This was a long month, just like July was with only one major holiday. So with the end of the month, if you have not done so already, this would be an excellent time to make sure you have done a complete computer backup of your family history research. If you use a software program such as FamilyTree Maker, make a backup of the entire family branches. Backup from your computer files where you have any photos, scanned documents, vital records or digital records. Include all these items, even if you backed them up months ago, there could have been some changes.
There are different methods to backup your family history. The most common is to use a DVD disc, it will hold more data than the older CD disc. A better and larger method is to use a portable exterior hard drive. These are available in office supply stores like Staples, Office Max and Office Deport. Using the UBS port they are very easy to connect and transfer the information to the hard drive. Using the smaller flash drives or thumb drives is another method but not necessarily for long term storage. They are very good to transfer the family history to another relative’s computer.
By sharing your collection of family research with relatives, this is also a way to backup and preserve the information and images. This is known as ‘off-site’ storage. You do want copies of the DVD discs, the portable hard drive or the flash drives stored in a safe deposit box, a relative’s or friend’s house. Having all the information, the original documents and digital items in one house only is very risky.
Using Gedcom and placing your family history information on the WorldConnect Project with Rootsweb, this is another method your research can be preserved and shared with others. The full instructions of how to convert your files to Gedcom and to upload them to the site are provided on the Rootsweb page.
If you have not placed your research to date on the WorldConnect Project, do make that one of your first ‘to-do’ projects for the month of September. It places the ancestral names and dates and places out into the world for those to look over and even contract you if they have additional information to add. Not to worry, it does protect information on all individuals living. You register with a password and user name with Rootsweb and then you can place your Gedcom files on the WorldConnect Project. Do keep your user name and password written down and on your computer in several locations. It is a great place to check who else has submitted research on mutual ancestors. There are some 680 millions names on WorldConnect now.
So it is the end of the month, start your backups.< Return To Blog Any online fmlaiy tree charts are only as accurate as the research of the person who posted the chart. That is why I use a multitude of sources, compare and contrast information between them, and unless I can reasonably validate the information, I just use the sources as a guide, a starting place for whoever I am working on to add to my tree. Sometimes, you just have to have reasonable faith in the work of others, if the information is logical and makes sense; and sometimes you can find the proof yourself. Just email the person who posted the chart about their sources. Their email is at the top of the rootsweb page. Also, check the information yourself wherever you can to make sure it makes sense. Examples of errors I have seen on there are things like Joe, born 1832, died 1880. His father was John, born 1800, died 1827 . Now, there is no way that Joe was born 5 years AFTER his father died. At least not in those days without sperm banks and artificial insemination. I found a whole tree on one branch of my fmlaiy on there that some distant cousin had done. It was fascinating to find, but I did not know if I could trust it. I emailed that person and we have been in contact for a year now. I now know enough about her and her research to have faith in the information she posted, because she has been at it for 25 years and never posts anything she can't verify first.