Genealogy File and Folder Organization System for Mac, Part 8

Once you’ve used the GenealogyTools Genealogy File and Folder Organization System for a while you may wonder: “Is there a way to see a list of all the alias files or folders that point to an original?” The answer is, yes!

Aliases are powerful enough in their ability to save space and organize your genealogy files and folders without multiple versions to get out of sync. Seeing where the original or aliases are is where even more power comes into play.

As usual, I think showing you in a video will be the most helpful way for you to see the benefit. This video will show you:

  • how to find the original file to which an alias points
  • how to find out what aliases point to an original

The first one is simple; there’s a finder command for that. The second one is tricky in that it involves some advanced planning and labeling. Please play this video and follow along with your family history files and folders on your Mac.

Next article in the series: Genealogy File and Folder Organization System for Mac, Part 9, Do all your folders look alike?.


  1. says

    If you want to go to the place in the Finder where a Spotlight search result is located, hover over the item in the Spotlight search results and press Command-R (don’t click the mouse which actually opens the item).

    The Finder will open a window with the chosen file highlighted.



  2. eleanor Weycker says

    I am having a great learning experience fine tuning my use of Reunion from your excellent videos. I have been using Reunion for years,

  3. Dawn Picota says

    Hi Ben I wanted to know how do you name your census records with source numbers I can’t seem to find them on any of the census records

    • says

      Hi, Dawn. I number the census image files with the source number generated by my genealogy software.

      For example: S20-1900 US Census ED 16 p 5.jpg. The “S20-” in that file name indicates that it is source number 20 in my database. —-Ben >@<

  4. Dawn Picota says

    where would the source number be generated through family tree maker mac? I love the way you organize everything!

  5. Dawn Picota says

    Another thing, how do you name sources like the U.S. Passenger Lists one ancestor of mine was a navy captian there was like almost 100 of them with his name on it.

  6. Dawn Picota says

    Hi Ben,

    I wanted to ask how would you normal generally name a file that is generated as in family tree maker : Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1568; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 718; Image: 524.0.

    Also how would you name a U.S. Passenger list that is generated as: 1908; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: T715_1084; Line: 16; Page Number: 18

    Because I have one ancestor who was a navy captain and he did quite a few boats like literally 100 how would I name them in using your system?

  7. says

    I just finished going through the 8 lessons/videos for using file/folder organization for Mac, and I AM IN AWE!! I’ve been a Mac user for nearly 20 years, and I’ve learned SO much!

    I’m so glad I found your site through a google search – I wanted a better way to organize all the material I am gathering, and looked at a few programs; but I am a firm believer in using the operating system whenever possible, and you’ve showed me how to do that – plus, I can see many other ways to apply what I have learned; I’m a digital scrapbooker, and already use aliases in my filing system for my digital supplies; and now I know ways to improve on that organization, as well!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    I’m off to explore the rest of your site.

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