Thursday, September 22, 2016

Digital genealogy organizing project Step 4: Surname folders

So a few weeks ago I posted about using surname folders. It's time to go into a bit more detail about that.

Because I'm not a beginner, I don't have the luxury of creating a folder here or there as I need it.  I have already accumulated a great number of files that pertain to a variety of individuals, and even if I am starting over with my documented research, I still want to file away the things I already have.

At the same time, I don't want to create a folder for every surname in my current family tree, in part because I know that I won't have files for some of those, and in part because I'm more interested at this point in working strictly with my direct ancestral lines.

So at this point I'm going to create just enough folders to get started, giving me enough variety to organize the content that I already have (and to better document my immediate direct ancestors), but not so many that I'll have a lot of empty folders for a long time to come. A nice starter number is 8, corresponding to the surnames of my 8 great-grandparents. For my mother, her 4 grandparents were Martin, King, Bodie, and Foshee. For my father, his 4 grandparents were Smith, Weinglass, Bannon, and Grodowitz.

This structure will encourage me to move more slowly through the generations, finding all of the necessary documents for my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

My step after that will involve creating sub-folders for each individual, and naming the individual files appropriately. But that deserves its own blog post.