How I file my digital images

October 27, 2013

I was listening to the Genealogy Guys podcast this afternoon, and Drew Smith and George G Morgan were responding to a listener’s email.

The Genealogy Guys Podcast #256 – 2013 October 8

I was going to just send them an email, but thought that I might share this in this blog, because the way I file my digital information (Digital Overload as some one say) has an impact on my three Blogs.

Some folks store their digital information by Surname, some by Location, some by Record Group, or some combination of all of the above.

I have chosen to create Surname Folders. I should be more specific Birth Surname folders and Record Type folders.

The key to remember is How am I going to find what I am looking for, OR where I am going to save that digital image. I will most likely use Windows Explorer to do this. I always have the Show File Extension option so that I can SEE the file type that I am creating or looking for. So SORTING now becomes very important.

For the Filename of Pictures or other images, NOT including images of Records I use:

Surname_FirstnameMiddleameSuffix (without any spaces). The Underscore helps visually see the Surname. I do not use All Caps for surname. That hasn’t worked for me, but others do.

Each person is grouped together. In my case, my grandfather does not have a suffix, he wasn’t born with one, my Dad was a Jr, and I am a III. That keeps us separated.

What follows now becomes important for each person. I add a dash followed by YYYY (full year) format, so that puts them in Date Order. That is IF I know the year of the digital image. I follow that with a Dash and Event.

The Dashes are to help separate or break up the text. If I had a more accurate date, I would use YYYY-MM-DD format, IF that becomes an issue.

No Date, then just the Event. Let’s say that I had 10 pictures from an 80th birthday for an individual and the birthday party was in 1998. The filename would have 1998-Birthday-01, 1998-Birthday-02, 1998-Birthday following the Birth Surname_Firstname_Middlename-

For file name sorting this works great.

But, what about a family photo? (not getting into the meta data here). I precede the filename with Family_Surname etc. so I know that there are more than one person in that photo. In this case, I may end up with multiple Surnames in that photo, so I would have multiple Copies of that image in a couple of Surname Folders. Luckily (or unluckily) I don’t have too many of them.

I also have some pictures of houses where people lived. I precede them with House_Surname etc. This continues to help with the sorting in windows Explorer as People photos would be sorted by person; all of the Family photos would be sorted together in a group, as well as houses.

Images of Records work much the same way, in the Surname Folder. For example Census Records

YYYY_Fed_PA_County_Location-Surname_FirstnameMiddlenameSuffix – For US Census Records

YYYY_PA_County_Location-Surname_FirstnameMiddleNameSuffix – For State Census Records

RecordType_YYYY_Surname_FirstnameMiddlenameSuffix – For Birth, Marriage, Death certificates.

Census, filed by Head of Household. Marriage Records would have two copies of the same image.

But, what if I don’t know the Female’s Birth Surname. For a death record, I would file that in the married surname folder UNTIL I found her birth surname. When I do that, I rename the file and move it to the Surname folder.

Since I have a Tombstone Tuesday Blog where I post headstones AND because I contribute to Find-A-Grave, I file in a Cemetery Folder with Cemetery subfolders.

State_County_Cemetery

with filenames of

State_County_Cemetery-Surname_FirstnameMiddlenameSuffix

Why do all of this?

When I want to include one of those images in my genealogy database, I know where to look and which file to choose from to be attached to a Person or a Citation (for those records). My database will make a Copy of the file in the folders above, and put them into ONE folder for that database. So, outside of my program, windows explorer will show me the files sorted in such a way that I know what I have.

Those filenames aren’t very helpful within my database, but I can put a Caption on that image, and the Filename helps me put that Caption in a more reader friendly format. Like Firstname Middlename Surname Suffix – 1998 Birthday Party – 1.

or 1940 US Federal Census PA Chester County West Chester – (name) Household

This format has worked for me, but I have also tweaked it a couple of times as more and more digital records have become available. I don’t what to have to Think about Where to file these records or scan or picture, nor what to call it. My driving force is the Sorting feature when trying to locate a file.

