Archive for July, 2020

Damage Control

I first wrote an article similar to this in 2004 Damage Congtrol
when I was writing a genealogy newspaper column, and the area in Arizona where we lived was threatened by flooding. Yes, there can be flooding in Arizona. I also wrote a blog again a couple of years ago talking about it – but today, with fires burning all around the area we live in, it seems it might be a good time to re-evaluate how to store and save your family history.

The best and most certain way to make sure your family history survives is to share it. Once upon a time, I got a new computer. This was the first time I had changed computers. I made a back up of every file on my computer. When I restored my files to my new computer I found that one was missing. The file I was looking for was a 64 page transcribed journal of one of my great-great-grandfather. Remember, this was the old days. Today I would have scanned the journal, but in that period of time I went through the entire journal and typed every word, and now it was gone. Lucky for me I had shared the file with my brother, and he sent me a copy of the file.

Today I would still share it with my brother, but I would also share it on familysearch.org and ancestry.com, where I have my family tree posted. FamilySearch has a long history of filming [now digitizing] and preserving records, complements of their Granite Mountian Vault. They also share their collection free of charge. I’m referring you to my previous blog, Saving Your Family History, for other ideas to keep your records safe.

Since many are grounded at home, now might be a good time to evaluate how you are protecting the collection of family records you have. While you cannot prevent bad things from happening to your precious family history you can share what you have so that these records can be viewed by generations to come, and possibly even by you.

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   best maskThese were things I already knew, but had not focused on, as there was so much else going on. But I have had some fun things happen, genealogically speaking, during the Shutdown.

  • I found a new cousin on the Isle of Wight. As I more closely focused on my social network, I went to the Isle of Wight Facebook Group that I had joined, and I made a comment; my soon to be new-found cousin made a comment on my comment, and we are now working together on our family tree. Social Networking can be amazing.
  • I have found children that were previously not added to my family on familysearch.org, and they were fun to find.  I took some time to organize and make sense of sources that were already added to family members in my tree, and found some children that had not been added. I ordered a number of birth certificates from England, and now there are some new additions to our family.
  • Consultant Planner: I have known about the Consultant Planner on FamilySearch, but with the need to work in relative isolation, I have needed to use it and been able to help people with their family history roadblocks totally from my home.
  • Teaching Classes: I have been able to both teach and take classes without driving to the FamilySearch Center, through a  zoom link that our FS Center obtained.
  • New Free Record Sites: By checking out some of the overseas archives that I have used in the past, I discovered that a number of them are currently offering free content because of the pandemic.
  • Newly Indexed Records: I discovered that a collection of records that I wanted had been added to FamilySearch because of the Indexing program. This was a wonderful find for me. So, in searching the current records waiting for indexing, I found 3 collections that I really need to have finished—so I’m taking some time each day to work on them. When you give back, you also receive

Lots of positive things have come out of this shutdown and I’m sure we will come out at the other end of this much wiser, and probably more rested.

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