FINALLY Get Organized-Filenaming

March 11, 2016

On the post recent Mondays With Myrt, we talked about File Naming, for our Digital Files and how we file them on our computer.

This project of Getting Organized and this new file I am working on, have come together.


I am working on my 5 Generation file, staying focused on the Descendants of my Great Grandfather. He specifically, so that I can create a book for my new cousin.

I would normally have the Find-A-Grave website pretty high on my list of websites to work on. In this case it is NOT. Mostly because I do a lot of detailed work on the information from that website, especially if there are links to other family member which takes time. I am  using the Index Hints from as a breadcrumb to go to the Find-A-Grave website late. (no ToDo lists for them, because I’ll work off of the Citation List from the Ancestry index.

Since I have done a lot of work taking photos and uploading them to the website. I have about 1,600 photos in my collection. Then it dawned on my, I have those photos already organized. But I needed to  check it out, and I do.

My filing system for Cemetery Photo’s isn’t difficult but here is goes. It is made up of 4 major components:

  • State
  • County
  • City
  • Name

Notice, NO Cemetery Name. That is because I FILE these files by Cemetery.

For me, it’s all about sorting. I  use an Underscore to make the filename more readable, for me at least.

Here Is a screen capture of my spreadsheet on how I track these photos to show it it pays off for me.


This starts a column “S” to get to the filename. There are columns for the State, the County, the City, the Cemetery to the left. My spreadsheet is also about Sorting and Filtering.

I use these photos for a number of reasons as well. These are my photos but I want to use them for another Blog that I have, for uploading to the Find A Grave website, and for my own use.

That is where this organization (for me) paid off. This 5 generation tree is “my folks” many of whom lived within a couple hour drive so I have taken my own photos.

You will notice some cells in Yellow. That is how I KNOW that I have added them to file.

When I brought these photos into my database I navigated to that Cemetery Folder and selected and brought a COPY of that image into my database. It only took a couple of minutes to get those images into my database. The spreadsheet had the data I wanted in my database but I worked off of the Image that is now in my file. Yes, all properly cited.

At the end of the name part of the filename, I will add things like –1, or –plot, or –sign, because when I take the photos, I book end the pictures in the cemetery with a sign or two OF the Cemetery. They are also in this spreadsheet AND my database.

Filename Format:

ST_County_City-Surname_FirstName_MiddleName-[number] if required.

Do make this work a little easier, I put the photos in Folders.

Folder Format:



If you can read that image, you will see that I have pictures from 4 different cemeteries in Baltimore County. It has worked for me, to stay at the County Level, and not create a City level or piece of the filename.

This system has worked for me, but it took a little thought, and to figure out how best to sort the information. It also helps keeping  names consistent.

I do a lot of copy / paste of the Filename. I use a Type Once, Paste a lot mindset.

Here is a link to the Mondays with Myrt Hangout I mentioned earlier.


Mondays with Myrt – 07 Mar 2016

Tech Tuesday–A Mystery in a Census Record–Update

March 10, 2016

Earlier this week I posted

Tech Tuesday – A Mystery in a Census Record

Well, I missed something else, thanks to a blog reader. Thanks Dr. Donald.


He kindly pointed out that I missed the M1 and M2 in the column. In reality that confirmed what I hope that I suggested in the earlier blog post. That HE was married before and that this was her first marriage The fact remains that she had no children and they had been married  about 1884.

Like I said in the Tuesday post, it is in the Detail. I had miss that confirming hint, for me at least.

FINALLY Get Organized–Check In for January 03

March 9, 2016

Better late than never.

Because I started late, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working on FINALLY getting organized. In fact, I have. I have set aside some time, almost every  day, to get “my stuff” organized. Living in an apartment for years, meant stuff in storage or some where away or better said, In The Way.

Getting the house in order, gardening, getting those “shaky leaves”, you know the real ones, the grass, and keeping the birds and squirrels happy takes time. With the Christmas break and not being able to do “stuff’ I am taking the time to get the Genea-Cave in order.

So, how have I stacked for the January Check List:


Date Task Status
01/03/16 Clean off the computer desk and make piles for everything That was done, but making the desk workable, is “work in progress”
  Check your office supplies With an office supply house just down the street. done
  Set Up Computer Desk I had a plan to have someone build me one like the one that Mr. Myrt build for DearMYRTLE – Change in plans have turned out OK
  Designate a Red and Green Cliipboard Didn’t do this one with clipboards, but with specific workspace for that

There has been some fine tuning during this process, but the process is starting to pay off.