It has worked for my blogs, Find-A-Grave, and my genealogy database management program.

Thanks Genealogy Guys for a great topic.


“It seems that we had a witch in the family”

October 24, 2013

I have been reviewing some data in my genealogy database management program of late, because I found a “new cousin”. This new cousin had a blog called The Barefoot Genealogist. She also can be found on her YouTube Channel. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person.

In one of her online events, I saw a place name and several surnames that I am very familiar with. I did a blog post on that not too long ago.  Re-Read what you have That really talks about what I am doing with my database.

I am re-looking at about 100 Family Group Sheets that I was given by a cousin who has been doing family research for years. In fact my Grandfather’s brother’s family all have been part of this work. About 15 years ago, we even gathered “to tell stories”. My notes reflect that I worked with these Family Group Sheets 13 years ago. Documented everything AND cited my sources.

My major task was to move the source information into the appropriate Evidence Explained format. But because of who the Barefoot Genealogists is, I thought I better get my act together. In doing so, I looked at every Family Group Sheet that I have, but focusing on this specific “line” to make sure I captured everything. I didn’t miss much the first time. In fact, I hadn’t done too bad of a job. But my genealogy database management program has added many features, I wanted to make sure I had the data entered to take advantage of those features.

Note where notes belong, research notes where they belong, remove timelines as my software can do that more accurately, and really identify the source material that made up the research for these Family Group Sheets.

But then, I came across a NOTE that I must not have read, as it’s not in my file, but its on one of the pages with the Family Group Sheets. The note said: 1

“It seems that we had a witch in the family”

Halloween

In an article (not documented yet) is has terms like “Widow Burt”, “old goody Burt”, “awld wich” in it. It talks about a complaint against her “for witchcraft”. Hmmm. There was no indication that there were any actions taken against her.

But wait, this is in Lynn, Massachusetts and I am working on a line in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Same person, same family ??? What’s going on here?

What are Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony doing in Fenwick’s Colony?

Looking around a little more in my New Jersey folks are mentions of several other families from Long Island, also within a generation moving “south”. So, what is going on? Witches, Quakers, mid-1600’s ??

For grins and giggles my daughter did a Google Search for “Quakers In Mass”. The hint may be here.

I knew of the Puritans in Massachusetts, and that there were Quakers there as well. In fact I have “The Naked Quaker” by Diane Rapaport (Commonwealth Editions –  Carlisle, Massachusetts, 2007) sitting on my bookshelf, in my Must Read section of my library. But it’s what I didn’t know that the Google Search helped me understand.

They didn’t like one another, I guess.

Here are a couple of links:

  1. Quaker and Puritan Interactions in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

    Aug 14, 2013 – Looking specifically at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the relationship between the Puritans and Quakers is intriguing

  2. Quakers fight for religious freedom in Puritan Massachusetts, 1656

    Massachusetts Bay Colony. Location Description: Boston and surrounding locations. View Location on Map. Goals: The Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)

  3. Boston martyrs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Boston martyrs is the name given in Quaker tradition to the three English Mary Dyer was an English Puritan living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony at

     

  4. Mary Dyer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1611 — June 1, 1660) was an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony (now in present-day Massachusetts), for

  5. First Quaker colonists land at Boston — History.com This Day in

    Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two Englishwomen, become the first Quakers to immigrate the ship carrying them lands at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

To name a few.

Since Salem and Lynn are on or near the water, I guess that some of the Quakers got on boats, traveled south, dropped some off in Rhode Island, maybe picked some passengers up along the way, like on Long Island. Perhaps they heard of Fenwick, in West Jersey and headed in his direction (gotta read more on this).

Something must have taken them to what is Tuckerton, New Jersey. Egg Harbor, Little Egg Harbor and found some of Fenwick’s folks in the area. I am finding the connection with Fenwick and this south Jersey area with the West Jersey Quakers. Sounds like what WAS Burlington County, West Jersey was “Quaker Friendly” as compared to Lynn, Mass.

