Saturday, January 24, 2015

Looking for Feedback on File Naming Schemes

I think that I’ve come up with a workable (for me) scheme for naming document files, and another one for photo files. But there a still a couple of unresolved questions. Please comment.  I know I can’t have considered everything.

Document Files = Date_Who_What

 YYYY_MM_DD  A lower case x will substitute for unknown entries: 195x_xx_xx
Surname-first name; or just family name
Type of record: Birth, Baptism, Marriage, Census, Deed, etc.

Here’s an example:  A copy of the church record of baptism from an LDS microfilm.

File name: 1841_11_14_Dachtera-Andreas_Baptism.jpg

The LDS film number is in the file metadata.

The idea is that the file list will sort itself first on date, then on name, but I haven’t gotten far enough to see what happens when there are Xs in the date. I suppose that a year of 184x will be listed after those with 1849 as the year.

While this seems that it will do the job, it seems just too simple.  Have I forgotten something???

Photo naming gets a little more complex

Date_Who_What-Description(description optional)_ Generation
 YYYY_MM_DD  A lower case x will substitute for unknown entries: 195x_xx_xx

Surname-First name; or just Family name plus additional information where appropriate
Type of photo i.e. snapshot or portrait
Optional description can include the event
Gx where x = the generation number.

Generation is one of the things I’ve wrestled with.  Here’s what I came up with.

Zero (Z) = me and my siblings, first cousins, etc.
1 = my parents and their siblings, etc,
2 = grandparents
3 = great grandparents
Z1 = my children
Z2 = my grandchildren
Z3 = my great grandchildren
M  = a photo with more than two generations.

A couple of examples:
File name:  191x_xx_xx_Dachtera-Stanley-kids_snap_g2-1

This tells me that it is a snapshot of my grandfather with kids, and that the primary person is generation 2 but it also includes generation 1 people.

Identifying the photo with Stanley’s name is my choice for my reasons. It could well have been “Dachtera-Johanna-sibs-dad”

File name: 1920_05_04_Dachtera-Supinski_port-wed_g1

I’m not sure how I should identify married women.

Use the married name?  In terms of one aspect of “future proofing” succeeding generations are more likely to know only the married name and may be looking at photo files independently of genealogy data files.

Use both maiden and married names? This may be the best solution, but would I identify the bride above as “Supinski-Johanna-Dachtera” or some other combination?

I’ve tried to keep this as simple as possible but maybe I’m missing something important.  I’ll resume scanning photos and see where I run into snags.

Any suggestions for improvement will be welcome.

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