Using shorthand to ID photos like “Uncle Jerry’s youngest sister, Sarah” or “Grandma Wilton” won’t be less complicated for future generations. Every generation produces more Grandma Wiltons. Now THAT’s complicated. How are they going to figure out who’s in the photo a few generations from now? Probably they’ll have shrug their shoulders and give up.
It sounds complicated. It’s a bit difficult to explain. But if you persevere and try it, you’ll be glad you did when you’re able to locate some obscure document or photo without pawing through stacks of paper copies or shoeboxes full of photographs.
“What happens if the Legacy family tree is not available anymore?”
That’s something I’ve wrestled over a long time. Is it a system that is useless without the MRIN and RIN numbers from the database on the Legacy program?
I’ve decided, no. If you are diligent about using both the identification numbers and names when you name the photo file or document image, you can search your hard drive for people just by their names. When you look at the results, there should be marriage and individual numbers included in the file name. Copy down those numbers and do additional searches. Future generations can benefit from those MRINs and RINs even if they don’t have the database.
“Can you make it less complicated?”
I think what makes it feel complicated is that you have to look up MRIN or RIN numbers for each person identified in the photos. It takes a bit of care to type in codes, names, dates and other notations. I can’t make that easier. I can only attest that the effort is truly worth it.
Do I have to code every photo and document like this?”
No. Just the ones you want to be able to find quickly. The main body of your photograph collection is snapshots. I put these in one big file. I’m in the process of getting at least approximate dates for them, and a list of who are in the photo. The special photos, like birth, graduation and wedding photos get carefully labeled and put in a separate file. Legacy makes it easy to link photos in this file to the program, so you get a picture of a person next to their information.
I also delete a lot of duplicates and bad shots. This is definitely a time when less is more.