I should mention that I made a comment on the New England Geneablogger Facebook Group about this finding, and within about 1/2 hour, I had 2 new cousins, both of whom I have met. Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy and I are 10th cousin’s according to our records.

Heather said “Just in time for Halloween!”

All of this because I “Re-Read What” I have.

1 Fayette Loomis Worthington, Worthington Family Group Sheet Collection; Fayette L Worthington, Tacoma, WA  98498, 1999.  Family Group No. 01248; dated Aug 1987. Record for Roger Bassett.


News at 11: Just found out that my “brick wall” may now be a ” black sheep”

October 10, 2013

Don’t you like the Questions and Answer sessions where someone asks a question and the person responding says

So.. blah, blah, blah. Drives me crazy.

So, I get this email response to a question about the Worthington Family History Society DNA Project. Of the group who were tested, 36, I was in a group of 4. The four of use all are in the US, and close to our common ancestors home. In fact, one lives in the SAME TOWN as our 6th Great Grandfather.

Not long ago, I made this Blog Post: New Thoughts on “Brick Walls”. I still think that is true. When I started to do my Family Research I kept running into information that just didn’t look right. When I tried to “cross the pond” there was conflicting information, names and dates that didn’t make any sense. So, I stopped.

Not that long also, I posted a message for a trial “peer review” and one comment was that you don’t have Negative Evidence but Negative Findings. Thank you Elizabeth Shown Mills of EvidenceExplained.com fame and author of a book by the same name.

Also, I learned a lot while we did the Mastering Genealogical Proof a book by Dr. Thomas W Jones where we learned how to work with the Genealogical Proof Standard. I have blogged about that, and won’t talk about it here now.

I changed my thought process about the term BRICK WALL.

I had stopped for 10+ years about trying to find Who were the Parents of Capt John Worthington (1650 – 1701).

At least i have a specific Question to answer. Didn’t even know about that until a couple of months ago, thanks to Dr Jones. I followed a Shaky Leaf and actually saw a Baptismal Record from the early 1600’s in the right location. Wow, I can start to look for Capt John. But life got in the way. I have been working with a lot of data from the Worthington Family History Society 17th Century Project where a team of Worthington researchers at look at gathering, verifying information and creating 17th Century Pedigree Views.

I am still not making a connection. One of my US based cousins put together a very credible view of the ancestry of Capt John. Resolved conflicting information after putting his research together, lots of great documentation. However, some of his conclusions were part of what I had looked at a very long time ago. I wasn’t uncomfortable with what his conclusion was as there was nothing to argue about. Totally credible information.

Every once in a while, I would check the FamilyTreeDNA project status. No change: Y-DNA Haplagroup numbers:

  • Haplagroup E – 2 people
  • Haplagroup G – 1 person
  • Haplagroup I – 13 people
  • Haplagroup R1b1b2 – 16 people
  • Haplagroup J2 – 4

J2 is what my results are. All 4 are in the vicinity of Maryland.

So, I sent an email to the Worthington Family History Society for a Status Update on the Larger Project hoping the someone from the United Kingdom had been or will be tested. Hoping someone from across the pond would be  a J2. No such luck.

Just as I was loading the car for a 3 hour drive to Baltimore, I did a quick, final check of my Email. A RE: (reply) to my email question. OK, here comes the answer, gotta read it.

As I read it, I see:

 If a distant relative cannot be found to confirm this there are two possibilities: one, that your line is from a founding family in the 14th century and we have not discovered a matching line or two, that you should match another known W(orthington) line but that there has been “Non Paternal Event” (illegitimacy, adoption etc) sometime before Capt John resulting in a different Haplagroup.

So, my “brick wall” may have become a Black Sheep. OK, that sort of backs up my earlier concern about the relationships that I had seen early on; the stuff that didn’t quite make sense to me.

