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Organize your media

The organization of your media on your PC - folders and file names - is decided as early as possible in your genealogy work, because you will quickly end up with many documents and it is advisable to start from the beginning with a convention of classification, under penalty of having to reorganize everything along the way, or worse, no longer find your way around.

One of our users, Thierry N, told us about a very rigorous way of organizing the media.

About the folders structure

  • Announcements: includes announcements, invitations, other similar documents
  • Cadastre: official registers of real estate & land
  • Census
  • Contracts: all types of contracts (CM: marriage contract
  • Deed: all BMD deeds grouped together and distinguished using the file name. See below.
  • Deed_Notary
  • Graves: geo-tagged photographs, copy of burial or cemetery register
  • Military Records
  • Naturalizations
  • OJ: official journal (decrees or orders relating to an individual, excluding naturalization)
  • Photos: for individuals - including old painted or drawn portraits.
  • Photos_places
  • Press
  • Qualifications: as the name suggests
  • Signatures
  • Various

You can add as many folders as you want. For example, "Decorations" where we could put pictures of medals!

It can also be done by country by prefixing with the country code:

  • FR_Acts
  • FR_Army
  • FR_Census
  • FR_Immigration
  • FR_Naturalisations
  • FR_Press


Filenames structure

Most files relate to a main individual, in which case the choice of a file name linked to this individual seems legitimate.

  • 000001_B_LAST First_YYYYMMDD
    • Unique identifier of the person (do not use SOSA) on 6 characters to allow a size of 999,999 people!
    • Letter corresponding to the act or document (here the birth)
    • Identity lastname and first name
    • Event date


That's it! This works for me. I adopted that from the start and I try to stick to my rule. Is this perfect? Certainly not. It's up to everyone to find their favorite classification, because there is no rule in this area. But above all, stick to it or bear the risk of getting lost!
Thierry N.


Thank you very much Thierry !