Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting Files Organized

After listening to Family History Made Easy, Episode 32, a podcast Genealogical Hard Drive Organization by Lisa Louise Cook, I patiently waited for her next Podcast. There was no disappointment with Episode 33, Hard Drive Organization Part 2.

Having a recent Hard Drive issue, I realized that over time, I had my genealogy information all over my C: Drive, Several CD's of information, and a number of Folders on a new External Drive. Over time, we each may have our own way to organize our information and over that time we may figure out to organize differently. That we me.

After listening to Liza, I wanted to see how her suggestion would work with a Family Tree Maker Version 2009 might look at how we store our Genealogy information and Family Tree Maker program information.

The suggestion that Lisa made was to have a Genealogy folder created. So, I have, under My Documents, a folder called Genealogy. Actually, I already had one, but the next step was from Lisa. I have found that with Vista, the My Documents folder is Documents (no My). That will be reflected below.

: below you will see \..\ to indicate information that may be specific to you, especially with Vista


Now, I maintain four (4) very separate family lines, so I have each of those four lines as a subfolder of Genealogy.

C:\..\Documents\Genealogy\Byberry (where this line arrived in the US)

C:\..\Documents\Genealogy\Dunblaen (an AKA for this line)

C:\..\Documents\Genealogy\Nicholas (a line that came into the US about 1649 in New England)

C:\..\Documents\Genealogy\CaptJohn (my line)

I have also done for a friend.

C:\..\Documents\Genealogy\Deats (for this blog)

Some other researchers, have for years, understand these names. Lisa is more specific of how she has her files, this i just my implementation of her Podcast and show notes.

For more details to Expand these folders, please read her show notes. I have.

Now to the Family Tree Maker program.

If Family Tree Maker was installed by default, Family Files would be stored in:

C:\..\Documents\Family Tree Maker\

Each of the four (4) lines mentioned above, there are four different Family Files, each with a specific filename.

With Version 2008 and 2009, the program will create a
media folder for storage of any images that are included in the Family File. The change in 2008 and 2009 is that the images are NOT included in the Family File, but are linked to the file in the media folder. If a Web Merge is done, as talked about earlier, any Media (image) of the web merge will be saved in this folder.

So far, my Family File is in the Family Tree Maker folder and amy images are saved in a subfolder.

C:\..\Documents\Family Tree Maker\Nicholas-Media\

Going back to this entry in the blog:
Family Tree Maker 2009 - Web Search #1, Figure 15, you will see a way [1] to view the images from Ancestry.com. What wasn't in that blog was the when that Images is displayed, to look at in more detail, I SAVE that image as a PDF file and need a place to store it.

This is where Lisa fits into the picture again. That PDF file would be saved in:


The filenaming that I use is
YearFamilyLocation. Since it is a Census Record, census isn't in the filename. Seeing that there may be other families in that location at that time, the naming convention, for this example, that I use is:


Year if four characters

Surname and Head of Housefold forename
Town County

The use of Upper case and Lower case helps seperete the information.

For me, this process and filing does a couple of things.

1 - When my automatic Back Up application backs up the Document folder and sub-folders, ALL if the information is backed up

2 - Can easily locate an Image without opening the Family Tree Maker program

3 - Have an extra "copy" of the image

The same image can be seen directly from within the Family Tree Maker program.

Another entry here will expand on filenaming within the program.

There will also be an entry in this blog about handling of images / photographs both within Family Tree Maker and the organization within the hard drive.

Please leave any comments on how YOU organize your files.

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