Tag Archives: folders

Friday Night Folder Frustration

11 Sep

It’s Friday night, and all across Britain people are out enjoying themselves, perhaps at the cinema or down the pub or even just with their feet up in front of the TV. Not me. I’m sat in front of my computer trying to work out what to name my folders!

You see I have a problem. My family history files are fairly well organised on my hard drive, in nicely named surname folders, then sub-divided into record types, such as census images or certificate images. All was going well until tonight, when I came to save a census image for my 4x great grandmother Mary MITCHELL (although that is not her maiden name).

This is not them same MITCHELL family as the ones from Hampshire that I was researching earlier in the year, this is a different lot, or at least I assume they are, maybe a long way back I will find a connection, but until then I am assuming they are different. So where do I stick this census image?

Do I save it in the same folder with all my other MITCHELLs or do I put it in a separate folder? I would rather keep the two branches separate, so what do I call this new folder? To make matters worse I am pretty certain there is another MITCHELL family coming into my tree a bit further up, again probably not related.

I tried to think of what I could use in my folder name to separate them, perhaps including the husband’s surname, or maybe a place, or generation when they first appear in my tree, but nothing seems quite right. Instead I have gone for MITCHELL 1 and MITCHELL 2, by no means ideal, but at least it works for now.

Does anyone else have a better idea? How do you cope with filing multiple cases of the same surname? Should I go to bed now and worry about it in the morning?

Weekly genealogy preview (for week 37)

6 Sep

I am looking for a quiet week this week, time to put my feet up and take it easy, or at least easier. I didn’t get much research or organising done last week, I did seem to get a lot of certificates scanned but that was about it. So this week I will try and focus on filing and get most of my organising finished this week.

  • I still need to get the TROWER folder emptied and all the other lose paperwork filed. I need to set up a current projects folder for all my work in progress. So by the end of this week I want just four folders: original documents, general research material, current projects and stuff still to sort/transcribe/scan.
  • You may have noticed some changes to the sidebar of this blog, well I still have more work to do, so this week I want to try and get that finished and tidied up.
  • I want to investigate prezi.com and see if that is going to be practical solution for presenting parts of my family tree or if it is going to take too much time to set up.
  • I need to try and find a database that will store details of my postcards. I would like to scan my entire collection and be able to add notes and research to them. Maybe I can just do this with tagging, but I suspect I need a database that will handle images (fronts and backs of cards) as well as text (transcripts of messages, addresses, details of the subject etc).

I just can’t stop filing and a couple of firsts for my research.

30 Aug

I did do some research yesterday evening, but I am slightly embarrassed to admit that by the end of the evening I was back filing and organising my paperwork again.

It wasn’t that the research wasn’t interesting, I had intend to use the marriage and death indexes on ancestry.co.uk to fill in some details on the children of George and Lilian Mary MITCHELL (my great grandparents) of West Dean, Sussex. I got distracted and started filling in some details on Lilian’s parents James and Caroline BOXALL, starting with the census.

James and Caroline had a lot of children, and several of the later ones didn’t survive very long. I wasn’t sure that I had found all the children and knowing James and Caroline were still alive in 1911, I decided to spend the money and get the census image for that year.

In 1911 James and Caroline had been married for 34 years and Caroline had given birth to thirteen children, nine of whom were still living and four who had died. From the West Dean parish registers and earlier census returns I had only come up with twelve. I wonder if the problem comes from Walter Henry BOXALL who in the 1911 census is listed as their son, but in the 1901 census he is shown as their grandson.

Interestingly Walter Henry is the first person in my family tree to have been born in Wales. Both census returns give his place of birth as Caerleon, Monmouthshire. I think it unlikely that James and Caroline made the trip to Wales and then returned to Sussex, so I believe that he is their grandson, but who his parents were is still a mystery (until I buy a birth certificate).

After this I moved on to the children of George and Lilian Mary MITCHELL, as I know the dates of birth for most of them I have been able to find quite a few in the GRO death indexes. I have also found some likely marriages for some of them and was able to fill in a missing spouse for Robert Charles MITCHELL. He married Emily S SMITH in 1932 in the Chichester Registration District.

That marked another first for my family tree, the first person with the surname SMITH. I am almost up to a thousand individuals but this is the first SMITH I have found, and I have yet to find a JONES either. On the whole I have been blessed with uncommon surnames to research!

It wasn’t long before I returned to my filing. I made a start on the TROWER surname folder, and weeded out lots of paper I don’t need, at least now I can close the folder properly. In fact I am enjoying being able to pull out a folder without the whole lot collapsing on me. It really is a great feeling!

