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?

2 Responses to “Friday Night Folder Frustration”

  1. Thomas MacEntee September 12, 2009 at 1:51 am #

    I often have the same issue with my Austin ancestors. But I don’t save records organised by Surname. I have record folders by record type (Birth, Marriage, Military, Death). Then the individual records are named as follows:

    Austin_Mary_C_1920_census.pdf etc.

    I also rely heavily on “tagging” documents with metadata so I can sort them. See and

  2. John Gasson September 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    Our ancestors should really have given more thought to us genealogists when they decided who to marry!
    With all the work you do for us geneabloggers I am surprised you have time for research as well!

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