My family tree database is resident on my computer, not the internet. I use it to store all my data about each person.
Every individual who is entered in the database gets a unique number, called a Record Identification Number, or RIN. I am R2, Hannah is R3, and John is R4, simply because that was the order in which they were entered in the database. Hannah’s husband, Nate, is R8404 and their son, Roland, is R8625.
Each marriage/union/partnership also receives a Marriage Record Identification Number. This MRIN is assigned in the order entered. My parent’s MRIN is M3. Hannah and Nate’s number is M1164.
How I Apply the Codes
If the photo is of just one individual, I use their RIN and full name plus some description.
If the photo is of a couple, I use their MRIN first, and add their RINs and names as well.
If the photo is of a couple and their children, I use the MRIN first and include everyone’s RINs with their names.
If the photo is multigenerational, I use the MRIN of the oldest parent represented followed by everyone’s RIN and name. For example, a photo of two sisters goes under their parents’ MRIN.
I enter the date after the first M or R number. Four-digit year, space, two-digit month, space, two-digit day. For example, the Fourth of July photos would be dated 2021 07 04.
I use L2R to signify “left to right” along with bk and fr for back and front.
R2 1960 12 16 Julie Stillwell in bassinet day of birth
R2 1960 12 Julie Stillwell home in crib
M3 1960 12 16 R7 Larry and R8 Donna Stillwell R2 Julie Stillwell born
M3 1970 12 24 Stillwells L2R bk R7 Larry R8 Donna fr R429 Jay R430 Scott R2 Julie R431Dave R432 Lisa after opening gifts
M8 1970 12 25 R15 Gerhart R16 Emma Busch with R8 Donna at table
The name of every single image or photo in your hard drive folder must be different, or the computer will volunteer to overwrite the old one. Adding identifying verbiage like “lace collar,” “cowboy hat” or “on bike” will help make these photo names unique.
I also tack on a, b, or c to photos to designate a) a friend of someone in the database, b) a belonging of someone in the database or c) a location relevant to someone in the datatbase. Example:
R2a grad picture of Julies friend Hidee
R2b 1979 Julie Stillwell first car
M3c Larry Stillwell landscaping at Little Pelican Lake home
Practice naming photos with imaginary numbers, incorporating names and dates or other facts if you have room. Only once have I run out of space when naming a photo or document using this system.