One of the biggest ongoing tasks that a genealogist works on is the creation and maintenance of their family tree. It shows, at a glance, all of the research and work you have done in order to learn more about your ancestors. There are many reasons why it is important to put your family tree in multiple places.
Backup Copies Prevent Loss
The beautiful, artistic, family tree that hangs on your wall is a treasure. It would be a tragedy to lose it in a fire or other disaster. The way to prevent that problem is to make some backup copies of your family tree.
Hang onto the “notes” that you used to create that family tree. They will come in handy if you have to rebuild the family tree from scratch. Get a business card from the artist that put the tree together for you. Put copies of your family tree on an external drive in case your computer crashes and cannot be repaired.
Websites Can Disappear
There have been situations where a genealogist was entering all of his or her research into just one website. People tend to assume that if a website exists now, and has been around for a while, that it will always be there. In reality, a website can disappear rather quickly, and without much warning.
It could be due to a merger between the company that ran the website and another company. A “behind-the-scenes” scenario could be brewing without any of the users of the website being aware of it. If you put your family tree in multiple places, you won’t lose everything if one of those websites shuts down.
Access to More Records
Put your family tree on one genealogy website, and you will gain access to the records that the website offers. Other genealogy websites might have records that the first one lacks. If you put your family tree on various genealogy websites, and make use of all of them, you might end up with the best possible access to the widest amount of records. That access could make filling in your family tree a lot more possible.
RootsMapper is an interactive website that allows genealogists to visualize the migration patterns of their ancestors. In order to use RootsMapper, you have to have an account at FamilySearch. Put your family tree on FamilySearch, and RootsMapper can pull from that data.
AncestryHealth is a website that helps people to create a medical family tree (so to speak). The most efficient way to use AncestryHealth is to allow it to import your family tree from Ancestry.com. Don’t have an Ancestry.com account? You will have to manually put your family tree into AncestryHealth. These examples show some benefits of having your family tree on multiple genealogy websites.
Image by Richard Walker on Flickr.
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