at some point, but it is easy for me to do at the moment, and I only have to handle each document once-enter info, scan document, file document in binder or accordion as I go along.)
At the moment, I haven't even made a discernible dent in what I've done, and I've been doing it for about 5 weeks now. My thinking on the filing is that I want to keep it simple-I didn't understand Mom's system and I want whoever inherits this work after me to be able to figure out what I was doing. I also plan to take the binders with the photos and documents to the family reunions. I don't think people have realized what all Mom put into this-I know I hadn't until I found the boxes.
I'm sure that I'll refine this as I go along...
(and just as an aside, if someone gives you a family group sheet or some family info, do put down on that sheet where you got it from. I've found several family group sheets that are not in my mom's handwriting. I'm sure if she were still alive she would be able to tell me exactly who she'd gotten it from, but now I have no way of knowing.)

#14 Nettie

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

Renee this does make sense for RM, since I have a lot of hard copies, I use my file system numbering as the number on the Detail Text screen Detail reference number. Especially as my hard copy files are named the same as computer Electronic files. I believe there is a space in the Master Text screen also for a file number. Using the same naming system with both hard copy and electronic helps in & keeping track of them is important. Noticed JPCarolus mentioned FGS sheets with different handwriting on it and no name as to who wrote it. I have had that happened then was able to match handwriting later on in time. I would add a specific file number like FGS Dec 005 to it to keep it separate from others. the three digit code is for a surname.

Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#15 Elynn

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:51 PM

Since I started genealogy before the computer age, I too, have both hard copy and softcopy. I like being able to peruse the hard copy items because it seems that I always found something new that I missed before.

That being said, I have become lazy with the internet, and have been keeping things only on my computer because I don't want to waste paper/ink. And now I have a big mess because I didn't keep my computer filing the same as my paper filing. I think I need to re-organize this big mess on my computer.

Hard copies have been filed in binders by Surname. Within each surname, I file by State (or country) giving each a page number - Clark, Tx pg 1. I now realize that without a table of contents I can't easily find a marriage document, record etc. I have some surnames that have hundreds of pages. I like having things by the state level, so my next level will be the type of document. I do not plan to renumber the documents - just move them to the next level. So my binders would be: Smith/Texas/marriage/page 10

Now, for the computer. Not thinking properly, I started saving census records to a Census folder (ok so far) that is divided by census year and within each census year by state. My file name is for example: 1880 Hopkins Co, Tx census - image 5, Saltillo District 4 - Clark, William and family. Seems to sort well - but somehow I think I need something else, but not sure what.

Next my gravestone photos. I separate out my gravestone photos into a Gravestone Photo folder and a sub folder of Surname and under that State and name the file: Clark, William - Cemetery, Hopkins Co, Texas. Again, seems to sort well.

Research items - I also separate the by type (marriage/death etc) under a family documents folder. I have a folder for my side and a folder for hubby's side. Within each folder is a surname folder. Within the surname folder is a state folder. This follows my binder system. At this point my file name under the surname/state folder is: 1918 - Clark, William - WWI registration. If I have scanned in one of my binder documents, I also tag on the state/page number that is within the binder (thereby letting me know I have a binder document).

I believe I have gotten myself too spread out. I like keeping the census separate - as a matter of fact they are on an external drive. I like the Surname/state-country system - but I am thinking that perhaps I should divide each out into marriage/death/birth etc and then do the page numbering - and combine hubby and mine into one main folder. So I would end up with something like this (and would mirror my binder system): Genealogy/Smith/Texas/marriage/page 1

I also have a lot of family photographs that I have been scanning in - into separate folders of course (haha) - and I believe that they should also be under the Surname/state - and maybe into a photographs folder: Genealogy/Smith/Texas/Photographs-portraits/file-name

I realize that everyone does things differently (as indicated by prior posts). I'm not looking for a radical change, but changes that work within my current system.

#16 JPCarolus

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:07 PM

I have found this online also: http://www.fileyourp...com/rm/rm1.html
I am still considering it...at the moment I am overwhelmed with paperwork and still have a lot to do just to determine what I have. (Entering my mom's work in RM and cataloging all of her documents.)

#17 Penny Blake

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:35 PM

Ive always had trouble keeping paper copies mainly due to the fact that it takes up so much space. When I hit 1,000 records I had two four drawer filing cabinets in my front room. 

 

Now, I have a simpler method.

 

I have a series of Foolscap folders and each folder has the individual summary for each person, printed off, placed in a poly pocket and filed in alphabetical order. Each record is given a folder reference that allows you to use as few or many folder as you wish. The logging system is as follows

 

xyzznn

 

x = B (Blood relation), M (Married into the family) and O (Other)

y = Y or N indicating if they are living or dead

zz = First two letters of surname

nn = first two numbers of birth year

 

So, for example, my father is filed under BYEL19

 

Now, with relation to the sources. Every single source is scanned either as a .jpg (image) or a .pdf (Document). Web Pages are printed off as .pdf files through the use of a small piece of freeware I downloaded.

 

These are then stored in a directory on a 1TB external hard drive. Where a source is linked to more than one record its filed under either the male (for example a marriage record) or the head (census perhaps)

 

The folder structure is as follows

 

Sources > {Surname} > RIN - {Forename}

 

so, using my father again as an example, all of his sources can be found under

 

Sources > Eldredge > 2 - Peter Jackson

 

RIN is the reference number allocated by Rootsmagic.

 

I now have over 2,500 records but no filing cabinets.

 

I can print off anything if I need a hard copy.

 

Is this simpler, or have I missed the point. Its just that Im in a situation where I just can not do hard copies anymore.



#18 MaryLou

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:58 PM

In 2011 I entered a description of the system that I use to organize my genealogy records.  At that time each document resided in its own manilla folder.  I have MANY documents and manilla folders.  I have rethought how I do this.

 

I still like my naming system.  But am disenchanted with all the paper.  Now that large hard drives are readily available I am in the process of scanning all my documents and entering them on my hard drive.  I have folders representing different types of document.  For example:  I have a folder named BIRTH.

In that folder i have sub folders:

BIRTH01 Beatrice Salter birth cert

BIRTH02 William Trice grave stone

 

In the subfolder BIRTH01 Beatrice Salter birth cert I have a jpeg of the birth certificate. 

 

In the subfolder BIRTH02 William Trice gravestone I have a photograph of the grave stone.

 

I still get to keep my easy neat filing system and am doing away with paper. 

 

Some paper I will keep:  My mother's high school diploma, etc.



#19 TomH

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:19 PM

I have found this online also: http://www.fileyourp...com/rm/rm1.htmlI am still considering it...at the moment I am overwhelmed with paperwork and still have a lot to do just to determine what I have. (Entering my mom's work in RM and cataloging all of her documents.)

i just had a look at this tutorial and marketing presentation and think that it starts off on the wrong foot and the system will quickly collapse in confusion. Their mistake is in thinking that Rec# in People View is the MRIN. The filing system is based on MRIN. Only coincidentally, the RIN (Rec#) of the male in the example matched the MRIN of his one marriage.

Tom user of RM7230 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> Rmtrix_tiny.png app, a growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#20 MaryLou

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:00 PM

In my opinion folks make a huge mistake organizing their documents based on a particular genealogy software program.