Although most of last week was spent sorting out files and folders, I did manage to do quite a bit of new research as well. This is just what I needed, starting the transition from organising to researching.
Hopefully next week will see the bulk of my organising done. Of course it will never be completely done, as new material will be turning up all the time in need of processing and filing, but at least I have everything in place and a system that should make it easier in future to know where to filing things, and where to find them when I need them.
Most of the research was about the branch of BATEMAN family that grew up in Australia. The pursuit of the descendants of my 2x great-uncle William Joseph Henry BATEMAN is something I will be taking on in the forthcoming weeks. As part of this I want to try and write some posts about what I already know about the family.
In terms of organising, the GASSON surname folder is virtually sorted and that only leaves the GEERING folder to go. It is my intention to get both of those folders completed this week, and by the following week I want to have gone through all the surname folders and make sure everything is as it should be and I will produce a template that will enable me at a glance to see where new information fits into the system.
The amount of new BATEMAN research meant I didn’t get chance to start going through my database and start defining some goals, I would like to try and start that this week, although I don’t expect to complete it. I do however need to decide which projects I am going to be working on next.
One of those projects might involve the WRIGHT/SHORNDEN family of Alton, Hampshire. Having visited Alton last weekend I would like to find out more about their time in Alton. One long term goal is to find out how they came to be in Hampshire in the first place, when they were previously in Kent.
It was another bad week for genealogy last week, I don’t think I can cross anything off last week’s to-do list. The problem was that I had under estimated the amount of time it would take to sort through my TROWER folder.
I have nearly finished sorting through the TROWER folder, but it has taken a lot longer than I thought. I suppose this is where I first started researching many years ago, so it is not really that surprising that there should be so much material in the folder.
Many of the files have since been rendered obsolete, so they have just been deleted, and a fair few of the files have been extracted and moved to other surname folders where they belong.
So this coming week I going to be pretty much cutting and pasting last weeks to-do list, with a couple of tweaks.
- Sort out and capture all the information collected at the West Sussex Record Office (now over a week ago) and update my to-do list.
- I still need to contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs to see if they might have some records for my research.
- Book a seat at the East Sussex Record Office and order the documents I need to view for my GEERING research.
- Finish sorting through the TROWER folder and then move on to the GEERING folder.
I have decided that this month (May) I am going to get the family history folder on my hard drive organised. This won’t be at the expense of any new research, and if anything it will encourage more research as I try and tie up loose ends.
It doesn’t really require a huge amount of resources, just a bit of time and discipline. It will mainly involve renaming files (standardising) and updating Family Historian.
Most of my family history folders don’t contain a lot of files, they mainly have census images and other documents. They also contain what I would call scraps. These are small text files that I have used to quickly capture information that I have come across as I go about my research.
For example, whilst I might have been looking for a baptism record for an ancestor, I would probably encounter baptisms for their siblings as well. In my rush to continue tracing my ancestor I would just make a quick note of these other records and move on. Now it is time to make sure I have updated all these records in Family Historian and then delete these scraps.
I have under eighty folders now and most of these need very little work. The problem comes with some of the larger folders like the GASSONs, the TROWERs, the GEERINGs and the KINGHORNs. My plan is to get the smaller folders out of the way this week and then start tackling the larger ones the following week.
The other aspect I need to work on is my digital photos. All the photos I have taken are stored separately from my family history, and those that are related to family history are copied to the family history folder. This includes anything that might be used to illustrate my family history (such as churches, houses and streets) or is a piece of evidence itself (like gravestones).
I have four weeks to sort out my hard drive and if I actually stick to my plans I should be able to complete it in that time. Like getting rid of my paper folders, it will be good to sort out these files and have a system in place for dealing with information as I go along.
I failed to achieve most of what I set out to do last week. I haven’t got in touch with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs and I didn’t create an “exit strategy” for my GEERING research either.
However, I don’t feel too disappointed because I got quite a bit of organising done on my hard drive. I was supposed to have been coming up with a schedule for sorting my files and folders, but instead I just dived straight in and got on with it.
I made quite a pleasing dent in the list of folders to sort and I am going to continue this week. I do have a sort of plan and would like to get my hard drive organisation completed by the end of May. I don’t see myself doing any new research this week, only dealing with stuff I already have.
- Go through a dozen folders on my hard drive and sort out the contents, updating Family Historian and adding stuff to my to-do list.
- Contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs to see if they might have some records for my research.
- Define an “exit strategy” for my GEERING research, deciding how much more work I want to do on the family before moving on.
- I didn’t get around to tidying up my computer desk and the spare bedroom, so I must to that this week.
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?