Tag Archives: sort

Updating Media Filenames Added-By-Me Not WebMerge

I currently have 365 Death Records that have been added-by-me as opposed to added-via-WebMerge. I name my files a quite bit differently than Ancestry. Here is a sample of my format:

-Death-SMITH, Jane Julie (Jones)(1900-1950).jpg

I prefix the filename with a dash so that records-added-by-me are sorted separately from those added via WebMerge. I find to be very important and useful when working with Media/Sources!

Next I add the Type-of-Record, i.e., Death, Birth, Marriage, etc.

Then I add the last name of the person in ALL CAPS. This sorts the files in the Media Folder by last name which is helpful when looking at family records.

That is followed by the First Name and Middle Name if known. I try to leave out nicknames and aka in filenames to keep them short and sweet. Very important info to add here is a Maiden Name for married women. It allows you to easily look her up in the People Index.

Lastly, I add info that separates this person from anyone else with the same name. How many William Smith’s do you have? I know that I have M-A-N-Y people with the same name in my database and I need to know which file goes with which person. In the case of death records I try to add dates, i.e., (Birth-Death).

I do not add the Source to the filename like Ancestry WebMerge does. I attach all my Media files to a Source and I have found that to be simple and efficient for the time being.

I try to leave the filenames that WebMerge uses alone as much as possible, however, I still find it helpful to add years or record numbers to distiguish between two people when the filename is the same.

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Removing Source Author

I realize that Ancestry is a business and therefore wants to promote itself as much as possible however, I find it very irritating that they add their name to the Source Author for almost every source when they weren’t the original Author.

In the People tab the Sources for a person in the right-hand column are sorted alphabetically by Title. Granted, it doesn’t sort by Author but the Author shows up first which is just a bit confusing and awkward to say the least. I have put in a suggestion to MacKiev that we be allowed to view the Sources in People tab without the Author to make the Sources clearer.

In the meantime I figured out a workaround. I go to Sources and arrow down the list keeping an eye on the Reference Note (r-hand corner). If I see Ancestry.com as the first thing in the Reference then I double click the Source to open it and delete Ancestry.com from the Author field. Rinse, repeat. Now my Sources are much clearer in the People tab.

Note: Be sure NOT to remove Titles for legitimate Sources.

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How To Organize Page Numbers in Source Citations

I often have multiple Source Citations for a Source that are listed with page numbers (especially true for Books). I like to have them ordered page 1, 2, 3, etc, but because Source Citations are sorted automatically by FTM after page 9 it gets a bit crazy and page 10 will appear under page 1 because the program sees and sorts the 1 first. To avoid this problem simply add a zero in front of pages 1-9 like this: 01, 02, 03 … 09, 10, 11… If you have pages in the hundreds or thousands just add 2 or 3 zeros accordingly: 001, 002, 003 … 099, 100, 101… or 0001, 0002, 0003 … 0999, 1000, 1001…

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How FTM Sorts Media

Here is a hint to help when you are working with Media. When in the Media Workspace the files are sorted by Filename, not by Caption name. This can make a big difference if you are searching for a record, especially if the Filename differs from the Caption.


Note that Census records are actually sorted by first name instead of last because the Filenames are created like this: 1880 United States Federal Census – Thomas A HARMESON.jpeg. The first letter that makes this record different from the other 1880 census records is ‘T’ for ‘Thomas’.

Hint: if you are going through the list and updating records like I have been, it can be hard to keep track of your where you are on the list if you change a Filename because FTM auto sorts the thumbnails. BUT, I have found that I can find the spot where I stopped if I change from Detail View to Collection View and click on the bottom-left thumbnail.

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