It feels so good to organise

25 Aug

Organising my paper folders is proving to be quite a rewarding task. I know I still have much to do, but I can already see the benefits of my new system. I think much of it boils down to the fact that ultimately I will have everything in one place and the advantages that this will bring.

It will be much easier to find things – I will only have one place to look for things, my hard drive. On top of this there is the added advantage of the Windows search function as well. No need to spend hours hunting through folders, wondering where that piece of paper was filed or if it was ever filed at all.

Less duplication of effort – Really a spin off from the fact that everything will be easier to find, I should be able to find out almost instantly whether I have already searched/found a piece of information.

Everything will be backed up – I will gain tremendous piece of mind knowing that all my remaining paper documents will have digital copies as a backup and in turn those digital backups will be backed up on a regular basis.

Liberating my research – It will be so liberating to be able to carry every single piece of my research around with me on my netbook, whether I am going on a research trip or just visiting relatives.

Making me review my research – The organising process is making me revisit most of my research, and highlighting areas that I need to follow up on, and things that have been missed. My to-do list is filling up quite nicely.

All that being said, it is not an easy process and is going to take some discipline to actually keep it going, but I can already see that it is worth the effort. Once I have sorted all my paper I will then need to focus on the digital side of things and get that more organised as well.

Weekly genealogy preview (for week 35)

23 Aug

Most of last weeks goals fell by the wayside as I got a bee in my bonnet about getting organised and purging my paper files. I still have much sorting and filing to do so this week is going to be pretty much all about organising.

  • Continue the work I have already done sorting out my folders and capturing the data on my PC. I would like to get the bulk of the folders emptied this week, leaving only some of the more time consuming tasks to be completed in the following week.
  • I didn’t get the opportunity to walk home from work last week, so I didn’t get to see New House Farm, Nuthurst, Sussex where my 4x great grandparents Henry and Catherine GASSON were living in 1841. So I will try again this week, although the weather doesn’t look to promising.
  • I would still like to do some housekeeping on my blog. I need to review the categories and such like, update my blogroll and just make it look better, maybe a new header image and few other pictures in the sidebar and my profile needs a once over again.
  • NO NEW RESEARCH UNTIL I HAVE GOT ALL MY FOLDERS ORGANISED. So please Ancestry.co.uk and any other data providers, no new databases this week!
  • Find the quickest and simplest method for keeping my PC and netbook synchronised.

I am sure I won’t be able to avoid doing some research, that is just not possible, but I already have so much material to sort through that I don’t need any more just yet.

If anyone has any suggestions for synchronising my PC and netbook I would love to hear them.

Is there no end to this filing?

22 Aug

I think one weekend is definitely not going to be long enough to get all my folders organised, admittedly I didn’t get started quite as early as I had planned but there seems an almost never ending pile of papers to shift through.

I am taking a quick break from the organising to sit in the garden and get away from the computer and the piles of paper. The sun is slowly disappearing, it hasn’t been that hot for most of the day, but it is still nice to feel the warmth of the evening sun on me.

I am in the middle of entering extracts from various directories into a spreadsheet. I’m not sure when I extracted these, some time last year I think. Having them on a spreadsheet is going to make them much more accessible, and who knows eventually I might get around to using them in my family history.

The pile of scrap paper is growing rapidly and my hard drive is filling up, although I am finding that a lot of the stuff I am going through is already on the computer in one way or another. I am adding notes to my to do list, so eventually I will come back to my hard drive and sort through all the stuff that is on there as well.

Anyway time to get back to the organising, and I need to keep reminding myself that my research will be so much easier when it is all sorted.

No research, just organising this weekend.

21 Aug

I decided on the way to work today that I am going to try and make this weekend an organising only weekend. No research just organising and sorting.

There is still a lot of stuff in folders, both physical and digital, that needs sorting out. I have a few other odd jobs around the house and garden to do, but apart from that I can devote all of Saturday to sorting out family history stuff.

I am sure I am going to have to look things up online, to fill in details or perhaps capture a digital image of something I have on paper, but I don’t intend to start anything new or continue any of my existing projects.

So that is the challenge for the weekend, well mainly Saturday because I shall hopefully be enjoying the delights of Shoreham Airshow on Sunday, but there will still be time when I get home for some organising. I may even have to extend it into next week if things go well.

Time to turn on the scanner, pull out a folder and get organised!

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