Genealogy File and Folder Organization System for Mac, Part 2

In this video I walk you through creating a folder system on your Mac for genealogy files about places, such as city directories.

In later videos I’ll show you a powerful way to connect the files and folders in this genealogy folder system. It will help you know where to put files as your research uncovers them and to find them after they’ve been stored.

After following along you’ll be prepared to organize the files you have. Don’t worry about doing it all at once if you have a large collection of files about places. Just do a little bit at a time and eventually it’ll be done. The hardest part is getting started.

Next article in the series: Genealogy File and Folder Organization System for Mac, Part 3, People.


  1. says

    I’m researching family from areas that were part of Hungary before WWI and are now in Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine. In some cases, there were even more changes (e.g. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine). Any suggestions about how to label folders in such situations?

  2. says

    Vivian, thank you for the question.
    I have some ancestors that immigrated from Prussia (modern-day Germany) so I understand the dilemma you face. I have created a new post and video to contain my recommendations and walk you through implementing them.
    By the way, your site is beautiful!


  3. Betty Jane Hylton says

    The video on adding folders for places was very clear but what type of a information do you put in the place folders?

  4. says

    I put files that are about the place, say photos of a location
    associated with the family. The files can also be about several people
    in the same place. Then I use aliases (in a subsequent screencast) to
    have that one copy of the file appear to be in one or more surname
    folders. For example, I have an excerpt from a 1949 Duluth, Minnesota
    telephone directory that includes several of my PUGLISIs. I keep the
    one “real” file in the places folder structure and aliases in the
    folders of each named PUGLISI.

  5. Dawn Delaney says

    To me, the file management is always the most important aspect. Having committed to Reunion, I am at the stage of cleaning up the file management. This is my understanding on how the file system works:
    Dump all the master pix and documents under the most appropriate people or place folder.
    Then, as needed for a source, create a new “alias” file of the original as needed (say for a woman’s married name). This alias file will then have a source number referencing it to the married woman’s name.
    Is this correct?
    The best part of Reunion, in my opinion, is the support network.

  6. Veronica says

    Hi Ben,
    I started watching your video series on how to create files about a week ago and only got through a couple. Today I can’t seem to get them to work. Every time I click on the video link of one my screen just gets a bit darker and nothing else happens. help.

  7. Dawn Picota says

    I love your site. I wanted to know what do you put in a places folder I can’t seem to get anything anwered on this part.

  8. Dawn Picota says

    no. I found part 2, I am still learning about ancestry and you mentioned a places folder and I want to know what do people generall use a place folder for, I search for an answer nothing definite. What I am asking, basicially is what sort of folders I need like a places, cemeteries, censuses, etc. bow tie charts etc.

  9. RockyHunt says

    So, Ben, do you place the original copy of the Censuses in your places folder under their particular city/town, etc and then make an alias for each of the people on that particular page? How do you handle families/households that are split between two different pages of the Census? For example, mom and dad are toward the bottom of page 3 and son and daughter are toward the top of page 4. I realize this isn’t a Reunion related question, but I value your input. Thank you in advance!

    • Ben says

      I did when I kept images of census pages. I no longer keep them because I found it inefficient; I process all the information and evidence about people I’m interested on a census page in one shot. In the off chance that I need to refer to it again (e.g. for a neighbor) I can easily look it up online.

      In the case of households split across pages, I saved each page as separate images and linked files to the corresponding individual’s folders using aliases.

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