Elizabeth Shown Mills was right, I haven’t looked in the right place. But thinking about what Dr Jones brought up, maybe I haven’t asked the Right Question.

Driving down all of the information that I could remember was running through my mind. What did I miss? What do I want to go back to look at again. I thought about the term FAN Club (Family, Acquaintance, and Neighbors). (Wish I could note who presented us with that term). I have followed some of the FAN Club, but who did I not look at close enough?

I am going to re-look at the FAN club and change my research Question. I have a couple of thoughts on both. I have had a couple of Why questions that have been around from the beginning.

It would appear that today’s DNA Technology may disprove a number of conclusions that I have seen all over, if these DNA results are right.

Off to go chase a Sheep


Re-Read what you have

October 4, 2013

I have made a family connection that came as a surprise. Some of you know that DearMYRTLE and I are cousins. That came about by some computer screen sharing during a couple of presentations. The new cousin, Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist was giving a presentation on livestream/ancestry, and like Myrt saw a name, location, and timeframe that I knew.

Now, this IS a challenge. Related to someone at Ancestry?

What a golden opportunity to try to demonstrate how I use a connection, through an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT), to collaborate. I live within 2 hours of the “common place”. It was a Quaker Meeting, had hoped with an attached Burial Ground, so I started to see if we had a connection. I certainly knew the Surname that got my attention, found it very quickly in my genealogy database. We shared our links to our AMTs, sure enough, not just one surname but several.

I have blogged about this in another Blog, if you are interested:

FTM2014 – Ancestry Member Tree Connection – Part 1

FTM2014 – Ancestry Member Tree Connection – Part 2

FTM2014 – Ancestry Member Tree Connection – Part 3

But, I haven’t looked at that branch for a very long time. I better get to work and clean it up, as I have been doing. So, I thought I would share a lesson, already learned in the past, GO BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE, and I have.

I started with about 300 Family Group Sheets from my Dad’s first cousins. I worked with them over 10 years ago. So, I had all of those Family Group Sheets entered into my database.

FGS0036-1

So, I am taking this time to Scan these Family Group Sheets, putting the Citations into the correct Source Template for this type of document. Then I go back and check that all of the facts / events on these sheets are properly cited. Although done 10 – 12 years go, I hadn’t done too bad of a job.

So, why blog about that ?

Because I also read the notes that I already had in my database. It came from this page of that Family Group Sheet.

FGS0036-3

I am sure you can’t read that, but this is what it said, that got my attention and the reason for this blog post.

“Sixty or seventy years ago [that would be ca 1800], some of the farmers of Little Egg Harbor, who had not farms for all of their sons, sent the farmless over to Philadelphia to lean the brick layers trade, and especially this was the case among the Willits; and this is the cause of so many of them being residents of that city. Those who were sober and industrious amassed clever fortunes, but those who embarked in the craft of dissipation, went down to the grave in utter destruction, “unhonored and un____”!

“Among the youngsters of Little Egg Harbor who were apprenticed to the brick layer’s trade, was Allan, son of Thomas Ridgeway, 3rd, Eben, John, and James, sons of Thomas Willits, Sr. Jeremiah [18], son of Jeremiah Willits, Sr., [36] and Archelan R., son of Timothy Pharo, Jr., also Job, Nathan and Edmond, sons of Nathan Bartlett, 2nd.”

That little, re-read note, with 10 years of learning under the belt, NOW I have a Hint about why this family left Little Egg Harbor and moved closer to Philadelphia. The family did have a large farm, and I need to go back to Little Egg Harbor to find the farm, but the mentioned children headed to Philadelphia to learn a trade. Sounds like a reasonable reason to relocate.

That last name, Nathan Bartlett, may be connected to The Barefoot Genealogist family.

Lesson Learned: Re-Read what you already have. You may have learned something between the time you entered it, or last looked at it. May have given you new eyes to see what you want to find.


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