Tech Tuesday – A Mystery in a Census Record

March 8, 2016

Yeah know there is something fishy when you see a Son and Granddaughter listed in a 1910 Census Record BUT the Wife had no children born, nor living.


The relationships are clean, but looking at that one box for females in the 1910 Census, that asks the number of children born and number of children living and the answer to both is zero ( 0 ), something is wrong.

I got the son and granddaughter as the relationships are spelled out for me. But, looking as his age could be 40 or 48. Which is the right age is not the issue, BUT, it does show that he was older than the 26 years that the Head of Household and his wife were married.

The Head of Household and his Son immigrated in 1868, it appears in the same year, and probably at the same time. Haven’t found that record yet. The son and his father were both born in Ireland. The “wife” was born in Pennsylvania.

Interesting other item on this record is that the Son, has listed 2 Children Born and 2 Children Living. One of them is living in this household in 1910.

I am going to guess, that I may or may NOT find how the Son’s mother is. But, I have updated by database to show that the “wife” in this census record is not the mother.

It’s in the detail. Those two columns have left me with a number of unanswered questions, but also had me look for children who might have died earlier.

Lesson Learned: Pay attention to columns 11 and 12 in the 1900 census and columns 10 and 11 in the 1910 census

Finally Get Organized–Part 3, Scheduling

March 7, 2016

The calendar has rolled over to March. Yeah about a week ago, but …

This whole calendar thing might have gotten me off track for getting Organized. All of the Letters, All of those Photographs, so little time. Did I mention that I now have 4 large envelops of letters from my Cousin?

But looking at the next couple of months, my usual calendar for out side the home activities is pretty much under control. But, there is that word again, the person leading this FINALLY Get Organized, DearMYRTLE and I are jointly giving four presentations in Fairfax, Virginia the first weekend in April and I have one of them to do. Not a new presentation, but one that I had “retired” due to the subject at hand and some other events in the community that I hang out it.


The topic that Myrt and I thought I could present was a talk on “Information Overload”, well hope appropriate is that.

A couple of comments I have seen as this series of blog posts have made their rounds folks want me to follow those BOS’s (Bright Shiny Objects). Since Information Overload is about several thousand Shaky Leaf Hints, talk about BSO’s, I wonder IF there is time to GET ORGANIZED.

Stay tuned as I go through my Genealogy Tool Box to see if there IS a way to do “all of the above” and to get organized while doing that.

I’m thinking about getting back to those 5 generations item on the FINALLY Get Organized Check List has a role in THIS Information Overload.

Finally Get Organized-Part 2, Photos

March 6, 2016

A couple of days ago, I posted this blog post

Unwrapping of a Photo CD from my cousin

Now, I have to deal with that issue. So much to do, so little time, as they say.


Do I go chasing after that Bright Shiny Object (BSO) or stay focused on getting organized?

The pictures are in a number of “albums” / folders on the CD, now copied to my hard drive, so do I go and organize them NOW ??

Letters, photos, new file ? Guess I better get organized. AND I put this thought of creating a Book for my new cousin, in the next month or so.

Not to mention the busy schedule that DearMYRTLE has in store for us.

But, it’s NOT time to panic. Like Myrt’s graphic says


Finally Get Organized–Part 1, Change of Plans

March 5, 2016


Way back in mid December, I wrote a blog post about my DNA Results

DNA Update

followed by what I received by Snail Mail

Look what I received in the mail

There were a couple of other Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs) along the way. The came Roots Tech where the big BSO showed up. That was a visit to the Mayflower booth at RootsTech were I was told I had Mayflower ancestors. I do have a couple in my database, on of which would have been for my son-in-law. The data I was given looked weird, but who can do any analysis at that event.

BUT the good news, I created a new database to prove that I did, in fact, have Mayflower ancestors. The mote I looked at the data, the more I KNEW something was fishy in New England somewhere. But I did have the data back just so far.

In the meantime, I am also looking at the letters in that package I received at Christmas time.  Had several conversations with my newly found 2nd cousin. Now, every time I speak with her, she tells my “you have got to get out here”.

Now, I do hangout with DearMYRTLE, so I am ready this Getting Organized Check List stuff (for my 2nd time through this), when the lightbulb went on, why not use the 5 generation concept, to really clean up back to my Great Grandfather and fill in the gaps for myself, BUT also that would get me to really look at my 2nd cousin’s family as well.

My goal for this Getting Organized project, is to be able to create a book to take with me to Colorado when I go to visit my cousin.

I’ll stop here, for now. Stay tuned for the Rest of the Story.

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