Friday, August 12, 2011

31-day genealogy challenge - Day 17

Day 17.

After a trip like we did on the day before (visiting a newly found second cousin of my mother) there builds up a little tile of things to do, so I trimmed the family tree. You know, entering new facts I found out the day before, added the beautiful letters my greatgrandfather wrote to his sister in 1907 into the genealogy software I use (Reunion), attaching them to both him and her, adding the identified pitcures to the proper persons, filling out metadata and so on. So, it was a couple of hours of organizing.

There has been a lot written about organizing genealogy. Reading those articles/blogposts, watching youtubemovies and listening to podcasts in the subject and some trial and error I think Ive found a way that suits me. Perhaps Im being a bit overbureaucratic but as long as I find the stuff Im looking for Im happy. Sure, it takes a while to get it as I want it but it turns out nice in the end. And yes, Ive spent MANY hours organizing all the stuff Ive collected (in only a couple of years) instead of doing research but its really needed.

* I always fill out metadata of pictures I take or photos/documents I scan. Doing that, and when I started doing it I decided that the field Keyword always should be the surname/s the document is connected to and field Category would be something I would like to find fast, like pictures of gravestone/church/wedding or documents of a simular type, birthrecord/estateinventory/passengerlists/letter/will. And ofcourse city, region and country. Makes it easy to find everything connected to the region of Blekinge. To help me with this I use a program (on mac) called Qpict where I can sort out like all weddingpictures in the Berlin family or all buirialrecords of the Fridolffamily. Neat. I could also do a search of filecontent in the operatingsystem of everything connected to the Seck family. Metadata is GOOD! And ofcourse, in the Description I fill out everything I know, plan is to transcribe every written record and put it in the descriptionfield which will make everything in it searchable but until Im there I just try to fill out as much as possible (names, dates, who has the original photo and so on).

Everything with the Keyword Fridolf.

Everything in the Category Obituary

*I keep an indexfile of all important records. I have a simple spreadsheet in Excel where I fill out everytime I get my hands on a new record I feel need to be indexed (estate inventory, will, birth/marriage/death record, obituaries). The record get a number which I write in the Descriptionfield and in my index file I write down what kind of record it is, what person it is concerning and if I got it on-line or if its scanned. It is a nice overview of all documents I have on my Nelsonside of the family forexample. To find the document, I just do a search on filecontent the number in the OS and it will show up.

My indexfile of important records (most records are found here)

*I always name the photos of whats in them. If there are three people in the picture I put all the names in the filename with underscores inbetween. If its a picture of a house it get _house in the name and same with gravestone. Going into a folder its fast to find all _house pictures or _church pictures.

*I keep all files colourcoded (works on mac). Ive decided everything on my father side is blue and on mother side is purple. Green is on Christians side of the family. Mainly for a quick, visual view if Im looking for something browsing the folders.

Blue for Dad, Purple for Mom, Green for Christians side of the family. Other colours in my Miscresearch for people not related.
Im still into the phase where Im renaming records, date first and then name of who it concerns, works great for me atleast.

I got my inspiration on organizing mainy from those two sources:

Elyses genealogy videos at YouTube
Family History: Genealogy made easy podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke, check out episode 32 and 33

Day 17 completed:
*Trimming the Family Tree

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