I want to expand on a few things from yesterday. I didn’t have enough room to write everything that I wanted to say and blog reader Debbe sent me a message via Facebook yesterday that mentioned something that I really do need to add.
If you set up your filing system based on RINs or MRINs one thing you need to watch out for in your database program is the option to renumber your RINs and MRINs. If you delete people in your file that leaves number gaps. You can compact your file by telling the program that you want to renumber the RINs and MRINS. If you use this filing system you will not be able to compact your file this way because if you do, you will mess up your system completely. If you do renumber, the program will tell you the changes that were made (at least Legacy does) so you can renumber your documents if you find yourself in this situation. This is the exact reason why I don’t use this system. Also, if you switch from one database program to another via GEDCOM you may or may not get your same RIN and MRIN numbers back. One other problem with this system is if you have a document with more than one person mentioned, do you just pick a person to file under or do you copy it and file it under everyone that is mentioned? That is also an issue for me. Even so, many people swear by this system.
Merging people is a another problem with the RIN/MRIN systems but not near as bad as the one above. If you have two people in your file that you discover are one and the same, just pay attention when you merge them. If you have documents under both RIN numbers then you will need to renumber the documents from the second person so that they now belong to your merged individual.
Debbe also wanted me to mention that if you like the sequential numbering system (Birth 0001, Birth 0002, Birth 0003) there is another option you might want to consider. Debbe doesn’t divide her documents up by type at all. She simply numbers them in sequence, 00001, 00002, 00003, etc. It doesn’t matter at all what type of document it is. When she gets a new document in, it is gets the next number in the sequence. Legacy (and maybe the other programs) will tell you what the next number in the sequence should be.
So what do I do? My current document filing system is binders divided up by document type and the documents inside are filed alphabetically by surname; however, I am redoing things because I need to go through all my documents anyway and get them scanned to the computer. I am seriously thinking about using Debbe’s system of a simple sequential numbering system. I plan on having the paper document and the digital scan with the same file number so that I can find anything I need. I will be using the File ID section in Legacy to link to the document (I can also attach a scan). Using the File ID eliminates the problem of multiple people on the same document. If 12 people are mentioned then all 12 will be linked to document #00469. This is where programs like Clooz and Evidentia can help you. When I start scanning I plan to play around with these two programs just to see if they will be useful tools for me.
As far as what I use when writing reports, I almost always use the Modified Register (NGSQ) System.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis