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Organizing Digital Genealogy Files

If you use a computer in your genealogy research, then you likely have a large collection of digital files. Digital photos, downloaded census records or wills, scanned documents, emails... If you're like me, however, they are scattered in various folders throughout your computer. This complicates matters when I'm trying to locate a specific photo or track down an email.

As with any organization project, there are several different ways to organize your digital genealogy files. Begin by thinking about the way you work and the types of files that you collect in the course of your genealogy research.

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I have three folders under Legacy....Pictures, To Post to Legacy, and Possible Relatives.

I make sure to name each document beginning with persons name the description (ex. MarySarelliDeathCert) or (MarySarelli1930Census). If I have downloaded a document but have not yet assigned it as a source in Legacy, I keep in the Post to Legacy folder until I use it as a source (then I move it to the Pictures folder). If I have found an electronic source but I'm not yet sure if it pertains to a relative, I store in the Possible Relatives folder--this way I can browse if a name comes up that I may have something on). I have found that this has worked for me.

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