Sunday, May 10, 2020

San Diego Genealogical Society Presents Nancy Loe

We have been on hold for several months with our Genealogical Society’s monthly Meetings. Enough is enough…we need our Genealogy Speakers! For our April 25th meeting the San Diego Genealogical Society decided to try doing a presentation via a Zoom Meeting. 

We registered in advance to hear Nancy Loe present two topics.  The Society sent us a Zoom meeting notice with a link to click on as the meeting approached and we were ready to go. Our head of programs Cindy Ehrlich welcomed us to our Zoom Meeting and gave the mic to our President Diane McClure Lott. Diane welcomed us and updated us on the Society’s current happenings followed by Cindy introducing our speaker, Nancy Loe. Nancy is a Genealogist, a Professional Archivist and an author. Nancy’s website is entitled Sassy Jane Genealogy.

Nancy’s first presentation was entitled Organize Like an Archivist.

Nancy discussed using a consistent data entry and file naming system. She advised us that no matter what system you decide to use for your files (digital or paper) you must remember to be consistent in your naming of the files as well as in your source citations. This will make retrieving information from your files so much easier.

  • I have a large percentage of my files saved digitally but I also keep paper files. When I am working on a particular ancestor I like using paper files. Sometimes I ‘see’ something on a paper copy that I didn’t ‘see’ on a digital copy of the same record. For my digital files I keep a list of my naming system so I can be consistent. After Nancy’s presentation I decided to go in to my Family Tree software and standardize the names of places in my data base so I would have consistency there.

Nancy shared the setup she uses for the naming of her digital Master Genealogy File with us. She has them arranged in 6 Subfolders labeled Administrative Files, Family Tree Software Files, Family Photographs, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources and Surnames. She strongly recommended keeping a copy of how you want to name your files for easy reference.

  • When I began years ago collecting digital information, I set up and used a system I heard about after listening to a speaker at a conference. As I began collecting my digital files I kept the same system. Years later I now definitely feel I need to review this system and reorganize my digital files. Hopefully, I will have the time when I retire to do this and make the system fit my current needs a little better. Nancy’s words “You don’t own it if you can’t find it” are definitely ringing in my head. I will also need to go back and review the organization of my digital files.

Cloud Storage and Automated Backups was also a topic Nancy shared her suggestions about. Whatever you choose to use, be sure that you have backed up your digital data in several ways so you will always have a copy of it.

If you’d like to learn more about organizing your research you can purchase Nancy’s book Organizing Genealogy Research Using Archival Principals at .

Nancy’s second presentation was entitled Picture This: Cataloging Digital Family Photographs.

Nancy discussed several technical terms we needed to know and understand in reference to photos. She gave us suggestions on scanning and downloading images such as scanning at a high resolution and saving the photo in a TIFF format in a Master file before copying it to use elsewhere. Nancy explained the importance of adding information in the Metadata of the photo, organizing your photos and how to name your files.
Nancy also talked about data security and reminded us the best thing to do is set up a system and have it regularly back up our files so you can “Set it to Forget it” and it’s done automatically.

To learn more about working with photos you can purchase Nancy’s ebook entitled Cataloging Digital Family Photos & Records at

Nancy gave me so many things to review with my own files! Now to get started… What great reminders to get and keep us organized!  I applaud the San Diego Genealogical Society for trying something new and using this format for our meeting so we can stay in touch and so we can continue our research.  I also applaud Nancy Loe for being willing to try this.  Great job by all!  We are all learning new things during this very unique Covid-19 time in our lives.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

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