You could have information on individuals that you thought at first were relatives, ancestors on the family tree and you eventually concluded — they were not related. So don’t just toss out all that hard work, instead using social media if someone else is related and would appreciate this information. Many Facebook sites are devoted to specific surnames. If you know of a certain hometown, check that location on Facebook or if the town has a local Museum. Donating out that information, even if just a little could be of a big help to someone else.
Get into the monthly habit of backing up your computer files of the family tree and history. A good way to remember is to set the same time each month, either first or end of the month for example. Being organized means having your research saved and backup. Backing up works in reverse also. If you only have paper copies of all your research, see about a friend or another relative helping scan to make digital those documents. The portable wand scanners are great for this, allowing you to put through page after page and same all the digital images on a flash drive, a computer or on a disc. Then shared that disc or drive with other family members and place a copy in a different location, lie a bank safe box.
If not done so to date, take the time to scan the collection of family photos. Also, label each image file with the date and person’s name. Don’t use ‘Grandmother Mary’ as the file name, place the full name and a maiden name if known. You will really feel organized if you scan and label the photos. Ask for help, there are relatives that can help and then you all share in the digital copies.
Lastly, get into the habit of listing all your sources of information. My proving you have verified with two or more sources your information, it will stand the test of time and you won’t need to re-do your research. For example, if you located the marriage date and place for a great aunt, list the source such as marriage certificate or newspaper wedding announcement. Write that source on your print copy and if using an online family tree program, place that source in a couple different locations, with the bride’s and the groom’s listing.
Photos: Backup, Photos, Scanner, and Files
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