Naming conventions for source image files

Ok, time to tidy up my Genealogy folder before I go any further – I’ve already got almost 100 source images using a variety of file naming conventions.  I need to pick a winner and stick with it…

I seem to have accumulated 3 varieties for each vital record type:


  1. birth_Rachel_Boyd_1848.tiff
  2. Birth_1861_HENDERSON_Isabella_GROS_255-00-0031.tif
  3. B_1858_Q3_AG_000614-CASSON_JAMES_ALFRED.jpg


  1. marriage_James_Sinclair_Catherine_Paton_1860.tiff
  2. Marriage_1858_James_HENDERSON_Isabella_WOODS_GROS_258-00-0009.tif
  3. M_1841_Q4_AZ_000007-ABBOTT_WILLIAM_COLE.jpg


  1. death_Rachel_Boyd_1921.tiff
  2. Death_1903_Isabella_HENDERSON_GROS_485-0A-0233.tif
  3. D_1869_Q3_AZ_000003-ABBOTT_WILLIAM_COLE.jpg


  1. census_James_Sinclair_1901.tiff
  2. Census_1901_Alexander_FINLAYSON_GROS_485-0A-001-00-043.tif
  3. 1861Census-William_ABBOTT_RG905106-025000-025100-00339A.jpeg

Style 1 is how I started out; Style 2 came after one of the classes at University of Strathclyde; Style 3 is straight from FindMyPast when you click to save on their site.  (This saves a lot of time compared to say, ScotlandsPeople where you have to make up your own filename from scratch).

Style 1 is wrong in that surnames are not capitalised and it doesn’t include the source reference number.

Style 2 corrects these deficiencies. But I seem to have a mixture of forename_SURNAME and vice versa 😦

I like the abbreviated event type of Style 3, but I think forenames should be lower case for clarity.  It also seems the Census format does not match BMD format for some reason…

So, I think I’m going to go with Style 4 instead:


where E = B/M/D/C

This will mean I have to make minimal changes to my existing Style 2 files and can take advantage of FindMyPast’s file name assignment in the future with minimal editing.  A Win/Win result?

Q. What file naming convention do you use?


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